The Old Contemptibles

The Old Contemptibles

4.0 6
by Martha Grimes
     
 

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Following a passionate and troubled love affair with a pretty widow named Jane Holdsworth, Jury finds himself, unaccountably, a suspect in a murder investigation. Detained in London, Jury sends his friend Melrose Plant, former Earl of Caverness, to the Holdsworth family’s Lake District home to pose as an eccentric librarian. Plant discovers that his catalogue

Overview

Following a passionate and troubled love affair with a pretty widow named Jane Holdsworth, Jury finds himself, unaccountably, a suspect in a murder investigation. Detained in London, Jury sends his friend Melrose Plant, former Earl of Caverness, to the Holdsworth family’s Lake District home to pose as an eccentric librarian. Plant discovers that his catalogue cards contain less data on Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey than they do on tantalizing questions about the Holdsworths: What happened to Crabbe Holdsworth’s first wife? What happened to his son, Graham? What happened to the cook, Annie?

And what might happen to the two children, favorites of rich old Adam Holdworth, who prefers the ambience of a swank retirement home, Castle Howe, where he and the elegant Lady Cray can drive the staff crazy? Jury and Sergeant Wiggins finally join Melrose at the Old Contemptibles pub, where they arrive at a solution that Jury detests, for no matter what he does, innocence will suffer.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476732916
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Series:
A Richard Jury Mystery
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
166,586
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Martha Grimes is the author of more than thirty books, including twenty-two Richard Jury mysteries. She is also the author of Double Double, a dual memoir of alcoholism written with her son. The winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award, Grimes lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Brief Biography

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

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The Old Contemptibles (Richard Jury Series #11) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
kamas716 More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the plot started out interesting, but just too much jumping from one thing to another.....not my favorite of Grimes' books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.