Martha Grimes is an American author behind numerous bestselling detective fiction novels.
The Pennsylvania native is most famous for her long-running Richard Jury series. It stars the fictional Scotland Yard inspector and his trusty sidekick, Melrose Plant.
Grimes’s writing career began back in 1981 with her debut novel The Man with a Load of Mischief, and in the years that have followed, she’s published at least one book every year.
So, if you’re looking for a new mystery author and haven’t read Martha Grimes’s work before, you’re in for a real treat.
Martha Grimes Books
In this post, I’ll give you a full rundown of every book by Martha Grimes, from her debut novel to her latest release and everything in between.
I’ll also include a short overview of each series to help you decide where to begin your reading journey.
|Sr. No.||Title||Publication Date||Print Length||Publisher||Where to Buy|
|1||The Richard Jury Books||January 1, 2006||288 pages||Impress Mystery||Amazon|
|2||The Andi Oliver Books||January 1, 1999||442 pages||Wheeler Pub Inc||Amazon|
|3||The Emma Graham Books||April 23, 1996||347 pages||Knopf||Amazon|
|4||Emma Graham Spin-Off Featuring Maud Chadwick||31 March 1992||256 pages||Random House USA Inc||Amazon|
|5||The Foul Matter Books||September 7, 2004||384 pages||Berkley||Amazon|
|6||Martha Grimes’ Poetry||November 6, 1989||108 pages||G. P. Putnam's Sons||Amazon|
|7||Martha Grimes’ Novellas||January 1, 2000||221 pages||G K Hall & Co||Amazon|
|8||Martha Grimes’ Memoir||January 12, 2016||256 pages||Scribner; Reprint edition||Amazon|
The Richard Jury Books
Martha Grimes’ most popular series follows the life and adventures of Richard Jury.
This Scotland Yard detective had a tough start in life. His parents died in World War II, and he spent most of his childhood in an unloving children’s home.
But when we first meet Richard Jury, he’s a fully grown 43-year-old man with a certain charm that often woos the ladies. Yet despite his good looks and kind-hearted personality, he’s never been particularly lucky in love.
The same can be said for his faithful sidekick, Melrose Plant. Plant, a British aristocrat turned amateur sleuth, is equally unsuccessful in the romance department, but together, these two men excel when it comes to solving crimes.
The long-running Richard Jury series has been a hit with readers worldwide for decades. So much so that it was adapted into a popular German and Austrian television series.
The Richard Jury Books in Reading and Publication Order
Each book in the Richard Jury series can be read as a standalone. That being said, the characters’ lives evolve and intertwine with each new book. In order to get the most out of the series, it’s best to read them in the order they were published, listed below.
- The Man With a Load of Mischief (1981)
- The Old Fox Deceiv’d (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)
- Dust (2007)
- The Black Cat (2010)
- Vertigo 42 (2014)
- The Knowledge (2018)
- The Old Success (2019)
The Andi Oliver Books
This two-part series follows the story of a young woman who awakens one day in a Santa Fe bed and breakfast with no idea who she is. The only clue is a cryptic message that her Daddy will return soon.
Filled with a deep dread, the woman decides to flee the scene and finds herself alone in the wilderness. But there, she meets Mary Dark Hope. Together, they embark on an epic and dangerous mission to discover her true identity.
The Andi Oliver Books in Reading and Publication Order
The two Andi Oliver novels are interconnected. So, to get the most out of these books, it’s best to read them in the order they were published, listed below.
The Emma Graham Books
This four-part series combines classic elements of detective fiction with a rich and atmospheric character study.
Book one, Hotel Paradise, is set in a fading Maryland resort. We meet Emma Graham, a twelve-year-old girl whose love of ice cream is matched only by her love of solving mysteries.
And in this dusty old house, mysteries abound, including the death of a young girl, more than forty years before.
The Emma Graham Books in Reading and Publication Order
The four books in the Emma Graham series are interconnected. So, to get the most out of these novels, it’s best to read them in the order they were published, listed below.
Emma Graham Spin-Off Featuring Maud Chadwick
Fans of the Emma Graham series will recognize the character of Maud Chadwick. But in the novel The End of the Pier, Maud takes center stage in her own story.
As her twenty-year-old son flies the nest, Maud is left to deal with her confusion of emotions alone. She spends her days as a waitress in the Rainbow Café, where her only confidant is the town’s sheriff, Sam DeGheyn.
Sam has problems of his own. He’s trapped in a loveless marriage, and the pair offer one another a glimmer of hope in their otherwise miserable existence.
But the sheriff has other things on his mind too. Over the last five years, three local women have turned up dead. The supposed killer is locked away in jail, but now, Sam is beginning to suspect they’ve got the wrong man. And if the true killer still walks free, it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again.
The Foul Matter Books
Martha Grimes switches gears in this two-part series, departing from her usual atmospheric mystery stories to take a raucously funny swipe at the modern publishing industry.
In book one, Foul Matter, we meet writer Paul Giverney, whose books have taken the world by storm. Publishers are fighting to snap him up, but he’s holding out for the perfect opportunity with literary giant, Mackenzie-Haack. Yet he’ll only work with them under one condition; that they drop their most gifted (yet less successful) author and transfer his equally brilliant editor over to him.
But Paul soon realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew. In the cutthroat world of publishing, egos and ambition trump sense and reason, and suddenly, his power play seems to be backfiring.
In book two, The Way of All Fish, Paul Giverney is joined by contract killers, Candy and Karl, to take down greedy literary agent L. Bass Hess. Hess is hell-bent on claiming commission on a book he didn’t sell. And so, the trio team up with publishing mogul Bobby Mackenzie to bring him down, not by violence, but by driving him to the brink of insanity.
The Foul Matter Books in Reading and Publication Order
The two books in the Foul Matter series can be read as standalones. That being said, the characters’ lives evolve and intertwine, so to get the most out of the series, it’s best to read them in the order they were published, listed below.
Martha Grimes’ Poetry
Before she began penning novels, Martha Grimes dipped her toes into the world of poetry.
The result is this fascinating long-form poem, beautifully illustrated by artist Devis Grebu, that utilizes classic elements of British murder mystery stories to shine a light on the true nature of criminals and those who investigate them.
Martha Grimes’ Novellas
Grimes is best known for her full-length novels, but she’s also penned two shorter reads, the novellas The Train Now Departing and When The Mousetrap Closes.
Both are packed with nail-biting suspense alongside rich and fascinating characters and combined into the 2001 compendium, The Train Now Departing.
Martha Grimes’ Memoir
In this deeply personal memoir, Martha Grimes joins her son, Ken, to offer up their different experiences of their struggles with alcoholism.
Both mother and son hit rock bottom, but the view looked very different for them both. Martha’s struggles stemmed from too many martinis, both out with friends and at home alone. In contrast, Ken formed his dependency through years of partying in nightclubs and bars.
But eventually, each of them realized that they needed help. And so, Martha signed up for outpatient rehab, and Ken joined the twelve-step recovery program.
Double Double is their open, humorous, and heartfelt attempt to show that recovery is always possible and there is more than one way to get sober. Everyone must walk their unique journey, and they hope that this book will inspire others to take the first step.
Martha Grimes is a master of suspense, and her breathtaking books have captivated readers worldwide for decades.
So, if you prefer your murder mysteries with a little less cliche and a lot more atmosphere and intrigue, you’re bound to love her books.
Are you already a fan of Martha Grimes’ work? If so, what are your favorite reads? Could you drop me a comment in the box below?