Long Piddleton had always been wary of newcomers. But the quiet town was stunned when the first stranger was found dead, upended in a butt of ale in the cellar of the Men with a Load of Mischief. Then the second body appeared, swinging in place of the mechanical man above the door of the Jack and Hammer. Suddenly Long Piddleton had good reason to be wary of everyone! Its cozy pubs and inns with their polished pewter and blazing hearths had become scenes of the most bizarre crimes. Who were the victims? And who was the murderer? A stranger? A maniac? Or the disarmingly friendly man next door?
Two pubs. Two murders. One chocolate-box village convinced of its own perfection - until now. Long Piddleton is an unlikely setting for a crime, and yet it's the scene of two. With one dead body upended in a keg of beer at The Man with a Load of Mischief, and another swinging from the sign above the Jack and Hammer, tensions are high, and Scotland Yard's Richard Jury is called in to calm the waters. On arrival, Jury finds himself confronted by a community spooked by the idea that the murderer could be amongst them. That is, apart from Melrose Plant - the eighth Earl of Caverness and a keen observer of human nature whose astute eye directs Jury's investigation straight into the heart of the village, leaving the community questioning everything they ever thought they knew and trusted.
It is a chilly and foggy Twelfth Night, wild with North Sea wind, when a bizarre murder disturbs the outward piece of Rackmoor, a tiny Yorkshire fishing village with a past that proves a tangled maze of unrequited loves, unrevenged wrongs, and even undiscovered murders. Inspector Jury finds no easy answers in his investigation—not even the identity of the victim, a beautiful young woman. Was she Gemma Temple, an impostor, or was she really Dillys March, Colonel Titus Crael’s long-lost ward, returning after eight years to the Colonel’s country seat and to a share of his fortune? And who was her murderer?
The third in the bestselling Richard Jury mystery series by Martha Grimes. A spinster whose passion was bird-watching, a dotty peer who pinched pennies, and a baffling murder made the tiny village of Littlebourne a most extraordinary place. And a severed finger made a ghastly clue in the killing that led local constables from a corpse to a boggy footpath to a beautiful lady’s mansion. But Richard Jury refused, preferring to take the less traveled route to a slightly disreputable pub, the Anodyne Necklace. There, drinks all around loosened enough tongues to link a London mugging with the Littlebourne murder and a treasure map that would chart the way to yet another chilling crime.
In a rainy ditch in a Devon wood, a hitchhiker is found dead. Almost a year later, on another rainy night, another murder; this time, however, the victim is found just outside a pub called I Am the Only Running Footman, near Berkeley Square in London’s fashionable Mayfair District. Devon policeman Brian Macalvie is convinced that the two murders are connected. And thus, in his eighth case, Richard Jury is drawn into the so-called Porphyria killings. A particularly elusive pair of murders. From the streets of London to the village of Somers Abbas, Jury and Macalvie are joined by the stolid if hypochondriac Sergeant Wiggins and the reluctant Melrose Plant. They meet in another pub, the Mortal Man, and, amidst the clatter and cry of the Warboys family, they ponder a labyrinthine set of clues.