The Knowledge, Martha Grimes, 2018

Grimes, a 2012 Grand Master awardee of the Mystery Writers of America, has written her 24th Inspector Richard Jury mystery at the age of 86. Sadly, I wish she had stopped at #23.  I read almost every one of her early Jury books and loved them with their cast of quirky characters—Jury, Sergeant Wiggins, Lordy Ardry or Melrose Plant, the antiques dealer Marshall Trueblood, and a group of attractive, bright, and sexy women.  But time hasn’t been good to Grimes or Jury and this book was positively a slog and one that at its end, made little or no sense.  The Knowledge is the name of a pub somewhere in London only known and frequented by London’s famous taxi drivers.  The latter are in league with a group of fast-fingered and clever young folks including the memorable Patty Haigh and when a double murder occurs outside a posh gambling club in London, the trigger man climbs into a cab to Waterloo Station where Patty picks up the trail.  Silliness follows in Africa and Jury figures out the culprits, but by then, I didn’t really care.  Like the late Sue Grafton, Grimes is a real life example of how one should quit at the top of one’s game, not after the downward spiral has begun.