Customer Reviews for

The Old Wine Shades (Richard Jury Series #20)

Average Rating 3
( 24 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    the joke's on us

    Like many here I have enjoyed the Jury series until recently - they're not profound but they're fun. Don't fool yourself - this one isn't profound either, in spite of what Grimes might like us to think. People who spend their days thinking about quantum physics can have an almost spiritual reverence for their subject, which is NOT communicated here. It's just boring name-dropping. I can't help but think that perhaps Grimes is trapped like that cat in a box of her own making. She makes plenty of references to how bored she is with these characters - the pathetic, barely alive Plant falling asleep at where else - Boring's, the two genre novelists who churn out one book after another with recycled characters. Well, her own fault really because the characters never grow and their lives never change. I mean if you took the time to do the quantum math - how old are Jury and Plant now - 65 or so? Isn't it time to grow up? Perhaps that's why Grimes needs a parallel dimension - so 20 years can pass while her characters only age 5. In this novel the characters I got such a kick out of in her earlier novels are not just caricatures - they are flimsy cardboard caricatures. They have been becoming increasingly silly and irrelevant but this novel is the worst! The only way I could think of the author having any integrity here was if she intended this to be a true shaggy dog story as a joke on the reader. 'What? I read through all this drivel for that!?' However, shaggy dog stories are a sort of practical joke, not usually appreciated entirely by the victim. So ha, ha, Martha Grimes. I won't be buying the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Did Grimes just take a Quantum hysics class?

    The premise of the story is good: a woman and her son mysteriously disappear. Jury is told this story over several nights while sitting next to a man with intimite knowledge of the disappearance. However, Grimes seems to use too much filler in this book. I don't need to understand the string theory quite as much as she tells me. I don't need to understand Schroedinger's cat that much either. I would have been fine with a rudimentary explanation but nooooooo... Grimes makes sure we understand both these things enough to pass a physics test. I am now on the chapter which is nothing but the dog and his thoughts and I have to say, what's the point? I don't need to know what the dog's thinking to read this mystery. Does he add some kind of clues to assist the reader in solving the mystery? I'm usually much more satisfied with Martha Grimes' books. I love Richard Jury and his gang and the mysteries are usually put together nicely. I'm beginning to think Grimes was in a hurry to write a book and this is the result. The only reason I'm carrying on with this book is to find out what happened to the woman and her son. I'll probably read her next book, Dust, but only because I have to believe her writing hasn't dried up. However, why isn't the next book named after a pub?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2006

    BO-OOORING

    This book deserves a negative rating. After a long time of not reading Martha Grimes, I started reading/scanning her latest and regretted doing so. I was reminded of how contrived and banal her cast of minor characters are, and marvel again at how many pages are devoted to them. There are the usual gratuitous children, and a dog who does Lassie, only not as well. What's worse: You won't like the ending. Save yourself the grief and don't buy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    What a dissappointment

    I look forward to Martha Grimes books because of the English Pub theme. This was a real disaster. She seemed to know a great deal about physics which she wished to share with the reader but it had absolutely nothing to do with the story It was a very long read for little reward.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Particularly Interesting

    Intricate plot, believable characters, great settings. A bit off-beat with the changes in point-of-view that threatened to undermine the revelation of the 'solve' (you have to read it - I don't want to reveal what many will find to be an interesting side-story). I look forward to Martha Grimes' new stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Not the best Richard Jury

    I found this Jury mystery rather convuluted. Grimes usual wonderful characters were all there but the new ones were strange and I never did warm up to them. The story took so many twists and turns but actually didn't go too far.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "The Old Wine Shades" by Martha Grimes

    I love a good mystery ~~~ a real "who-dun-it" from beginning to end. This unfurtunately; was good ~~~ even the quantum physics ~~~ but only to the middle. The characters were up to par ~~~ Melrose and Jury sparring per usual. I love that's it British but so thankful the author is American. For once we have a British mystery with American humour or should I say ~~~ with any humour at all. The villain was so obvious that you knew it couldn't really be possible. Or could it?? The end of the book was not the end to the mystery. The book, more or less, just stopped ~~~ in mid-air! I guess we are left to our own resources and devices on who really did it. Hmmm ~~~ Indeed, very strange I thought. Certainly not up to Martha Grimes other Richard Jury Mysteries. A fairly good read tho ~~~ throwing in the quantum physics made this book. Which isn't saying much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Entertaining

    Lots of twists and turns in the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    Get Past the Science-Get the Joke

    Loved this book. While the science was a bit intense, I still enjoyed the characters in this book. It's a good story and a quick read for fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    Feel cheated!

    This is by far my least favourite of the series. I am truly disappointed. More than three quarters into the book and I'm still trying to make sense of where everything is going. Simply because it was so elementary, I didn't believe it! Please take all the time time you need for your next novel. I still believe you are one of the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2008

    Pass on this one

    Wish I had....quantum physics, impossible dog heroics, plot with little rhyme or reason, no denouement...I don't need a novel to deliver dullness to my life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2006

    Old Wine Shades/Old Friends

    I love this series and hanging out with these characters. How can you not love this story in particular --- a great dog, great kids, and a fruitcake. And the science bit was hilarious. Well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2006

    Great read

    Always look forward to another Richard Jury/Melrose Plant yarn. The prose is witty and the recurrent characters never lose their charm. The physics discussions did bog things down at times, but they were necessary and totalling in keeping with the story. Prior reviewers who bemoaned the complexities may be happier with the latest Patterson grunt. No complexities there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2006

    huh?

    I've read all of the Jury books, and I look forward to each one. I had a hard time getting into this one-in fact, I started it as soon as it came out, then put it aside while I read other books. I finally picked it up again and it was nothing like the other Jury mysteries. I have to say that the character of Harry and the convoluted mystery was pretty well done, but all the physics references went over my head and I skipped over a lot of it. It seems the book is 7/8ths buildup and 1/8 conclusion. I was confused for most of the book and even more confused by the conclusion. With most really good books (including the previous Jury mysteries) I dread reaching the end of a book, but I was frankly relieved at finally getting through this one. I hope Ms. Grimes goes back to the original formula instead of trying to write over her fans' heads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    What a disappointment!

    I have read all of the Richard Jury series, and look forward to reading the latest one out. This one, however, was very disappointing. It presents a very cynical Richard Jury who picks on Wiggins and Plant, and trots out all the old Long Piddleton characters with no rhyme or reason - perhaps only because the readers expect to see them. I wouldn't waste my money on this one or, having done so, my time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2006

    This Jury should be dismissed

    As a long time fan of Martha Grimes and her Richard Jury series, I really looked forward to her latest book. I shouldn't have. This book seems totally unrelated to those that have gone before, lacks their allure, and is tiresome and disappointing. The writing is repetitive, the familiar characters have lost their wit and charm, and the role of the dog...well, I won't describe it and possibly reveal anything to those misguided enough to read this book, but suffice to say that this gimmick is most often used by lesser writers. Don't bother reading this one - wait for the next and hope that Martha Grimes returns with her usual skill.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2006

    not the martha grimes I usually enjoy

    Tried to get thru this book, as I am a huge Richard Jury fan. However, I finally had to admit defeat. Had really been looking forward to this book, but just could not finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2006

    Find another use for your time

    I've read every Richard Jury book and this one is not worth reading. The first 200 pages could have been condensed to less than 10. No solutions or even believable theories ever materialize even if you hang on to the bitter end. Jury comes across as stupid and dense in his investigation rather than the bright and charming policeman of the past. A cop obsessed with the idea a missing person may have vanished into another dimension or paralel universe is no longer a cop. Characters that were once amusing are now tired - for example it was easy to imagine Carol-anne in her 20s titilating Jury with her toenail painting but now, with her approaching middle age, it is hardly believable that Jury gets a thrill watching Carol-anne count her grey hairs (and is she really going to live out her entire life with nothing but his empty flat for an interest?). Grimes has at least 13 'regular' characters and it is time for one to move on with life, get married, move, change careers - do something different. The kids, dog and cat are the only bright spots in this book. I hope the next Grimes moves at a much quicker pace, shows at least one character venturing a step or two beyond an alcoholic haze into life, and actually has a 'mystery' or 'crime' involved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2006

    Shadows and Mirrors

    Those of us who are long time fans of Martha Grimes expect an intriguing story, but this master of elegant prose and flawless pacing truly stunned me with this absorbing tale. It is nearly impossible to share the wonders of this novel without spoiling the story but I will say I never really understood the phrase 'smoke and mirrors' until I worked through this twisted, fascinating plot. Of course, I laughed with the delightful Long Piddleton group and enjoyed the Jury/Plant verbal jousting as expected - but this mystery provides the unexpected at every turn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
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