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The Old Success

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Member Reviews

The “Old Success” Is the 25th instalment in the Richard Jury Mysteries series by Martha Grimes.  It's been awhile since I visited with Richard Jury, Melrose Plant and the rest of his group of friends.  This is one of my favourite British mystery series.

When the body of a French woman washes up on a wild inlet off the Cornish coast, Brian Macalvie, divisional commander with the Devon-Cornwall police is called in. Who could have killed this beautiful tourist, the only visible footprints nearby belonging to the two little girls who found her?

While Macalvie stands in the Scilly Islands, inspector Richard Jury-twenty miles away on Land's End--is at The Old Success pub, sharing a drink with the legendary former CID detective Tom Brownell, a man renowned for solving every case he undertook. Except one.

In the days following the mysterious slaying of the Parisian tourist, two other murders take place: first, a man is shot on a Northhamptonshire estate, then a holy duster turns up murdered at Exeter Cathedral in Devon. Macalvie, Jury and Bronwell set out to discover whether these three killings, though very different in execution, are connected.

I have been a fan of the Richard Jury series for many years, and this latest instalment was no let down. The mystery was well done, with a few twists and turns to keep you guessing.

I would not recommend starting the series with this book if you haven't read the others but I do highly recommend starting with The Man with a Load of Mischief and reading the whole series in order. If you are a fan of British mysteries you will definitely enjoy this series.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Probably a 3 on a good day and a 2.5 when you're feeling extra sour while writing a review - this isn't bad really, it's just not that interesting, which is a shame as the Jury series usually gives good value.  Maybe it's time to truly rattle the cast of characters?  I'm not talking about a death (but maybe I am) but something needs to gin up what, to me, reads like a little too much complacency on everyone's end.  With all that said, this is still better than a WHOLE boat load of mysteries out there so maybe I'm talking a load of rubbish.  A recommend but not a wholehearted one.
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It is always a pleasure to be reunited with Richard Jury, Melrose Plant and the rest of his group of friends, including Plant's horse, Aggrieved.  That being said this is one of the weaker installments of this long running series.  Although the plot is interesting, the details that round out the books are somewhat lacking in this one.  I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to the next!
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I have been a fan of the Richard Jury series for many years and found this latest entry, the 25th in the series, completely enjoyable.  The mystery was (as always) well done but I don't honestly know how much that mattered.  It was so nice to have all of the characters together again.  I feel like the characters are people I know and have missed greatly.  This book was a joyful reunion.
I also appreciated that this mystery wasn't quite as dark as several preceding entries in this series.  I would not recommend jumping into the series with this book if you haven't read the others but I do most heartily recommend starting with The Man with a Load of Mischief and reading the whole series in order.  These are well-constructed mysteries delightfully written.
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"Richard Jury is back on a case. Unfortunately, I have not read all the previous books in the series. Thus, reading this one was a bit hectic and unruly. I did not know the characters and connections between. Although the author did provid a bit of backstory, but it was in patches and glimpses and, of course, in tantalising titbits, leaving the reader to want to read more.
However, I enjoyed this book. It was funny, witty, unruly, yes I repeat myself. The narration was like a busy conversation of long-time friends. There was a plot - murders, there were sub-plots - lost children and prize-winning horse. There were lots and lots of people everywhere. One could hardly keep track on who is who and where everyone is at any given time. But, the story winded down to a happy end. Plus, the reader (myself) was left feeling having finished conversation with friends. 
All in all, The Old Success is success in many ways: good story, witty naraiton and good enough 'hooks' for the reader to come back to the series."
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Martha Grimes immerses us in another intriguing and difficult murder mystery in the Old Success. Richard Jury along with Melrose Plant and the usual cast of characters have a triple murder that are all tied together somehow.  Small town and country life, horse racing and philandering husbands all figure in this masterful whodunit.  Read and figure it out for yourself.
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I'm a Martha Grimes fan, but for some reason, this title didn't hold my interest the way others have. The beginning drew me in, and I found the murder intriguing--but I think the plot seemed to branch off too much away from the actual case too much for it to flow for me. 

Thanks so much to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review the book.
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This is not one of Grimes’ better efforts. The beginning felt like an old boy’s club and if you aren’t a member you have no idea what they are going on about or why they need to. Having read several of her books I easily fell into the back and forth between characters but there was something off about the cadence. It was jerky, it was here and there and it was not comfortable nor satisfying. Lots of people talking and not saying very much. 

While the bodies are dropping there are too many tangents leading off without successful resolutions. He’s involved with her, but she is not involved, but she may have been involved and why would she have done that or been there and it just never flowed. The plot and players were just a little too simplistic. Thankfully, Grimes wit is apparent throughout. 

Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for a copy.
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In this 25th outing in the series, Inspector Jury is called in to assist Brian Macalvie who is investigating the murder of a young French woman found on a remote beach on the Cornish coast. Perhaps because I've just read three of the Richard Jury series in less than a month trying to get current with the series, I cannot help but compare those three and thought this latest mystery was a little lightweight. I found myself rather confused at first by the who-zits and the what-zits. The characters involved in the crime didn't come alive for me as they usually do and I didn't feel there was much in the way of a 'police procedural' investigation involved here. It seemed to be all theory rather than substance. 

I did as usual enjoy the antics of Melrose Plant as he tries to put one over on his Aunt Agatha. A couple of fun additions to the cast of characters are involved here. I was pleased to see Aggrieved come into his own with the help of these friends. As this story was set at Christmastime, I was hoping to see how it was celebrated at Ardry End. I'm sure Martha and staff would make a wonderful production of it all. Maybe next time...

I received an arc of this mystery from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was fun spending time with old friends.
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3.75 stars

It's been years since I read a Richard Jury mystery and I decided to give this one a try. For fans, it delivers the same quirky charm and nicely dovetailing plot as I remember.

Warning: if you've never read any of this series, I think the myriad of characters and old relationships might be confusing. These are never simple mysteries and this one is no exception. Past and present crimes, different locales, sub-plots and various red herrings weave in and out of the narrative.

The two main characters are Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Richard Jury and his friend Melrose Plant (who was Lord Ardry before he relinquished his title). This one starts with the murder of a woman in an out of the way location and features a possible suicide, a racehorse, a home for unwed mothers, a crippling car wreck, several wrecked marriages, and a French chocolate shop. Somehow Grimes braids these strands together to come to an amenable conclusion.

Thanks to Net Galley and to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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The body of a woman washes up on the Cornish coast. Quickly identified as a Frenchwoman are found by two little girls who seem to be reticent as if they have been slightly warned off talking too much. 

Detective Macalvie is on the case and he is confused. When two more murders occur though in far off locations Tom Brownwell is called in although he is retired. He is convinced that the three deaths are connected but there does not seem to be any evidence linking the dots.

One of those cozy crime series (this is No. 25) which keep you going one with its location which is beautiful, the characters which are spot on and its very British sense of humour.
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“The Old Success” is the latest in the long running Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes.  For all that is a part of a long-established series, it is a tribute to its author’s power to attract and beguile a reader.

We begin with a murder, a woman found shot, on Hell Bay, on one of the Isles of Scilly.  Two little girls found the body.  Well, right away we know that there will be children in this story.  I thought we might be done with that particular plot line, but, no.  The local man calls Richard Jury in for help, and we’re off.  And in the usual Martha Grimes fashion, she manages to find a way to enlist the help of Melrose Plant on the case.

It’s the usual convoluted plot – with a lot of side stories that will all come together, never fear.  Best be paying attention.  But you know that, since you have followed the fortunes of Jury and Plant through all the other books in the series.  And you should have.  These are not the books to start up anywhere but at the beginning.  

There’s another murder, another equally unusual one.  “Peculiar’ ain’t the half of it.  The first has almost disappeared in our story.  We’ re on to other matters, it seems.  At least for a while.  But the first victim has ties to someone who has ties to someone that Jury knows, who is trying to prove that his daughter didn’t commit suicide.  Are the cases connected somehow?  And then there’s a third murder.  How in heaven’s name is Martha Grimes going to pull all of this together and make it plausible?  Well, never fear.

Secrets come out.  Lots of them not related to the murders, either.  You will be happy and sad for the people involved.  Anger and rejection and sexual obsession play a part.  And someone wanting something back that is theirs.  

There’s always “something else” in these books.  It’s not the solving, the bringing to justice.  That’s a given.  It’s how the setting is brought in to become part of the story, how personalities spring forth to conceal and reveal.  How the people in and around Ardry End go about their lives, and have been made so interesting that those of us who have followed their fortunes for many a book quite care about those lives.  Finally, it’s the undertone that Ms. Grimes is a master of, the nuance of plot and characterization so finely rendered.  “The Old Success” is another fine example of this grand art.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of this book, in exchange for this review.
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I think I read most of the book in the Richard Jury series and was more than happy to read a new one.
It was great to meet again the cast of characters, as quirky and well thought as usual, and to be entertained by a well written and engrossing plot.
The mystery is solid, it kept me guessing and it's full of twists and turns.
Even if there's some backstory I think it's better to read the previous installment before this one.
A very pleasant read as usual, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Wow!  So many characters!!  So many confusing plot twists!  I think this is definitely a book that needs a reader who is familiar with previous books in the series.  Unfortunately, I'm not one of those readers.  I sort of muddled through the rather confusing story and tried to remember the characters and how they related to each other.  I'm sure people familiar with the series are going to love this book; but I wouldn't recommend it as a stand alone book.
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The Old Success is the 25th (!!!) Jury mystery by Martha Grimes. Released 5th Nov 2019 by Grove Atlantic on their Grove Atlantic Monthly imprint, it's 243 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

I keep coming back to this series again and again for the superlative writing, the story arc, the setting, the smart (and zany) characters, and just the palpable friendship between the main characters. There's a lot of humor here as well as a lot of love.

The regulars make their appearances and help to solve the (multiple) murder(s). As such, sometimes it feels like a cast of thousands, and without prior familiarity with the series, I would imagine it would be quite a lot to keep track of. The author is also adept at weaving together multiple disparate plot threads which seem absolutely uncoordinated and unconnected and it's only in hindsight that the reader sees how skillfully they're intertwined.

There is, as always, a generous portion of slightly ridiculous humor. This time, Melrose (the former Lord Ardry) has rented a completely fabricated nephew cousin something twice removed. His Aunt (by marriage) Agatha who has her avaricious eyes firmly fixed on Ardry End (the ancestral home) is emphatically not pleased by the aspect of a newfound heir for the Earldom and wealth. Add horse racing, lots of murder, genteel tea and whisky, and stir gently.

The language is clean, the writing is masterful, the plot is involved and intricate and requires some concentration to keep straight. It probably doesn't work very well as a standalone; but for fans of the series, it's like a warm hug from a good friend.

Five stars. This was one of the better entries in the series.
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The story, suspense, pace everything was good. I had some difficulty in getting the cast maybe because it is a series and this is my first book in it. More like a play than literature. All the loose ends were neatly tied up.
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I’m an old fan of the Richard Jury series, and returning to the world of Long Piddleton, and its colorful cast of characters is a delight.  I needed to pay close attention as Jury jet-setted across Great Britain in this multi-body mystery, but its worth it.  All of the usuals make an appearance, if somewhat brief.

I do think that much of the richness of the book is lost if you aren’t already acquainted with the series, but perhaps it will lure you in to read the first 24 (!) books in the series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is one of those novels I think best read when you have time to sit and read for a while before putting it down. The story is a complex one and the characters are many, so trying to read it in spurts might be hard if the reader is trying to keep track of all the moving parts. Also, it is the twenty-fifth in this well developed series, with many of the same characters who have appeared regularly in earlier books within the series. These characters are like old friends to people who have read at least some of the earlier novels, but someone beginning the series might become a little confused as to who they all are and what their relationships are to each other and Jury if they try and begin with this novel.
The plotting is well done, with the case unfolding much as I imagine might be the process in an actual police investigation. There are many seemingly disparate facts that Jury accumulates along the way which slowly begin to swirl around each other to form a cohesive connection that leads to the solution. Because there are multiple deaths and numerous people involved with the various victims as well as Jury and his complement of friends and fellow investigators, it can get confusing if the reader tries to pick the book up and read for fifteen minutes here and there. Rather, save this one for when you have an hour or so, get comfortable, and immerse yourself in the novel.
The book begins with the discovery of a young woman found dead, floating in the bay. Things rapidly progress from there with help from New Scotland Yard being requested and Jury being drawn into the case. As in previous books, Jury’s friends spend much of their time in the local pub, where he gets a combination of information that may or may not be pertinent to the solving of the case as well as pulling in his friends to give him the occasional assist.
The plot is far too complex to try and summarize other than to say there are several young women who initially seem unconnected who are murdered. The side stories and numerous and varied, from a woman whose death has been ruled a suicide but no one believes that to be the case to a new business venture involving the opportunity to rent “family members” for various and sundry reasons. They all play a part in the ultimate solution of the murder, as well as offering some light hearted moments that allow the reader to enjoy the various personalities that Grimes has created.
I have read some of the earlier books in the series, but not all. This one makes me want to go back and read the rest, preferably in order, so that I can enjoy getting to know Jury’s friends on a more in-depth level. My thanks to Grove Atlantic Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader digital copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
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I started reading Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury books for over thirty years. The Old Success has all the things I love about her books; understated wit, loveable and original characters and creative plots. Murders that seem unconnected does cause the reader to keep reading to find the clues along with the investigators in solving these crimes.

Jury is easy to fall for but as always remains a bit unattainable, which I guess is the attraction. It does seem odd that after all these years he is still on the job. I guess some characters are ageless. Melrose is also his usual delightful self. Fans will not want to miss this latest investigation.

An ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Thanks to Net Galley and Grove Atlantic for the ARC of this book. I was glad to see the disclaimer before the book began that this copy had not yet been completely edited for publication. I do hope some heavy editing was performed.

I have all of the Richard Jury series, and had high hopes for this newest entry. On the positive side, most of the familiar characters and banter from the past came along with this one. 

This, however, didn't make up for the difficulties. The plot seemed jumbled, there were many characters that often had little or nothing to do with the actual story, and more time could have been spent on developing the story. At times, it was quite difficult to know which character was speaking; again, this may have been cleared up during final edits.

One of my favorite parts had nothing to do with the murders. Melrose Plant used an idea he had learned about while drinking with the gang at The Old Success and played a wonderful prank on his insufferable Aunt Agatha.

I suppose daily life is messy and jumbled, but I prefer my mysteries to be presented with less confusion.

I will check into the final publication of this book to see if changes were made.
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