04-24-2012 10:34 PM
Wow, I had no idea they had written so many books, either! Or that they had series other than the Norths. I had read four of their Mr. & Mrs. North mysteries years ago, and really enjoyed them. I no longer have that book, so I was really happy that one of my Got Books selections was a 'Giant Mystery Reader', that has two novels, including one North story, six short stories by great mystery writers, and two true-crime stories. I really enjoyed getting to know the Norths again. They love to socialize, and the drinks really flow! Their three Siamese are named Martini, Gin, and Sherry, and have very distinct personalities. I see that the Lockridges also had Siamese.
The novel I read was called Murder in a Hurry. Jerry North is planning on doing some kind of book (it's never really explained), and their policeman friend Bill Weigand's wife Dorian has recommended a young woman to do the illustrations. She sketches the Norths' cats, and needs to also do some other cats, so she is going to sketch a kitten at a pet store. But she has an ulterior motive - the pet store owner is the somewhat estranged father of her boyfriend Brian. Unfortunately, when she gets to the pet store, she finds the owner dead in one of the pens. It turns out that he was an eccentric millionaire, who dislikes people, and so he lives by himself in a very modest way at the back of his store. The family is full of suspects - his two children from his first marriage, their spouses, his much younger second wife, and their son Brian. There is also an interesting theme of the names he gives the pets, which are out of Greek tragedy involving family murder. The heroine finds herself suspecting Brian, so their relationship suffers.
Pam North is a lot of fun - she appears quite scatterbrained, and tends to just blurt out whatever she is thinking, which doesn't always immediately appear relevant. She also tends to speak in partial sentences, so the dialogue can be challenging to follow (in a good way). I thought it was interesting that not only Jerry, but also Bill Weigand seems to manage to understand her. She will say half a sentence, and Bill will reply as if he understands exactly what she means. She has great instincts. As I mentioned, the book I just read, Death Comes Silently, by Carolyn Hart, refers to Pam North. It's not just a brief mention, like the books that Annie is selling in her store, but when Annie says something that doesn't seem to make sense, her friend Henny tells her that she is like Pam North. Later, there is a similar scene, and Annie protests that she is not like Pam (although I guess she is!), so it becomes kind of a running joke.
It is such a shame that these books are no longer readily available. They are fun, challenging, and I think the Norths could find a lot of new fans.
One of the things I like about the North books is their relationship, and their realistically all-over-the-place conversations. I like the style and the author's voice very much!
04-25-2012 10:10 AM
04-25-2012 02:17 PM
For some reason, I'm vaguely picturing something with Peter Lawford as Jerry North, but I may be hallucinating.
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
04-25-2012 03:04 PM
04-27-2012 11:26 AM
I did find a mystery anthology that had 34 stories of crime in it but none by the Lockridges. It was mostly Agatha Christie and mary Roberts Rhinehart.