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Old Contemptibles [Abridged] [Audio Cassette]

Martha Grimes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1998
A beautiful woman dies under murky circumstances and Inspector Jury must follow a tangled trail of clues to extricate himself as a suspect.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Curry and Grimes are magic! July 27 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
In #11 of the Jury-Plant mysteries, finds Jury a suspect himself! The delightfully droll British Mysteries - named after Brit Pubs - see this one taking place in the beautiful Lake District. Jury is considering marriage with a widow Jane Holdsworth. Things become complicated when son Alex finds Jane dead. At first it's deemed a suicide, but it becomes clear it was murder. Since Jury is a suspect, he sends Melrose Plant to the Lake District to suss out what he can about the Holdsworth family. The family is rich and eccentric, but four murders in one family is just a wee bit beyond the pale. The Holdsworth family is loaded with delightful, charming, if oddball characters, such as Alex, who is quite adapt at cheating at poker. Curry shines when doing 11-year-old Millie Thale (Melrose always has a soft spot for dotty children). Millie has a bond with Alex, since her mother died unexpected five years before.
Grimes once again brings such quirky characters to life with her witty prose and Curry takes those words and makes magic! A winning combination not to be missed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Why, Martha, Why? April 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Martha Grimes is one of the most talented writers of our time. Her only weakness, in my opinion, is her blatant homophobia. Of course, most readers will think one of her returning characters, Marshall Trueblood, is gay, but those who have read the first in the series, "Man With a Load of Mischief", will know that he is actually only a flamboyant heterosexual. In "The Old Contemptables", I found some of the most hateful writing I have ever experienced. Even the title, "The Old Contemptables" refers to her feelings about gays and lesbians. Come on, Martha! You're a good writer. Keep your hate to yourself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! March 6 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read every Richard Jury, and this one reaches near the top of my list. I couldn't put it down. Martha is wonderful, she keeps you guessing till the very end. By far my favorite author.
If you like Martha Grimes, you'll most likely find Jill McGowan just as delightful! I recommend checking out her first in a wonderful series, "Perfect Match"
Happy Reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Jury June 27 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another Jury winner. Plant is hilarious character. Grimes has it nailed
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4.0 out of 5 stars the Old Contemptibles, anything but! July 5 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a wonderful example of Martha Grimes' intelligence and creativity. A great addition to the Jury series.
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