The inimitable Richard Jury returns in the latest in the bestselling mystery series: “Martha Grimes has written a whodunit with terrific characters and a grand plot mixed with her unique droll wit. Vertigo 42 is one smart mystery!” (Susan Isaacs, bestselling author of Goldberg Variations)
Richard Jury is meeting Tom Williamson at Vertigo 42, a bar on the forty-second floor of an office building in London’s financial district. Despite inconclusive evidence, Tom is convinced his wife, Tess, was murdered seventeen years ago. The inspector in charge of the case was sure Tess’s death was accidental—a direct result of vertigo—but the official police inquiry is still an open verdict and Jury agrees to re-examine the case.
Jury learns that a nine-year-old girl fell to her death five years before Tess at the same place in Devon where Tess died, at a small house party. Jury seeks out the five surviving party guests, who are now adults, hoping they can shed light on this bizarre coincidence. Ultimately, four deaths—two in the past, two that occur on the pages of this intricate, compelling novel—keep Richard Jury and his sidekick Sergeant Wiggins running from their homes in Islington to the countryside in Devon and to London as they try to figure out if the deaths were accidental or not. And, if they are connected.
Witty, well-written, with literary references from Thomas Hardy to Yeats, Vertigo 42 is a pitch perfect, page-turning novel from a mystery writer at the top of her game.
MWA Grandmaster Grimes pays tribute to Hitchcock in her middling 23rd mystery featuring London policeman Richard Jury (after 2010's The Black Cat). Seventeen years after the discovery of heiress Tess Williamson's body at the bottom of the terrace stairs at her Devon home, Tom Williamson still doesn't believe that his wife's death was accidental and neither does Supt. Richard Jury, who suspects a link between Tess's death and that of Hilda Palmer. Five years earlier, nine-year-old Hilda suffered a fatal fall into a drained swimming pool during a birthday party that Tess was hosting for a half dozen young friends. Meanwhile, Jury visits eccentric pal Melrose Plant in Northamptonshire, where he becomes sidetracked by a lost Staffordshire terrier and soon after by a fresh corpse. The plot lines eventually connect to a complex conundrum involving friendship, love, and betrayal. Readers who persevere past Jury's confusing initial stay at the madcap Plant manse will be rewarded with an involving puzzle right up to the frustratingly farfetched finale.