The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Richard Jury Series #2)

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Scotland Yard's Richard Jury and his sidekick Melrose Plant converge on a northern fishing village to hunt down a wily killer.

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Overview

Scotland Yard's Richard Jury and his sidekick Melrose Plant converge on a northern fishing village to hunt down a wily killer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Martha Grimes fans will be thrilled to hear that her second Richard Jury novel, The Old Fox Deceiv'd, is finally back in print after an absence of nearly 20 years. In this traditional English mystery, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury of New Scotland Yard joins forces with noble-born amateur investigator Melrose Plant to unravel a puzzling case in the quaint and usually quiet northern fishing village of Rackmoor: Near midnight on Twelfth Night, on the steep and shadowy Angel Steps of Rackmoor, a costumed reveler is found savagely stabbed to death. The victim is soon identified as a visitor named Gemma Temple, and authorities are puzzled as to who might have had cause to kill a stranger in this usually quiet town. Motives and connections soon abound when it's revealed that the costume she was killed in was only one of the victim's disguises -- that she's been claiming to be Dillys March, the long-missing but seldom-missed ward of a wealthy local landowner and avid fox hunter. This story is vintage Martha Grimes, with well-drawn characters, an evocative setting, and an intricate plot that stands the test of time. Sue Stone
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451410689
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/20/2003
  • Series: Richard Jury Series, #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha  Grimes
Martha Grimes
Martha Grimes is one of the few authors left carrying on the British detective mystery tradition, and doing it well. Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury and sidekick Melrose Plant continue to enthrall readers with their clever, darkly humorous crime-solving careers.

Biography

"No, I'm not English, but nothing quickens my imagination more than a fog-bound moor, windy heath, river mist in an old fishing village, and the names of British pubs like The Stargazey," Martha Grimes has written, and it's this quirk of hers that has made her one of the best loved modern practitioners of the venerable whodunit.

All of the titles in Grimes's bestselling Richard Jury series are taken from actual pubs, and all of them feature said pub in some fashion. "I can imagine the end of British hope and glory, but not the end of the British pub," she explains. So, too, it is hard to imagine the end of these deft, witty mysteries, begun in 1981 with The Man with a Load of Mischief, featuring a lugubrious Scotland Yard superintendent (Jury) and his art-collecting sidekick (Melrose Plant).

Grimes has a particular talent for combining heavy gloom with an unmistakable humor that's as subtle and dry as a soda cracker – a good thing, since the Jury casebook tends to be dark, twisted, and rather gruesome. But she always infuses her characters with human motivations and is careful to set up a chain of clues that ultimately discloses them. In addition, she's been known to thread in an unlikely theme here and there – NFL football, poetry references, animal rights, even hormone replacement therapy.

It's clear that Grimes likes to stretch her legs a bit, bringing Jury and his eccentric friends Stateside for a few cases and occasionally foraying beyond the series with novellas, standalones, and some interconnected literary fiction featuring teenage heroines. No doubt these changes of pace help keep the author's skills sharp and honed and ensure for her a wider and more growing readership.

Good To Know

Unlike many mystery writers, Grimes does not outline her plots ahead of time or even profess to know where they are headed when she begins writing. "I am not overly concerned with plot as such," she explains on her web site. "Obviously, if you start with a chapter such as the one above and intend the story to proceed from it, you could write yourself into a corner. I always do. In The Case Has Altered, I didn't know until I was nearly finished with it who had killed these women or why."

Grimes's father was city solicitor of Pittsburgh, and her mother owned a hotel in western Maryland. As a girl, she spent half her time in Pittsburgh and the other half at her mother's hotel in a little town called Mountain Lake Park.

Although her western Maryland-set series that began with The End of the Pier has earned its own fans, there's no denying that for most Grimes readers, it's all about Jury. If she needed a reminder of this, she got one in the loads of hate mail she received for abandoning Richard Jury to write Pier.

Grimes has taught creative writing at various colleges, including the small Maryland community school Montgomery College and the more prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Comparing the two in a Washington Post interview, the mordant Grimes noted of JHU, "Not one pompous ass in the whole program ... The pompous asses are at Montgomery College."

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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 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    One of her best work

    Martha Grimes sets the action at Rackmoor, where a stranger (a woman in this case) has been brutally stabbed to death on his way to a party. The murder seems to connect an old family tragedy with the town, because the murdered woman claimed being the ward of a wealthy noble (the owner of the land and the local pub 'The Old Fox Deceived'). Inspector Richard Jury and Melrose Plant try their best to figure out a solution to a sound and very intricate plot, with clues and fair play for the reader here and there. Grimes concentrates in this novel more in the crux of the story than in comedy, and the result is, in this case, outstanding. There is a recognition to Carter Dickson (like her, american) from Melrose Plant in the book, and the whole constitutes an implicit hommage to golden age british mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    One of Grimes' Best

    The Old Fox Deceived was Martha Grimes¿ second Richard Jury novel. The detective is sent to investigate a murder in a small Yorkshire fishing village. Was the victim the long lost ward of the local nobleman? Was she the victim of mistaken identity? Jury, Sergeant Wiggins, and Melrose Plant uncover more questions than answers. Ms. Grimes stays focused on the case in this mystery. In later books, she includes comic subplots that slow the story line down, but not here. The resolution is suspenseful and well done and the characters are interesting.

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    Posted April 12, 2010

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    Posted March 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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