THE OLD SUCCESS: A RICHARD JURY MYSTERY, by Martha Grimes, Atlantic Monthly Press, Grove Atlantic, Publishers Group


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. Written with Grimes’s signature wit, sly plotting, and gloriously offbeat characters, The Old Success is prime fare from “one of the most fascinating mystery writers today” (Houston Chronicle)

Out November 2019

309 Pages Approx.


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve read a couple of Martha Grimes mysteries and enjoyed them for most part. Grimes is a talented crime mystery author and has many books to her credit and as Grimes books are more about the characters and their development than the mystery itself, I think new readers will struggle with reading this book as a standalone.

However, if we look at Grimes talent with character development, you’ll see why she’s been so successful with her crime stories involving the characters Macalvie, Jury and Bronwell. As the series progresses, you become very familiar with each, learning of their personalities, senses of humor, brilliant minds and detecting abilities, their flaws and short-comings.

There’s a lot of characters in this book to keep track of. Another reason for a need to start at the beginning of the series and work your way through them so you meet all involved with the series.

The plot is typical of Grimes. There’s a crime, there’s a mystery to be addressed and there are characters who do the unraveling, stalling, blocking, and misleading. If that were all to it, then Grimes’ books would become boring and repetitive. Thankfully, Grimes author voice keeps things very interesting changing things up enough with surprise endings that leave you wanting more. The pacing is smooth and steady egged on by tension and conflict among characters and their involvement. The setting is just enough to prepare the story for unraveling.

I gave this book:


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