Aug 26, 2018sandraperkins rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is the latest Richard Jury mystery, #24 in the series which started way back in 1981. Every book is named for a British pub. The Knowledge is a secret pub to which only London cab drivers (and very occasional special guests) are admitted.
London cab drivers have to pass an extremely difficult test to show that they have the “Knowledge” required to find every possible location in London, which is an extremely difficult city to know well. GPS is not nearly enough to find one’s way in London.
If you like books with good plots, this plot is fascinating and complicated. If you like interesting characters, this book has plenty: both the characters we have come to know over the past decades, who appear in every book, and the new characters that we meet for the first time in this book. There is humor, and there is plenty here to keep your interest.
One of my favorite characters in this book is Patty Haigh, who is 10 years old and resourceful way beyond her years. Martha Grimes often includes in her books young children who appear to be living on their own by their wits, with no adult supervision or help. These children often appear far more capable than the adults around them (especially the adults that have appeared in all of these books). While this may strain belief, we have to remember that these books are fiction.
I generally recommend reading any series in order, and this series is no exception. But given that this series started 37 years ago, I imagine that few readers recall the details of all of the past books. This latest book refers to past cases which I either did not recall or recalled only vaguely. On the other hand, it is helpful to understand who these characters are and how they fit together as you read a new book in the series. I think a reader could enjoy this book without having read the prior books, though I think enjoyment is deepened by long acquaintance with the characters.