The Old Contemptibles by Martha Grimes  » Books  »
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  • Her protagonists are charming debonair Superintendant Jury and Melrose Plant, the low profile aristocrat who enjoyed sleuthing around

    • by Jacinth K Lee
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      The Old Contemptibles written by Martha Grimes (Ballantine Books 1992)

      When Jane Holdsworth was found dead by Alex, her teenage son, Superintendant Jury was the chief suspect, being the last person to see her. He sent his pal, Melrose Plant, to investigate.

      Plant discovered that the rich Holdsworth family had too many deaths four alleged suicides and murders. Alex’s father had hanged himself; his grandmother fell off a cliff; Annie Thales, their


      cook, was found dead at a lake; and now his mother was dead.

      Adam Holdsworth, Alex’s great-grandfather, had opted to stay in a retirement home. He would leave the bulk of his money to Alex and Millie, Annie’s young daughter whom he was very fond of. Jury suspected Dr Viner, a close family friend and a doctor with Adam’s retirement home. Apparently she had plans to control Adam’s money through manipulating ...


      • young Alex.

        I find this book very worthy of note a family yarn with more than the usual misfortunes, combined with suspense and humor. Her protagonists are charming debonair Superintendant Jury and Melrose Plant, the low profile aristocrat who enjoyed sleuthing around. It was amusing how Plant tried to pass off as a down-at-the heels librarian, looking among his branded clothes for something that would make him look properly seeded!

        The other characters

        for this story are simply fascinating. Adam and his friend at the retirement home, Lady Cray, were simply hilarious; crusty old people, who seemed to be having the time of their lives. Alex and Millie, precocious young children, who had lost their parents but determined to carry on with their lives.

        This is a well-written book, with an excellent plot very enthralling and enjoyable! I look forward to reading Grimes’ other books.



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