Title: I am the Only Running Footman
Author: Martha Grimes
Date Finished: 17 April 2008
My Rating: A
Richard Jury is my favorite English detective! The eighth in the series, I am the Only Running Footman, is at the top of my favorites in the series. This time around Jury is called in to investigate the murder of a women outside a pub in the Mayfair district of London. Policeman Macalvie is back in this novel, convinced that the London murder is connected to a similar murder in Devon. (This is the second novel with Macalvie and I am wondering if he will pop up again in future stories.) Melrose Plant's role was small in this installment but enjoyable none the less, with a short return to the setting of Long Piddelton and some of the regulars there. I always find it interesting to see how Grimes brings Plant's character into the stories. I adore Sergeant Wiggins and really loved the description Grimes made of him. "Sergeant Wiggins's presence was soothing; he gave witnesses the impression somehow that he was one of them, had come amongst them with his notebook and pen; his economical stares (often not related to the problem at hand); not to mention his roster of maledictions that nudged awake the sleeping hypochondria in everyone; his ability to scale the Metropolitan Police down to the pleasant bobby on the corner. In an old morality play, Wiggins would have been the shepherd come to bear witness. And he always had a spare handkerchief."
This story seemed to take on a slow, plodding pace but it worked well. Everyone was just working together to decipher what little evidence and motive there was in order to draw everything to a close. And of course, only pages from the end, Jury has his Ah-ha! moment and figures everything out. (Well, almost everything.)
I'll admit that at the end I found myself saying "huh?" and re-reading the last few pages. It was not until I was making dinner and running the story back through my head that it all came together for me. Grimes laid all the clues out there perfectly. I was just a little slow putting it all together.
Another good mystery solved!