Archive for February, 2011

The New York Times review of Fadeaway Girl

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The New York Times
February 13, 2011

FADEAWAY GIRL (Viking, $26.95) may not be the ideal introduction to the adventures of 12-year-old Emma Graham, since the plot is too complicated to follow if you’re not familiar with previous books in the semi-autobiographical series Martha Grimes has set in some nostalgic post-World War II time warp.

Constant readers, however, should relish the latest chapter in Emma’s efforts to unearth the secrets of the little town in western Maryland where her mother runs the decaying Hotel Paradise. Drawn by her runaway imagination to investigate crimes that have become part of local legend, Emma uses sheer cunning and devious methods of interrogation to pry information from the colorful characters she finds at well-trafficked spots like the Rainbow Cafe. They all quicken to life under Grimes’s Dickensian touch, but none more so than Emma. She may keep losing herself in the past, but she’s far too vital to fade away.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/books/review/Crime-t.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=%22martha%20grimes%22&st=cse

Seattle Times review of Fadeaway girl

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Seattle Times
February 12, 2011

Another intrepid and observant adolescent, Emma Graham, explored decades-old linked mysteries in Martha Grimes’ 2005 book “Belle Ruin.” But it was to no avail, and she carries on in Grimes’ “Fadeaway Girl” (Viking, 323 pp., $26.95). (The title refers to the mystery, but it also echoes a style of drawing that creates an illusory girl who fades into the background.)

Like Flavia, Emma has multiple talents — in this case, waitress (in her mother’s hotel) and inquisitive reporter (for a local paper). She scours her patch of rural Maryland, interviewing some colorful and beautifully realized characters, for clues to the old puzzle, which involved an apparent kidnapping, a burned-out building, and unexplained deaths.

Knowledge of Emma’s previous doings will help immensely here. As with Flavia above, so will a willingness to accept her startlingly adult perceptions.

That said, Grimes is, as usual, in sure-footed and inventive form.

Adam Woog’s column on crimeand mystery fiction appears on the second Sunday of the month in The Seattle Times.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/books/2014177795_adam13.html

For Grimes, love of stories no mystery

Monday, February 14th, 2011

By Julia Keller / Cultural Critic
February 11, 2011

If she weren’t writing mysteries, Martha Grimes says, she might be running a tea shop.

You were expecting perhaps an auto-parts store?

No, you weren’t. Not if you know Grimes’ work, which includes 22 mysteries featuring the incisive Scotland Yard detective Richard Jury, whose exploits are captured in books that have sold more than 5 million copies around the world. A tea shop matches up with the thoroughly British Jury as well as a cinnamon scone does with a cup of Earl Grey.

“Although,” Grimes adds during a recent phone interview from her Washington, D.C., home, “I’m sure there’s a great deal more to running a tea shop than I know about.”

Contemplating change doesn’t faze Grimes, who is scheduled to visit Chicago next week to talk about her new book, “Fadeaway Girl” (Viking). While she continues to write the Jury series – distinguished by the fact that the titles come from the names of British pubs such as “The Dirty Duck” (1984) and “The Old Silent” (1989) — “Fadeaway Girl” is the fourth book in another series featuring a feisty young woman named Emma Graham, who solves mysteries in a large hotel just after World War II.

“I don’t think I could have just kept writing the Richard Jury books. It wasn’t that I was bored or dissatisfied. I just had to write something else,” Grimes says. “I like Emma. She was initially supposed to be the protagonist of one book. But I liked her so much I couldn’t stop.

“Emma is not consciously based on me – but I do like her attitude. She’s unsentimental.”

Grimes, who still writes in longhand, says ideas come to her in all forms. “I’ll see something, or hear something. Sometimes, it can be a color. Or a piece of music. Or an image of some kind. I see something, and it has huge emotional weight, although I have no idea why.

“I love stories. I just enjoy telling stories and watching what these characters do – although writing continues to be just as hard as it always was.”

On Thursday, Grimes will appear at a private event at noon at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., and at a free public event at 7 p.m. at the Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm St., in Winnetka.

jikeller@tribune.com

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/ct-books-0212-martha-grimes-20110211,0,1257728.column

Reviews and Interviews for Fadeaway Girl

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Martha Grimes Online Radio interview with Bill Thompson’s “Eye on Books”

Bill Thompson
February 7th, 2011

The problem when you’re an author renowned for an ongoing series of mysteries is that, as Martha Grimes puts it, everything you write is marketed as a mystery, even when there is nothing in a particular book to indicate a mystery… listen to the full interview


The New York Times review of Fadeaway Girl

The New York Times
February 13, 2011

FADEAWAY GIRL (Viking, $26.95) may not be the ideal introduction to the adventures of 12-year-old Emma Graham, since the plot is too complicated to follow if you’re not familiar with previous books in the semi-autobiographical series Martha Grimes has set in some nostalgic post-World War II time warp… read the full review


For Grimes, love of stories no mystery

By Julia Keller CULTURAL CRITIC
February 12, 2011

If she weren’t writing mysteries, Martha Grimes says, she might be running a tea shop. You were expecting perhaps an auto-parts store? No, you weren’t. Not if you know Grimes’ work… read the full review


Seattle Times review of Fadeaway girl

Seattle Times
February 12, 2011

Another intrepid and observant adolescent, Emma Graham, explored decades-old linked mysteries in Martha Grimes’ 2005 book “Belle Ruin.” But it was to no avail, and she carries on in Grimes’ “Fadeaway Girl” (Viking, 323 pp., $26.95). (The title refers to the mystery, but it also echoes a style of drawing that creates an illusory girl who fades into the background.)… read the full review


Bookreporter.com review of Fadeaway Girl

By Roz Shea
February 8, 2011

Bestselling mystery writer Martha Grimes — creator of the popular Richard Jury novels, which carry the names of quaint pubs in picturesque British villages — offers the third installment of a new mystery series featuring Emma Graham.… read the full review


Dallas Morning News interview with Martha Grimes: Author Martha Grimes admires her heroine’s imagination

By David Martindale / Special Contributor
February 4, 2011

When Martha Grimes takes time away from her best-selling series of Richard Jury mysteries to write about a precocious 12-year-old sleuth and aspiring journalist, she mixes autobiographical self-portrait with a helping of wish-fulfillment… read the full review

Dallas Morning News interview with Martha Grimes

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Author Martha Grimes admires her heroine’s imagination
By David Martindale / Special Contributor
February 4, 2011

When Martha Grimes takes time away from her best-selling series of Richard Jury mysteries to write about a precocious 12-year-old sleuth and aspiring journalist, she mixes autobiographical self-portrait with a helping of wish-fulfillment.

The characters in Fadeaway Girl (Viking, $26.95) are based on people the 79-year-old author knew as a young girl. And young Emma Graham’s life at the Hotel Paradise, where there are plenty of puzzles to solve, is essentially the childhood she remembers, minus the murders.

But Emma, alas, isn’t Grimes. She’s the girl Grimes wishes she had been.

“I don’t really remember much of what I was like,” says Grimes, who will be in Dallas on Tuesday. “But I don’t think I was as plucky, or as imaginative, as Emma is.”

Fadeaway Girl is Grimes’ fourth book featuring Emma. In it, the young heroine investigates a two-decade-old cold case involving a missing 4-month-old.

Grimes discussed her writing life last month by phone from her home in Washington, D.C.:

Is it true that readers and critics used to give you a hard time when you would write about Emma, because that meant you weren’t satisfying their need for another Richard Jury book?

Yes, and I was terribly annoyed about that. One could argue that it was a compliment of sorts, that it was their way of saying they liked the Jury series, but I’ve never been one to look at the glass as half-full. The way I saw it, those who complained were guilty of having very narrow interests. But I’m happy to say that they seem more accepting of these “other” books now.

There’s a character in the book who has the eccentric habit of not finishing the mysteries she reads. She quits with 20 pages left and thus never finds out whodunit. Where did that anecdote come from?

Actually, I’m the one who does that. I’ve had one book around here by Stuart Kaminsky that I’ve not finished for about three years. He died in 2009, and this is the last book in my favorite of the many series he wrote. And unlike Stieg Larsson, who I suspect has about 15 more books squirreled away somewhere, I don’t think there will be any more from Stuart Kaminsky. So I haven’t finished it, because I don’t want my enjoyment of that book and that series to end.

Given that you’re doing this book signing in Dallas in a brick-and-mortar building, what do you think about the changes technology has brought to publishing?

I’ll tell you one thing that really annoys me. I have nothing against the Kindle. I have one. But when I see a book on Amazon, I want to know if it is from a publisher I have heard of. It bothers me that it’s getting easier and easier for people to be published now, especially with electronic books. The result, I fear, is that we are going to be drowning in a slush pile of badly written stuff, and I don’t like it.

At this point in your career, which has included 22 Richard Jury books, most of them best-sellers, you have nothing left to prove as an author. So what keeps you writing?

I like the characters and I like to tell stories. But I also have this idea in my head that you’re not really a writer unless you’re actually writing. So that’s why I continue to do it: because I want to continue to think of myself as a writer.

David Martindale is an Arlington freelance writer.

books@dallasnews.com

Plan your life

Martha Grimes will sign Fadeaway Girl at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble, 7700 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas