It’s been more than three years since Martha Grimes dazzled critics with the New York Times bestselling mystery DUST. Now Scotland Yard Chief Superintendent Richard Jury is back in THE BLACK CAT (Viking Publishing, April 6, 2010; $25.95, 336 pp) and the twenty-second book in the series is brimming with the atmosphere, droll humor and introspective melancholy that have intrigued her fans for decades. DUST ended with a sudden and horrific auto accident of Jury’s lover Lu Aguilar, leaving him more remote and suspicious than ever as he ties to solve a perplexing murder of a young women behind the local pub THE BLACK CAT. The only witness appears to be the pub’s actual black cat.

The proceedings grow grimmer with the reappearance Harry Johnson, Jury’s personal “Moriarty,” the debonair cold-blooded killer from THE OLD WINE SHADES and DUST. Along with Harry Johnson comes Jury’s favorite dog Mungo, who returns to once again play a pivotal role in catching a killer.

Grimes’ garrulous cast of characters from Long Piddleton make their regular sorties into the action, and of course faithful sidekick Melrose Plant supplies the quips and wit to keep the action moving.

Written with the elegance, verve and grace of the best of her Richard Jury series, Grimes delivers again in THE BLACK CAT.