Martha Grimes is an American author of mystery novels. She is famous for her Richard Jury mystery series, which began with “The Man with a Load of Mischief” in 1981. The series now consists of over 20 novels and has been translated into over a dozen languages. Her other series include the Emma Graham series, the Andi Oliver series, and the Foul Matter series.
Grimes has won several awards for her writing, including the Nero Wolfe Award and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. She is also a former president of the Mystery Writers of America, and she’s still writing. So it’s worth reading Martha Grimes’s books, but you should read some in order. I’ll show you Martha Grimes books in order with the main focal point of the story. Keep scrolling!
Martha Grimes Books In Order (Reading Order)
Each Martha Grimes series can be read as standalone novels, but I recommend reading them to fully appreciate the characters’ development and relationships. This is particularly true for the Richard Jury series, which follows a chronological order. Reading the books in order will allow you to pick up on recurring themes or plot threads that may carry over from one book to the next.
However, if you are more interested in a particular series or story, you could start with that book and then go back to read the earlier books if you enjoy them. Whether you read Martha Grimes books in order or not, you can still enjoy the mysteries she creates.
Here is a list of Martha Grimes series and books:
Richard Jury series:
- 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).
Emma Graham series:
- Hotel Paradise (1996).
- Cold Flat Junction (2001).
- Belle Ruin (2005).
- Fadeaway Girl (2011).
Andi Oliver series:
- Biting the Moon (1999).
- Dakota (2008).
Foul Matter series:
- Foul Matter (2003).
- The Way of All Fish (2014).
- The End of the Pier (1992).
- The Train Now Departing (1996).
- The Blue Last (2001).
- The Old Wine Shades (2006).
- The Knowledge (2018).
Note: Some standalone novels were also published in the Richard Jury series.
Richard Jury Series In Order
The Man with a Load of Mischief: The first book in the series introduces a chief detective inspector, Richard Jury. He investigates a series of murders in a small village in England.
The Old Fox Deceiv’d: The second book sees Jury investigating the murder of a wealthy horse trainer in a racing community.
The Anodyne Necklace: Jury investigates the death of a young woman whose body is found in the Thames River.
The Dirty Duck: In this book, Jury investigates the murder of a pub owner and uncovers a complicated web of family secrets and grudges.
Jerusalem Inn: Jury investigates the death of a young woman at a remote inn on the coast of England.
Help the Poor Struggler: Jury tries to solve a case of the murder of a man who had recently inherited a large fortune.
The Deer Leap: Jury investigates the murder of a woman whose body is found on a cliff overlooking the sea.
I Am the Only Running Footman: In this book, Jury again researches a murder case of a man whose body is found in a London park.
The Five Bells and Bladebone: A murder of a pub owner in a small village creates chaos, and Jury tries to solve the mystery.
The Old Silent: Jury investigates a murder of a woman in a small town in England.
The Old Contemptibles: Jury investigates the death of a retired military officer found dead in a London park.
The Horse You Came In On: Jury looks over the murder of a regular woman at a popular bar in Baltimore.
Rainbow’s End: Jury investigates the murder of a woman in a small village in Devon.
The Case Has Altered: Jury investigates the murder of a wealthy businessman in a small village.
The Stargazey: Jury investigates the murder of a young woman in a small fishing village.
The Lamorna Wink: Jury looks into the murder of a woman in a small village in Cornwall.
The Blue Last: Jury investigates the murder of a woman in a pub in London.
The Grave Maurice: Jury investigates the murder of a jockey in the racing community.
The Winds of Change: In this book, Jury investigates the death of a woman in a small village in England.
The Old Wine Shades: Jury investigates the disappearance of a young girl in London.
Dust: Jury investigates the murder of a wealthy businessman in a small village.
The Black Cat: Jury investigates the murder of a woman in a small village in England.
Vertigo 42: Jury investigates the death of a man who fell from a building in London.
The Knowledge: Jury investigates the murder of a woman in London.
The Old Success: In this book, Jury investigates the murder of a man in a small village in England.
Overall, the Richard Jury series is for those readers who enjoy traditional British crime mysteries.
Emma Graham Series In Order
Hotel Paradise: The first book in the Emma Graham series is set in the 1950s and tells the story of a young girl named Emma. She is determined to solve a mystery surrounding the drowning of a young girl in the hotel swimming pool. The book is a slow-burning mystery focusing on the characters and their relationships rather than action and suspense.
Cold Flat Junction: In this second installment, Emma Graham is all grown up and working as a waitress in a small-town diner. When a local girl is found murdered, Emma becomes obsessed with finding the killer and uncovers secrets and lies that have been hidden for decades.
Belle Ruin: In this third book, Emma returns to the Hotel Paradise to attend a wedding and becomes involved in another mystery when the bride disappears on her wedding day. The book is a mix of mystery and family drama. Grimes does an excellent job of exploring the dynamics between the characters.
Fadeaway Girl: The fourth and final book in the series follows Emma as she investigates the disappearance of a young basketball player. The book explores themes of fame, family, and the darker side of small-town life.
Overall, the Emma Graham series is an engaging mystery with strong characters and unique plots. Each book can be read as a standalone, but reading them in order will give you a better understanding of Emma’s growth and development over time.
Andi Oliver Series In Order
Biting the Moon: This book introduces a young woman, Andi Oliver, who returns to her hometown in Maryland after a failed attempt to make it big in Hollywood. Andi is haunted by her childhood memories and her mother’s tragic death.
A local girl goes missing, and Andi involves in the investigation and confronts the dark secrets of her past. The book is a mix of mystery and family drama, with a strong sense of place.
Dakota (2008): In this book, Andi travels to the Badlands of South Dakota to investigate the disappearance of a young boy. The book explores themes of identity and the American West. The author does an excellent job of capturing the harsh beauty of the landscape. The mystery is well-crafted and keeps the reader engaged until the end.
Both books can be read as standalone, but reading them in order will give you a better understanding of Andi’s growth and mind over time.
Foul Matter Series In Order
Foul Matter: This book is a satirical take on the publishing world, following a group of writers, editors, and agents. They go to the cutthroat industry. The plot revolves around a manuscript that becomes the subject of a bidding war, leading to blackmail, betrayal, and murder.
The Way of All Fish: This book follows the character of Emma Graham, who appears in the Richard Jury series. She investigates the theft of a manuscript from a high-powered New York literary agency. The book is a satirical take on publishing, with a cast of colorful characters and a cleverly plotted mystery.
Overall, the Foul Matter series is for readers who enjoy satire and mysteries. The books are not traditional mysteries in the sense of whodunits, but they have complex plots and strong characterizations that will keep readers engaged.
Martha Grimes Standalone Novels
The End of the Pier: This book follows a group of characters brought together by their shared experience of performing in a seaside pier show. The story explores themes of memory, loss, and the passing of time.
The Train Now Departing: This book follows a group of characters traveling from London to Cornwall on a train. The story explores themes of love, betrayal, and redemption.
The Blue Last (2001): The story of the book focuses on the detective. He investigates a murder at a pub in Sussex.
The Old Wine Shades: This book is part of the Richard Jury series and follows the detective. He investigates the murder of a wine merchant in London.
The Knowledge: This book is another part of the Richard Jury series and follows the detective. He investigates a murder in a London cab. The book also explores themes of family and loyalty.
Overall, Martha Grimes is a talented writer who creates complex characters and cleverly plots mysteries. Her books are engaging and enjoyable for readers who enjoy a mix of mystery, humor, and strong storytelling.
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