'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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July 7, 2014

Vertigo 42




Belgrave Square and Snow Hill Police Station
Thursday, 7 p.m.

He wanted to sit down for a while and decided to follow the woman who had a key to the square. Only the buildings surrounding Belgrave Square -- mostly embassies -- were permitted to use it, but he didn't think anyone who throw him out. It was empty except for the woman who'd unlocked the gate, and she was merely crossing it to the road on the other side.
     'What're you doing?' Jury was on his mobile. He wondered if that seemingly aimless question that everyone asked from time to time wasn't aimless at all, but an appeal for connection.
      What're you doing?
      'Studying my library card,' said Melrose, unbothered by the apparent pointlessness of Jury's opening.
      'Your library card?'
      'Yes. I like the row of stamped dates. They're like stacks of little numbers. Those rubber stamping things librarians use, packed with dates. It seems to me it'd be awfully easy to get a date wrong. This book is late. But they probably don't do that anymore in London, or anyplace except in tiny villages. It's all getting computerized, now, isn't it?'
      Sitting on his bench in this green square, Jury thought he should go along with Plant's meditation on his card, given Melrose and Trueblood and the Jack and Hammer lot had saved the librarian's job, and quite possibly the library itself. He watched a couple of dusty-looking pigeons wrangle over a bit of something on the path. The washed-out blue of the sky above had faded further into pewter.
      Jury half-heard Melrose's voice going on about Long Piddleton's little library, and when his voice paused, he said, 'I'm resuming my interrupted visit, if you don't mind. Thought I'd come tomorrow.'
      'Excellent! Everyone has been vastly busy with this case of the lady in red. You can hear all the theories!
      'How wonderful!' Jury closed his eyes. There was another silence, a longer one.
      Melrose said, 'What're you doing?'

I love this series, I always have, and I thought it was over, as it's been a very long time since the last one. This new one brought it all back - esp. the quirky and {to me} very appealing characters. {I've always thought that it would be perfect on Masterpiece Mystery, and always known that that would never happen.} It's funny -- as much as I love her Richard Jury novels I've never really liked anything else Martha Grimes has written, just proving that quirk-appeal is very subjective, :) } These are cosy mysteries with a lot of snark, and that's a wonderful combination.


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