Reviews for Man With a Load of Mischief
Library Journal BookSmack
The early books by Grimes share a number of similar features with Penny's novels: they focus on the connections among a group of characters, they are as funny, and they are clever police procedurals centered on a puzzle. Grimes also shares Penny's ability to create complex characters, vivid landscapes, and a witty, smart feel. Grimes even shares with Penny the penchant for having animals briefly appear as sentient characters (in A Trick of the Light, it is a horse; with Grimes, it is notably cats and dogs). The main characters-Richard Jury (quiet, brilliant, and infinitely appealing) and Melrose Plant (the charming local aristocrat looking to unload his title)-meet when Plant's village of Long Piddleton is beset by murder. Grimes carefully sets up the scene, introduces a number of repeating characters, and leads readers through a classic procedural, aided by an unusual group of helpers. As the series develops, some of the small-town charm slips away, Jury grows increasingly brooding, and the frame details change, but the early books offer a Jury who is much like a lonely Gamache and should give Penny fans some charming cozy company. Audio fans, take note: if still available in your library, Tim Curry's narration of several books in the series is not to be missed. - Neal Wyatt, "RA Crossroads," Booksmack! 11/3/11 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.