I AM THE ONLY RUNNING FOOTMAN by Martha Grimes
Kirkus Star

I AM THE ONLY RUNNING FOOTMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though generally delightful, Grimes' mysteries for Superintendent Richard Jury--Jerusalem Inn, etc.--have sometimes bordered on the arch and over-convoluted, with outsized portions of fey British comedy (as concocted by an American writer). This time, however, the tone is darker, the narration is lean, and the story is a simple one, unfolding obliquely--as Grimes shows that she's a follower of Ruth Rendell as well as Ngaio Marsh. Who strangled ambitious young shopgirl Ivy Childess on a street near Berkeley Square one night? The obvious suspect (despite alibis) is Ivy's upscale gentle. man-friend David Marr, an aging ne'er-do-well from a fine old Sussex family. So Jury soon finds himself in the country, getting a close-up view of Mart, his imperious sister Marion, and his soulful nephew Edward--all of whom are still mourning the hit-and-run death of Marion's young daughter Phoebe, all of whom are estranged from Marion's husband Hugh. But, even if Marr (or some other family member) killed marriage-hungry upstart Ivy, how is her murder connected to a very similar strangling in Devon? And why do some of the chapters switch to Brighton, where London TV-weathergirl Dolly Sands has come for a rest? The answers become clear in a last-minute rescue finale--one that doesn't fully succeed in generating Rendell-esque tension. Still: an intriguing, appealing, minor-key departure for Grimes and Jury--with only a few small appearances by Melrose Plant, the Superintendent's faintly precious part-time sidekick.
Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1986
ISBN: 0451410025
Page count: 324pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1986




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