Stan sends me lists of mystery novels worth reading. He always has a new one in his pocket. He even gave me a little book that lists mysteries by author and detective, so when we are pillaging a used book store and find a likely volume, I can check if it is already on my shelves at home. I have too many books, you see, and a faulty memory.
Richard Jury mysteries. The best.
Here’s what a good mystery needs, if I’m to stay interested: a flawed detective; wonderful side-kicks; humor; a sense of place, and well-developed secondary characters; a cost (I have no patience with sweet-faced crime solvers who are not impacted in the least by the crimes they witness); and a point that goes beyond just connecting the dots
Unfortunately these Jury novels need to be read in order, since the characters and histories build book upon book. But if I was to pick the best, it would be #3, The Anodyne Necklace, and for one reason only: the Cripps family. Slapstick and social commentary rarely come together to render anything half as interesting as Ash-the-Flash Cripps and his wife, White Ellie. You have to read them to believe them.