The Old Contemptibles (Richard Jury Series #11)

( 6 )

Overview

"The author keeps us enthralled with the rich interior and exterior lives of her characters in this emotionally stormy family saga."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
When Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury is drawn into a brief affair with a troubled widow named Jane Holdsworth, her subsequent death makes him a suspect in her murder. Unable to leave London, Jury sends Melrose Plant, eighth Earl of Caverness to the Lake District to pry open the Holdsworth family's locked box...

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The Old Contemptibles

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Overview

"The author keeps us enthralled with the rich interior and exterior lives of her characters in this emotionally stormy family saga."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
When Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury is drawn into a brief affair with a troubled widow named Jane Holdsworth, her subsequent death makes him a suspect in her murder. Unable to leave London, Jury sends Melrose Plant, eighth Earl of Caverness to the Lake District to pry open the Holdsworth family's locked box of secrets. Plant does what he is bidden, in his own particular style, and what he uncovers is a shocking sheaf of surprises about the death-prone Holdsworth clan and its growing number of orphans....
"As always, Grimes' characters are gems, and her writting is as witty as ever."
USA TODAY
Selected by the Literary Guild and the Mystery Guild

Grimes' British-based whodunits are all have been authentic successes with American readers. Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury is drawn into a passionate affair--and becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. "Grimes' characters are gems. . . ."--USA Today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Richard Jury, London police superintendent, is a suspect himself in Grimes's 11th mystery named after English pubs--this one in the Lake District of poets Wordsworth and Coleridge. Jury is considering marriage to recently met widow Jane Holdsworth at the moment her teenaged son Alex finds her dead, apparently a suicide. Alex runs away, and Jury, required, as a suspect, to remain in London, sends old friend Melrose Plant up to the Lakes to learn what he can about the wealthy Holdsworth family, among whom Jane's death is the fourth suspicious one. Eccentric, appealing characters hold this scattershot plot together. Best are vulnerable, brave and preternaturally bright youngsters Alex, who cheats at poker and the horses brilliantly, and 11-year-old orphan Millie Thale, who cooks at Holdsworth manse and broods over her own mother's unexpected death five years before. Equally vivid are two residents at a nearby rest home for the wealthy elderly: sly Adam Holdsworth, who holds the pursestrings that tie the tale together, and his elegant foxy friend, the perceptive and kleptomaniacal Lady Cray. While the villain's exposure and motivation are inadequately developed, the tale's dramatic conclusion, the lowering setting and its entertaining denizens provide full compensation. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Superintendent Richard Jury, of Scotland Yard fame, is back, but this time he is the suspect as well as the investigator of a murder. To the amazement of his lifelong friends, Jury falls rapidly in love with a widow, Jane Holdsworth, and plans a proposal of marriage. Her shocking death from a barbiturate overdose is ruled a suicide by the police, but neither Jury nor Jane's son Alex believes it. The superintendent's friend Melrose Plant infiltrates the Holdsworth household under the guise of a cataloging librarian in order to investigate the all-too-frequent ``accidents'' that plague them. The family members are introduced with humor and mystery as readers try to unravel the truth of the Holdsworths' fortune and Jane's death. A treat for all of Grimes's fans.-- Katherine Fitch, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345374561
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Series: Richard Jury Series, #11
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 300,135
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.85 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha  Grimes

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of eighteen Richard Jury mysteries and also the acclaimed fiction Foul Matter, Cold Flat Junction, Hotel Paradise, The End of the Pier, and The Train Now Departing.

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    1. Hometown:
      Washington, DC and Santa Fe, NM
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 2, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., University of Maryland
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book before, twenty-some years ago when it first c

    I read this book before, twenty-some years ago when it first came out, but I didn't remember any of the plot. In the end, I really liked this book. But at the start, I was a little put off by it. It seemed like a recycled storyline; Richard Jury meets a girl, develops an emotional attachment to her and shortly thereafter she ends up dead. The first third of the book I found wanting. The story seemed to develop a little slowly and the plot seemed to similar to Jerusalem Inn and while I liked the new characters of Alex and Adam, the development just seemed too slow.

    The last two thirds I thought was much better paced. There was A LOT of Melrose, which I thoroughly enjoyed since he is my favorite character. The interaction between Adam and Lady Cray was wonderful as well. I really enjoyed those characters. Once again though, there are a couple of pages near the end told from the point of view of an animal. In this case Sorcerer the cat. Until near the end I was unsure of who the responsible party was, so the intrigue was nice.

    The hardcover was formatted well with no obvious grammatical or spelling errors

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2009

    Well....

    the plot started out interesting, but just too much jumping from one thing to another.....not my favorite of Grimes' books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2003

    WITTY

    If you like the english life, with high society life, butler and the essentials of beskope dressing...tea at the Browns and so on, this is the book for you to read. There is one piece about men clothes and the modern fashion that I printed out and saved because it was so witty and funny that it's like a small piece of encyclopedia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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