The Knowledge

The Knowledge

A Richard Jury Mystery

Book - 2018
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"In the latest series outing, The Knowledge, the Scotland Yard detective nearly meets his match in a Baker Street Irregulars-like gang of kids and a homicide case that reaches into east Africa. Robbie Parsons is one of London's finest, a black cab driver who knows every street, every theater, every landmark in the city by heart. In his backseat is a man with a gun in his hand--a man who brazenly committed a crime in front of the Artemis Club, a rarefied art gallery-cum-casino, then jumped in and ordered Parsons to drive. As the criminal eventually escapes to Nairobi, Detective Superintendent Richard Jury comes across the case in the Saturday paper. Two days previously, Jury had met and instantly connected with one of the victims of the crime, a professor of astrophysics at Columbia and an expert gambler. Feeling personally affronted, Jury soon enlists Melrose Plant, Marshall Trueblood, and his whole gang of merry characters to contend with a case that takes unexpected turns into Tanzanian gem mines, a closed casino in Reno, Nevada, and a pub that only London's black cabbies, those who have "the knowledge," can find"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Series:
ISBN: 9780802128010
0802128017
Branch Call Number: F GRI
Characteristics: 364 pages; 25 cm

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brangwinn
Sep 30, 2018

Even though this was the first Richard Jury mystery I read, I loved it, despite being confused about the cast of characters who surround him. I appreciate, Grimes believing that she doesn’t need to catch us late-to-the series readers up on what’s happened in the past. That irritates me when authors feel they must rehash past books. I need to go back and discover how this cast of characters came to be. The whole preposterous storyline was fun. The kids were strong and wily, and their friendship with the taxi drivers of London seemed not so crazy as the story unfolded.

s
sandraperkins
Aug 26, 2018

This is the latest Richard Jury mystery, #24 in the series which started way back in 1981. Every book is named for a British pub. The Knowledge is a secret pub to which only London cab drivers (and very occasional special guests) are admitted.

London cab drivers have to pass an extremely difficult test to show that they have the “Knowledge” required to find every possible location in London, which is an extremely difficult city to know well. GPS is not nearly enough to find one’s way in London.

If you like books with good plots, this plot is fascinating and complicated. If you like interesting characters, this book has plenty: both the characters we have come to know over the past decades, who appear in every book, and the new characters that we meet for the first time in this book. There is humor, and there is plenty here to keep your interest.

One of my favorite characters in this book is Patty Haigh, who is 10 years old and resourceful way beyond her years. Martha Grimes often includes in her books young children who appear to be living on their own by their wits, with no adult supervision or help. These children often appear far more capable than the adults around them (especially the adults that have appeared in all of these books). While this may strain belief, we have to remember that these books are fiction.

I generally recommend reading any series in order, and this series is no exception. But given that this series started 37 years ago, I imagine that few readers recall the details of all of the past books. This latest book refers to past cases which I either did not recall or recalled only vaguely. On the other hand, it is helpful to understand who these characters are and how they fit together as you read a new book in the series. I think a reader could enjoy this book without having read the prior books, though I think enjoyment is deepened by long acquaintance with the characters.

s
sandfordross
Jul 25, 2018

To start, I think Martha Grimes is one of the better mystery writers going and has carried forward the British Mystery genre as few others have. That said, this is not one of her strongest efforts by quite a large margin. I realize it is fiction but it crosses into fantasy far too easily. A ten year old girl that lives independently and is able to board a flight with boarding pass not even in her name? Surely there has to be some element of believable behaviour in even a fictional character. Without wishing to spoil the story, the book was rife with similar things!

I was also disappointed in the fact that none of the main protagonists has actually progressed (or regressed) with their lives. They all seem to be doing the same thing over and over and their actions are just too predictable. It would be nice if they actually accomplished something other than performing miraculously for Jury, even just once.

Martha Grimes has tremendous talent but I am afraid it doesn't show here.

m
Mlstevens5
Jul 16, 2018

Very clever and amusing mystery involving an exclusive Soho art gallery cum gambling den, a gang of very competent London street urchins, Jury’s regulars, a safari in Africa, a cabal Of London cabbies, and a pub that is nowhere to be found.

s
Spirit_of_Che
Jun 18, 2018

I have read every one of the richard jury novels, and enjoyed them tremendously. Martha Grimes is now in her late 80s and is still going strong. This book I Is probably one of the best, as far as intricacies and surprises in the plot.

Although there are a couple of extremely implausible events, I guess you could chalk that up to artistic license, this is a very interesting story.

While I would recommend this book you really should start the series with her first Richard jury novel, "The man with a load of mischief". Each novel builds the detail of the characters and their relationship to Richard jury and each other.

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