In this adventure featuring Richard Jury, 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 and 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.
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“That’s the way it is with Grimes: Great characters who say and do the most unexpected things are her stock in trade. The charmer here is ten-year-old Patty Haigh (‘looks like a little girl, but acts like MI6’), one of a group of loosely parented children who hang around the stations at Waterloo and Heathrow, practicing the skills needed to be cops…Meanwhile, Grimes’ irresistibly attractive Scotland Yard man is busy solving the murder…[Detective Superintendent] Jury manages to have multiple sets of eyes on his suspect. But our eyes are glued to Patty, off in Africa and having the time of her life.”
New York Times