The Black Cat

April 2, 2011 - The Black Cat (Martha Grimes). Designer shoes help Scotland Yard's Richard Jury crack a case that involves the murders of three female escorts in two separate locations.

This entry in the series picks up where the last one, Dust, left off. Jury is in a bit of a funk because his lover, Lu Aguilar, is in hospital with serious injuries from a car crash. He's also still trying to figure out a way to nail his nemesis, Harry Johnson, for murder. Now, he's been called in to investigate the murder of a well-dressed woman in Chesham, a town where crime is normally handled by the Thames Valley police.

The victim, shod in a pair of Jimmy Choo's, turns out to be the town librarian. But, it took a while to identify her because she was dressed as her alter ego, Stacy Storm, an escort for a high-priced agency in London. Before Jury can work out who killed her and why, another escort from another agency is shot to death in London. Then, a third escort from a third agency is also shot and killed. The charm of Sgt. Wiggins and a comment about designer shoes help Jury solve the case. Meanwhile, Jury calls on his old friend, Melrose Plant, to help him put one over on Harry.

There's not a lot of action, so to speak, in the book. But, in her usual fashion, Grimes exposes more facets of Jury's character through her eloquent writing. At one point she writes of Jury, "He was feeling rather ill-used in his hugless universe." Wonderful! Interludes featuring Harry's dog, Mungo, and a cat named Morris provide some amusing moments. It's always good to be among friends, and this is another satisfying visit with some of the best.