Richard Jury Books in Order: How to read Martha Grimes’s series?

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks!

The fictional detective created by author Martha Grimes, Richard Jury is an inspector with Scotland Yard. Initially a chief inspector, later a superintendent, he solves mysteries with his friend Melrose Plant, a British aristocrat who has given up his titles, and his hypochondriacal but dependable sergeant, Alfred Wiggins.

How to read the Richard Jury Series in Order?

Every entry in the Richard Jury book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. The Man With a Load of Mischief – At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign. Two pubs. Two murders. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer. Except for one Melrose Plant. A keen observer of human nature, he points Jury in the right direction…
  2. The Old Fox Deceiv’d – When Gemma Temple is found dead on Twelfth Night, it is a murder so bizarre that Scotland Yard are called in. Arriving at the bleak Yorkshire fishing village, Inspector Richard Jury is confronted with unrequited loves, unavenged wrongs and undiscovered murders.
  3. The Anodyne Necklace – A severed finger found at the scene of a baffling murder in the village of Littlebourne leads local constables on what seems like a wild goose chase. But Richard Jury prefers to take the less-traveled route to a slightly disreputable pub, where drinks all around loosen tongues and provide clues galore.
  1. The Dirty Duck – Superintendent Richard Jury has been wrong before. But when stating that “nothing ever happens in Stratford,” he never imagined just how wrong he could be. Besides the stage murders committed nightly at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a real one has been performed not far from a popular pub known as The Dirty Duck.
  2. Jerusalem Inn – A white Christmas couldn’t make Newcastle any less dreary for Richard Jury-until he met a beautiful woman in a snow-covered graveyard. She could have put some life into his sagging holiday spirit. But the next time Jury saw her, she was cold-and dead. Melrose Plant wasn’t faring much better. Snow bound at a stately mansion with a group of artists, critics, and idle-but-titled rich, he, too, encountered a lovely lady … or rather, stumbled over her corpse.
  3. Help the Poor Struggler -Around bleak Dartmoor, three children have been brutally murdered. Now Richard Jury joins forces with a hot-tempered local constable named Brian Macalvie to track down the killer. The trail begins at a desolate pub, Help the Poor Struggler. It leads straight to the estate of Lady Jessica, a ten-year-old orphaned heiress who lives with her mysterious uncle and ever-changing series of governesses.
  1. The Deer Leap – Ashdown Dean is a little English village where animals are dying in a series of seemingly innocuous accidents. While the puzzling deaths of village pets may raise some idle gossip over a pint or two at the Deer Leap, the village pub, this hardly seems a case for Superintendent Jury of Scotland yard. Nor does it seem much of a challenge for the combined deductive powers of Jury and Melrose, the affable former Earl of Caverness.
  2. I Am the Only Running Footman – The body of a blond shopgirl lies on the cold cobbles not far from a fashionable Mayfair pub called I Am the Only Running Footman. She has been strangled with her own scarf-and that peculiarity reminds Scotland Yard’s Richard Jury of an unsolved murder in Devon.
  3. The Five Bells and Bladebone – When a dismembered corpse is found in the compartments of an antique writing bureau, Marshall Trueblood is the first to protest: “I bought the desk, not the body, send it back.” Who would want to kill Simon Lean, the greedy nephew of the wealthy Lady Summerston? Leave it to Richard Jury to suggest a connection to the murder of brassy Limehouse lady named Sadie Driver, found dead near Wapping Old Stairs … if that stone-cold body on the slipway is really Sadie.
  1. The Old Silent – Richard Jury witnesses a killing in a West Yorkshire inn called the Old Silent. Caught up in a triple murder, Jury would go to any lengths to help Nell Healey, the lovely widow of one of the victims. But Nell Healey remains silent as the Yorkshire moors, quiet as the grave, while the scope of the mystery widens.
  2. The Old Contemptibles – Following a passionate and troubled love affair with a pretty widow named Jane Holdsworth, Jury finds himself, unaccountably, a suspect in a murder investigation. Detained in London, Jury sends his friend Melrose Plant to the Holdsworth family’s Lake District home to pose as an eccentric librarian. Plant discovers that his catalogue cards contain questions about the Holdsworths: What happened to Crabbe Holdsworth’s first wife? What happened to his son, Graham? What happened to the cook, Annie?
  3. The Horse You Came In On – The murder is in America, but the call goes out to Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury. Accompanied by Melrose Plant and by Sargeant Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, Maryland, home of zealous Orioles fans, mouth-watering crabs, and Edgar Allen Poe. In his efforts to solve the case, Jury rubs elbows with a delicious and suspicious cast of characters, embarking on a trail that leads to a unique tavern called The Horse You Came In On…
  1. Rainbow’s End – When three women die of “natural causes” in London and the West Country, there appears to be no connection. But Richard Jury has other ideas, and before long he’s following his keen police instincts all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, in the company of a brooding thirteen-year-old girl and her pet coyote, he mingles with an odd assortment of characters and tangles with a twisted plot that stretches from England to the American Southwest.
  2. The Case Has Altered – Richard Jury investigates the murder of two women in the Lincolnshire fens. Both victims are connected to the wealthy owner of the Fengate estate: one a kitchen maid, and the other, the owner’s ex-wife. But Jury has more at stake than just catching a killer, as the prime suspect is a woman who’s presence in his life is becoming meaningful in a way he can’t explain…
  3. The Stargazey – Saturday night. It was not a night to be spending alone, riding a bus. When he was a teenager at the comprehensive, Saturday night without a girl, without a date, without at least your mates to raise hell with, Saturday night alone would have been shameful. One wouldn’t want to be seen alone on a Saturday night…. Who are you kidding? That was never your life, Richard Jury, not yours.
  1. The Lamorna Wink – After taking up residence in an old Cornish manor, Melrose Plant is quickly drawn into a mystery involving the disappearance of his beloved aunt, but when corpses begin surfacing all over the English countryside, Richard Jury will have to step in to sort out the mess.
  2. The Blue Last – Mickey Haggerty, a DCI with the London City police, has asked for Richard Jury’s help. Two skeletons have been unearthed in the City during the excavation of London’s last bombsite, where once a pub stood called the The Blue Last. Mickey believes that a child who survived the bombing has been posing for over fifty years as a child who didn’t. The grandchild of brewery magnet Oliver Tyndale supposedly survived that December 1940 bombing … but did she?
  3. The Grave Maurice – Melrose Plant tells Jury of something he overheard in The Grave Maurice, a pub near the hospital. A woman told an intriguing story about a girl named Nell Ryder, granddaughter to the owner of the Ryder Stud Farm in Cambridgeshire, who went missing more than a year before and has never been found. What is especially interesting to Plant is that Nell is also the daughter of Jury’s surgeon.
  1. The Winds of Change – The shooting death of an unidentified little girl found on a shabby London street, as well as the discovery of the body of an unknown woman in the gardens on the estate of Declan Scott, prompts Richard Jury to join forces with Melrose Plant and Brian Macalvie, commander of the Devon and Cornwall police, to investigate a labyrinthine case of sexual perversity and murder.
  2. The Old Wine Shades – Richard Jury considers the authenticity of a fantastical tale, told over the course of three nights by a stranger and fellow patron at the Old Wine Shades pub in London, about a string theory scientist’s wife, son, and dog, who disappeared without a trace nine months earlier.
  3. Dust – The once-charismatic Billy Maples was last seen in a club named Dust, before his murder in a trendy London hotel. Before his death, Maples was a patron of London’s finest art galleries and caretaker of author Henry James’s house in Rye. It’s there where Richard Jury installs Melrose Plant, who takes his job to heart, as Jury closes in on the dark secrets behind Maples’s friends and family…
  1. The Black Cat – Three months have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and guilt-ridden after his lover’s tragic auto accident, and he is now more wary than ever. He is deeply suspicious when requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment’s black cat, who gives neither crook nor clue as to the girl’s identity or her killer’s.
  2. Vertigo 42 – Richard Jury is meeting Tom Williamson at Vertigo 42, a bar on the forty-second floor of an office building in London’s financial district. Despite inconclusive evidence, Tom is convinced his wife, Tess, was murdered seventeen years ago. The inspector in charge of the case was sure Tess’s death was accidental-a direct result of vertigo-but the official police inquiry is still an open verdict and Jury agrees to re-examine the case.
  3. The Knowledge – Robbie Parsons is a black cab driver who knows every street, every theater, and every landmark in the city by heart. In his backseat is a man with a gun in his hand. As the criminal eventually escapes to Nairobi, DS Richard Jury comes across the case in the Saturday paper. Two days previously, Jury had met 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.

  1. The Old Success – When the body of a French woman washes up on a wild inlet off the Cornish coast, Brian Macalvie is called in. While Macalvie stands in the Scilly Islands, inspector Richard Jury is at The Old Success pub, sharing a drink with the former CID detective Tom Brownell, a man renowned for solving every case he undertook. Except one. In the days following the mysterious slaying of the Parisian tourist, two other murders take place. Macalvie, Jury and Bronwell set out to discover whether these three killings, though very different in execution, are connected.

If you like our article about the Richard Jury reading order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also want to check out the Inspector Lynley series or the Three Pines books.

Similar Posts


  1. Favourite mystery books of all time and I think part of that is because of the characters that carry over from one book to the next, like old friends to the reader . I love the pub names for each book and one day would like to go visit each pub, book in hand and spend the day reading. Yes, it is truly my favorite series.

  2. What is the name of the Martha Grimes novel where Richard jury unexpectedly works with a lady constable or inspector on murder case in which they end up having an affair and they fall in love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *