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The Old Success

(Richard Jury #25)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  98 reviews
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-twe
Published November 5th 2019 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Review to come.
I used to love reading this cosy crime series when it was first written in the 1980s and 90s, featuring Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and his quirky aristocratic friend Melrose Plant, so thought it would be fun to revisit it many years later with the publication of the 25th episode in the series. As before the title comes from the name of a British pub, in this case The Old Success in Land's End where Richard meets CID detective Tom Brownell, a man who is legendary for solving all his cases but one, th ...more
Gail C.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
A beautiful French tourist is murdered, her body washed up on the Cornish coast. Two little girls find her body. Divisional Commander Brian Macalvie doesn’t know what to make of it. While he and Inspector Richard Jury start their investigation, two more murders occur. Macalvie and Jury turn to Tom Brownell. Brownell is retired now but he’s known for solving every case, but one, that he worked on. Brownell is convinced that the murders are connected. Will this be the second case that Brownell doe ...more
Judy Lesley
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've been away from the Martha Grimes "pub" mysteries for quite some time now and I'm sorry to say The Old Success wasn't very successful for me. This is number 25 in the series and true fans will welcome having Richard Jury and Melrose Plant back but I've been away for a while and I spent a good amount of time being confused. There are so many characters sprinkled throughout the book and a large number of them are actually nothing but names mentioned because they've evidently been added to the ...more
Deb Jones
The Old Success is the most recent of author Martha Grimes' Inspector Richard Jury series. Jury is still on the job, this time investigating a woman's murder on a remote island. Before long, there are two other untimely deaths -- but are they related to each other, or even to the first murder? Nothing seems to tie them together, at least not at first.

Along with Richard Jury we once again have his well-to-do friend and amateur sleuth, Melrose Plant, and of course Plant's aunt, Aunt Ag
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoy Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series - there are a lot of them since this is number 25. I haven't read them all, but have read quite a few. This is a set of murders that may or may not be related. Richard Jury is called in to help the local police and, of course, everyone looks to him for the answers. His wealthy, aristocratic sidekick, Melrose Plant is drawn in to help because he has a horse that can work as a conversation starter. Also brought in is a detective, Tom Bromwell, who ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Martha Grimes' books but this one seemed a little rushed. There are so many characters described briefly that I felt a little confused. Melrose Plant, as always is my favorite and he did not disappoint.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes used to be one of my favourite cosy mystery series but it's been a while since I read one so when I saw The Old Success on Edelweiss+, I was excited to read it. I thought it would be like running into an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time. It wasn't. As I read, it seemed like I was missing chunks of the story. I kept flipping back through pages, trying to find where I had gone astray but nada. Characters came and went and without any explanation or, ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. The plot was full of holes. I had trouble following the story in places. It's so sad that the series has declined in this manner.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1 / 2 stars

How disappointing. I've been reading the adventures of Richard Jury for many, many years. Although the “gang” is back, this story just doesn't seem to hold together very well. I enjoy spending time with Jury, Trueblood, Diana and the others but this book was either trying too hard or not hard enough. It seemed like a bunch of disparate stories that were loosely tied together. (Are we sure Ms. Grimes wrote it?)

I thought that the murder investigation was done well, bu
Betty Sullivan
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Enough with the precocious children! At least the animals didn't talk to each other thhis time!

Thin story. Too many characters for the number of pages, not enough character given to any of them.

Waited so long for a Jury book and was disappointed.
Elaine Tomasso
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for an advance copy of The Old Success, the twenty fifth novel to feature Superintendent Richard Jury of New Scotland Yard and his assorted friends.

Commander Brian Macalvie of the Devon and Cornwall Police is on the Scilly Isle of Bryher investigating the murder of a woman found shot dead on the beach. As they are in Exeter he ropes in Jury and former Met DI Tom Brownell to help but soon they are immersed in their own case in Northam
joyce w. laudon
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The Old Success follows last year's The Knowledge, a book that I really enjoyed. The Old Success is not quite as good but will still be welcomed by fans of Richard Jury and his eccentric circle of friends. Old readers, for example, will probably love Melrose's latest attempt to get at his aunt. You do not have to have read all the books in the series to pick this up but it may help to know a bit about the cast.

In this novel, there are three murders. One takes place in the Scilly Isla
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars just to rejoin Jury and friends.

Martha Grimes' Richard Jury novels all have the title of a pub (one exception, Vertigo 42 is a wine bar) and a unique and eccentric group of returning characters. The mysteries focus on puzzles rather than violence, almost always have a child and an animal, humorous episodes, and witty conversations.

They are more fun if you have some familiarity with some of the secondary characters because looking forward to the brief appearances of the Long
Roxanne Spencer
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Richard Jury made his first appearance in 1981, and it seemed plausible that he was a 40-something police detective who had lost his parents in WW2. Jump ahead nearly 40 years, and he still seems to be a 40-something police detective, but somehow the series no longer seems as plausible to me. It is almost as Jury, Melrose Plant, and the rest of the assorted Long Piddleton crew are trapped in a time warp--they stay the same while the world around them has changed. I had a difficult time getting i ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019
Number 27. Richard Jury has certainly been a around a good, long while. Yet, things around him he never become boring. Not only is he a good inspector, managing to assemble puzzle pieces into a while picture, but he also serves as the stable force for a group of various characters he calls friends. Take Lord Ardry for instance, aka Melrose Plant, since it seems he has given back his titles, though not his estate. An estate that includes a resident hermit, living in the Hermitage on his property, ...more
J.L. Slipak
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the twenty-fifth Richard Jury mystery, all of which save one have as their title the name of a British pub. In this case it is the name of the pub in Cornwall in which Jury is drinking with an old friend when he is called to a murder in the nearby Scilly Isles. The old friend, Tom Brownell, is a legendary retired policeman who has solved all of his cases except that of his own daughter who is thought to have committed suicide.

To begin with the book is a little confusing with
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a woman’s body is found washed up on a remote Scilly Island off the Cornish coast. Brian Macalvie, of the Devon-Cornwall police, is called to the scene. What he finds is a crime scene contaminated by the sea and the visible footprints of the two little girls who found the body. Macalvie contacts inspector Richard Jury, who was seated in the Old Success pub having a drink with CID detective (now retired) Tom Brownell, known to have solved every case he was assigned to. The dead woman turns o ...more
Victoria Grant
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Did Martha even write this book? It was so far from her usual fare, I have to wonder. It was missing a lot of the magic that made her early novels such a joy to read, although her latest few books have all been duds, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
The atmosphere was AWOL, too many characters, very confusing, stilted dialogue, hardly a glimpse of Carol-Anne or Wiggins, and no mention of his usual cornucopia of remedies (he didn’t sniffle once!) And where were Racer, Fiona & th
Stacey Lunsford
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This novel had a chance to be as good as any of Martha Grimes's previous jury books but, apparently, the editor phoned in sick. The story jumped around, information was given out of sequence (two supposedly unrelated cases are talked about as if they are related before the information about how the detectives discovered they were related is revealed), and the belief about whether a suspicious death had been a suicide or not was switched back and forth for no apparent reason: Character: "I don't ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brian Macalvie is called to Bryher Island in the Isles of Scilly when a beautiful woman is found shot, floating in the waves near the beach. The body had been found by two young girls, Zoe and Zillah Noyes. The woman is soon identified as Manon Vinet, woman who had worked in Paris, and also as a nurse for Gerald Summerston.

Meanwhile, Richard Jury is talking at The Old Success pub with Sir Thomas Brownell , who had no unsolved cases until his daughter, Daisy, died and it was labelled a suicide.
Laura Vautour
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I am a great fan of Martha Grimes, her most recent book, “The Old Success” was a bit difficult for me to follow, probably because it’s been a while since I followed the series. The problem, for me, was references to characters in previous novels and jumps in crime-solving logic that seemed to come out of thin air, such as when they tied the current crime to a past one without much in the way of supporting reason. You really need to “just go with it” in this novel, because if you examine ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Three shooting, three different locations but is there a connection between them. Inspectors Jury and Macalvie, with the help of ex-police Inspector Brownell investigate.
I have in the past read a few of this series but not for sometime. The story felt like it was connected to past arcs in the series and therefore I feel it could not be read as a standalone. The story itself didn't really caught my imagination, nor my interest. There seemed to be too many names introduced which were really
It pains me to write this but I have to say I struggled with MUCH of this latest instalment in Martha Grimes' Richard Jury / Melrose Plant series.

I've written before about my love of this series. Indeed, if someone was to give me a week to binge-read an entire series (and not have to write reviews) I'd choose Martha Grimes or Sue Grafton. Familiar, comfort reads. Generally reliable reads.

I commented in my review of The Knowledge (It pains me to write this but I have to say I struggled with MUCH of this latest instalment in Martha Grimes' Richard Jury / Melrose Plant series.

I've written before about my love of this series. Indeed, if someone was to give me a week to binge-read an entire series (and not have to write reviews) I'd choose Martha Grimes or Sue Grafton. Familiar, comfort reads. Generally reliable reads.

I commented in my review of The Knowledge ( - not embedding link as unsure that works on NG), that I have often been frustrated by the love interests introduced for Jury as he has spectacularly bad taste in women. (As does Melrose I guess.) But I usually enjoy the plots and love the characters. Generally Grimes also does a great job with the children's characters as well. (And I should mention she seems to have a thing for cats.)

Anyhoo, 'most' of the usual players feature in this latest version though some seemingly just there as if they're contracted to play a role or something (thinking of Wiggins and Carole-anne here).

Sadly for me this book was just all over the place. Not only did it not make sense that the cases linked (I couldn't understand how the ex-cop... the likeable Tom) suddenly appeared in Jury's life at the same time as a new case that ENDED UP being linked to his daughter's death. Perhaps he went looking for Jury to ask him to investigate... at least that would have made their encounter less obscure, but.... the huge leaps in deductions often made no sense here.

And I wasn't sure if the editing was off. Had chunks been cut and moved, I wondered? There's early reference to Macalvie wanting Jury to stay on Bryher Island (when he arrives) to interview two girls. But... I waited for that (as I usually like the bits involving kids) he didn't. Instead it happened a long time later. And - related to that was seemingly a confession. But it apparently wasn't. (Not to mention a double-up comment made about accessing a gun!)

And then Jury references something Melrose is reading (p 71) saying his offsider Wiggins was reading the same book. But... Wiggins only comes into the plot later and it's then he's reading the book (p 170).

I note that someone else in Goodreads pondered if this copy (via NetGalley) was an early version so was going to be tidied significantly before its release in several months time. Perhaps. Or hopefully. Though I did note it's released in some places on 20 August, hence my early review.

Someone also commented in Goodreads they struggled with all of the characters introduced. There are usually a few thanks to Melrose's life in Long Piddleton. It's probably still the fictional place I'd most like to live, but that aside, there were a few ring-ins here that I didn't remember from previous books.

There's an early mention of the hotel on the remote Bryher Island, The Hell Bay Hotel and its manager (etc), so I expected it to feature. But it didn't. (As an aside, I would have preferred the book be named after that hotel and centre more around it and the role of people on the island in the death/s.)

The only saviour was the continued humour, likability of Jury and my love of Melrose's (and his friends') eccentric-ness. I'm loath to rate this 2.5 stars so will bump it to 3 because I'd still recommend it but I am disappointed as this has been one of my 'go-to' series (comfort reads) for decades.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Richard Jury is asked to help with a murder investigation where a woman is accused of killing her husband. While doing this is also helps a friend and his daughter reunite.
I found the story and characters to be a bit confusing to me, having only read one book by this author I was unfamiliar with all the people she spoke of so it's not really a stand alone book.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been reading this series for probably 30 years, which should be a clear indication that I'm a big fan of Richard Jury and Melrose Plant. But in recent years, I've been struggling a bit. Jury first appeared as a 40-something WWII orphan. (1981, The Man With a Load of Mischief).. Nearly 40 years later, Jury doesn't seem to have aged...nor have his companions. This might make sense, if the series had kept to a set time period, but time has moved on (cell phones!), and none of the characters ha ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Old Success is the latest Richard Jury novel centering around the death of a French tourist off the English coast, which may have links to several (seemingly unrelated) deaths. Jury is joined by his unofficial sidekick Melrose Plant and fellow policeman Brian Macalvie, as they search for connections to the deaths. The pacing and the camaraderie between the investigative team is charming, and the intermittent cameos
This was an oddly disjointed and confusing read. While I've enjoyed previous Jury books, this one had me constantly flipping back and forth to confirm what I had previously read and who was speaking to whom. If I had not committed to reviewing this book for NetGalley, it would likely have landed in my DNF pile.

There were elements of humor I enjoyed, such as horses named Aggrieved and Aghast.

There was also a reference to Oscar Wilde as a "rent boy" which definitely gave me a chuckle.
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Martha Grimes is an American author of detective fiction.

She was born May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to D.W., a city solicitor, and to June, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State Universit

Other books in the series

Richard Jury (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, #1)
  • The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Richard Jury, #2)
  • The Anodyne Necklace (Richard Jury, #3)
  • The Dirty Duck (Richard Jury, #4)
  • Jerusalem Inn (Richard Jury, #5)
  • Help the Poor Struggler (Richard Jury #6)
  • The Deer Leap (Richard Jury, #7)
  • I Am the Only Running Footman (Richard Jury, #8)
  • The Five Bells and Bladebone (Richard Jury, #9)
  • The Old Silent (Richard Jury, #10)