Thursday, May 22, 2014

Here kitty kitty

Superintendent Richard Jury of the New Scotland Yard is assigned to investigate the death of a young woman whose body was found on the grounds of a pub called the Black Cat.

The woman was well dressed but had no identification. As Jury investigates, he learns that the woman was Mariah Cox who was a librarian but had a secret life as an escort in London.

A side story tells of the young ward of the woman temporarily managing the Black Cat. The girl, Dora, is searching for her black cat named Morris.

Looking for suspects, Jury is told that there was a big party at the home of a wealthy couple on the night Mariah was murdered. On the guest list was Harry Johnson. He's a man Jury has been after for a long time. He's a suspect in a number of crimes but Jury could never get enough evidence to arrest him. Johnson has a quick wit and enjoys a friendly banter with Jury.

Another young woman's body is found, shot in the same manner as Mariah. This woman was also an escort and Jury tries to link the two women to see if they had anything other than their occupation in common.

The story takes a bizarre turn as the reader begins to learn of events through the communication between Harry's dog, Mungo and Morris, the lost cat. This is a most amusing diversion from the professional investigation Jury is conducting.

Jury enlists the help of his friend Melrose Plant and we view the world of English aristocracy. In a humorous scene, Plant arranges to meet an escort in order to see if there were any connections between the two slain escorts. The image of the escort arriving with alluring clothing and the elderly members of Plant's club look of amazement when she arrives was memorable.

This was an easy read and I felt moved by the discussion of Jury and another character about care and attention toward an ill friend or relative. This was something that made me think.

2 comments:

Kelly said...

I've read all the Richard Jury mysteries up to this point and this one still waits in my Kindle (and I see she has another due out in June). As much as I loved them to begin with, the last few disappointed me somewhat. Your review inspires me to move this one near the top of my TBR pile. Melrose Plant always "made" the series for me. :)

Michael Draper said...

I agree with you about Melrose Plant. He is an interesting and unique character to read about.

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