Martha Grimes

(* 1931)

Martha GrimesBiographical Sketch

Martha Grimes (born Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 2, 1931) is an American author of detective fiction, best known for her series of novels featuring Richard Jury, an inspector with Scotland Yard, and his friend Melrose Plant, a British aristocrat who has given up his titles. Each of the Jury mysteries is named after a pub. Her page-turning, character-driven tales fall into the mystery subdivision of “cozies.” In 1983, Grimes received the Nero Wolfe Award for best mystery of the year for The Anodyne Necklace.

The background to Hotel Paradise, its prequel The End of the Pier and its sequels is drawn on the experiences she enjoyed spending summers at her mother’s hotel in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland (Mountain Lake Hotel, torn down in 1967). One of the characters, Mr Britten, is drawn on Britten Leo Martin, Sr, who then ran Martin’s Store which he owned with his father and brother, and which was close to the former hotel.

Read more about Martha Grimes on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Nero Wolfe Award (USA)
  • 1983: Best Mystery of the Year – “The Anodyne Necklace”



Richard Jury
  • The Man With a Load of Mischief (1981)
  • The Old Fox Deceived (1982)
  • The Anodyne Necklace (1983)
  • The Dirty Duck (1984)
  • Jerusalem Inn (1984)
  • Help the Poor Struggler (1985)
  • The Deer Leap (1985)
  • I Am the Only Running Footman (1986)
  • The Five Bells and Bladebone (1987)
  • The Old Silent (1989)
  • The Old Contemptibles (1991)
  • The Horse You Came in On (1993)
  • Rainbow’s End (1995)
  • The Case Has Altered (1997)
  • The Stargazey (1998)
  • The Lamorna Wink (1999)
  • The Blue Last (2001)
  • The Grave Maurice (2002)
  • The Winds of Change (2004)
  • The Old Wine Shades (2006)
  • The Old Wine Shades (2006)
  • Dust (2007)
  • The Black Cat (2010)
  • Vertigo 42 (2014)
  • The Knowledge (2018)
  • The Old Success (2019)
Spirit Lake / Emma Graham
  • The End of the Pier (1992)
    – Prequel.
  • Hotel Paradise (1996)
  • Cold Flat Junction (2000)
  • Belle Ruin (2005)
  • Fadeaway Girl (2011)
Andi Olivier
  • Biting the Moon (1999)
  • Dakota (2008)
Foul Matter
  • Foul Matter (2003)
  • The Way of All Fish (2014)
Non-Series Novels
  • Send Bygraves (1990)
Short Story Collections
  • The Train Now Departing (2000)
  • Double Double: A Memoir of Alcoholism (2016)
    – With Ken Grimes.


A Selection of Quotes

The Lamorna Wink

“An idyllic childhood is probably illusion.”

The Man With a Load of Mischief

“And so it continued all day, wynde after wynde, from a room beyond came the whistle of a teakettle. “Now, you really must join me. I’ve some marvelous Darjeeling, and some delicious petits fours a friend of mine gave me for Christmas.”


“Before you hate something you should try to understand it.”

Unsourced / -attributed:

“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.”

Find more quotes by Martha Grimes on Goodreads.