||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Grimes was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to William Dermit Grimes, Pittsburgh's city solicitor, and June Dunnington, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montgomery College.
Grimes is best known for her series of novels featuring Richard Jury, an inspector with Scotland Yard, and his friend Melrose Plant, a British aristocrat who has given up his titles. Each of the Jury mysteries is named after a pub. Her page-turning, tales fall into the mystery subdivision of "cozies," having more emphasis on character-driven stories and less on violence. Critics[who?] suggest that she frequently allows her so-called English characters to use Americanisms in their speech, which rather spoils the effect. In 1983, Grimes received the Nero Wolfe Award for best mystery of the year for The Anodyne Necklace.
The background to Hotel Paradise is drawn on the experiences she enjoyed spending summers at her mother's hotel in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland. One of the characters, Mr Britten, is drawn on Britten Leo Martin, Sr, who then ran Martin's Store which he owned with his father and brother. Martin's Store is accessible by a short walkway from the Mountain Lake Hotel, the site of the former Hotel, which was torn down in 1967.
She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
- The Man With a Load of Mischief (Boston: Little, Brown, 1981)
- The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982)
- The Anodyne Necklace (Boston: Little, Brown, 1983)
- The Dirty Duck (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984)
- Jerusalem Inn (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984)
- Help the Poor Struggler (Boston: Little, Brown, 1985)
- The Deer Leap (Boston: Little, Brown, 1985)
- I Am the Only Running Footman (Boston: Little, Brown, 1986)
- The Five Bells and Bladebone (Boston: Little, Brown, 1987)
- The Old Silent (Boston: Little, Brown, 1989)
- The Old Contemptibles (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991)
- The Horse You Came In On (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993)
- Rainbow's End (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
- The Case Has Altered (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)
- The Stargazey (New York: Holt, 1998)
- The Lamorna Wink (New York: Viking, 1999)
- The Blue Last (New York: Viking, 2001)
- The Grave Maurice (New York: Viking Penguin, 2002)
- The Winds of Change (New York: Viking Penguin, 2004)
- The Old Wine Shades (New York: Viking Penguin, 2006)
- Dust (New York: Viking Penguin, 2007)
- The Black Cat (New York: Viking Penguin, 2010)
- Vertigo 42 (New York: Scribner, 2014)
The Man With a Load of Mischief, Help the Poor Struggler and The Deer Leap were filmed on behalf of the German and Austrian broadcasters ZDF and ORF under the title Der Tote im Pub (The Dead Man in the Pub) (2013), Mord im Nebel (Murder in the Fog) (2015) and Inspektor Jury spielt Katz und Maus (Inspector Jury plays Cat-and-Mouse) (2017). Fritz Karl as Jury, Götz Schubert as Plant and Katharina Thalbach as "Lady" Agatha Ardry.
Andi Olivier series
- Biting the Moon (New York: Holt, 1999)
- Dakota (New York: Viking Adult, 2008)
featuring Maud Chadwick (who is also a character in the Emma Graham Series)
- The End of the Pier (Ballantine Books, 1993)
Emma Graham series
- Hotel Paradise (Knopf, 1996)
- Cold Flat Junction (2000)
- Belle Ruin (2005)
- Fadeaway Girl (2011)
Novels, Short Stories & Poetry
- Send Bygraves (Putnam, 1990)
- The Train Now Departing (New York: Viking, 2001)
- Foul Matter (New York: Viking Penguin, 2003)
- The Way of All Fish (Simon and Schuster, 2014)
- Sarah D. Fogle, editor, Martha Grimes Walks Into a Pub: Essays on a Writer with a Load of Mischief (N.p.:McFarland, December 16, 2010).
Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2006.