Martha Grimes: She's still got it.

Martha Grimes' Richard Jury mysteries used to be one of my go-to comfort reads: I'd read and re-read them, because they're smart and funny and oftentimes quite emotionally satisfying and spending time with her ridiculous cast of characters was just such a warm and fuzzy and entertaining experience.

I don't know why I fell out of the habit.

S&S sent me a copy of her new one, I started reading it this morning, and now I can't. stop. reading. I've been giggling like a loon and reading bits and pieces aloud to Josh, like this:

Ruthven offered a crimped little smile and was about to answer when there was a knock like doom on the front door. The knocker was raised and lowered several times before Ruthven could get there. They heard him politely murmuring, the murmur overridden by the voice of Melrose's aunt, and a third voice, belonging to her bosom friend, Lambert Strether. Both voices had Melrose sliding down in his chair.

And Jury rising from his with undisguised glee, sensing the door opening on a bit of theater.

My affection for the characters CLEARLY hasn't diminished with time—I'd forgotten about Melrose's hired hermit and how Wodehouse-y the Melrose/Agatha relationship is, I mean, HELLO, HER NAME IS EVEN AGATHA—and now I want to go back to the beginning and start them all over again.