The Old Wine Shades: Book summary and reviews of The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes

The Old Wine Shades

A Richard Jury Mystery

by Martha Grimes

The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2006
    352 pages
    Genre: Noir

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Book Summary

Over three nights Harry Johnson, a stranger who sits down next to Richard Jury as he's drinking in a London pub called the Old Wine Shades, spins a complicated story about a good friend of his whose wife and son (and dog) disappeared one day as they were viewing property in Surrey. They've been missing for nine months—no trace, no clue, no lead as to what happened. He's a fascinating bloke, this Harry Johnson—rich, handsome, unattached, and brainy about the esoteric subject of quantum mechanics, a field in which the vanished woman's husband, Hugh Gault, excels: He’s an authority on string theory, which has some pretty funny notions about the nature of reality.

Jury wonders, Is Harry Johnson winding him up? Or did it really happen? The dog did come back—but how? And from where? And when Jury investigates, all seems to be just as Harry described it.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"... Grimes doesn't let these colorful cronies run away with the narrative, which delivers on its mysterious premise while celebrating the power of storytelling." - New York Times.

"Jury fans will not be disappointed." - Publishers Weekly.

"Even fans who can't appreciate the passing strangeness of this truly special adventure will be won over by a precocious little girl and a dog of rare intelligence." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Alan Curtis

up in the air
So what happened? I was left thinking there were pages missing from my book. If this is typical for this author, this is the last one I'll spend time on.

manina

a private joke?
The book is so boring and so unsatisfactory, I don't know how critics think fans won't be disappointed. The story within a story goes as far as to suggest (or am I imagining it) that the author makes fun of her readers suggesting the immensely bored Lord Aubrey is bored to tears by the immensely popular detective novels one of the members of "the group of friends" writes. Is it a reference to us "poor readers" that put up with such lame plots?

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Author Information

Martha Grimes Author Biography

The Man with a Load of Mischief was published in 1981, and from there Martha Grimes has published a book (sometimes two) every year for the past 25 years.

By her fourth and fifth books, Grimes received major review attention that not only lauded her ability as an American to write authentic British mysteries, but also to merge the conceits of the British form with the tone and atmosphere of the American. In 1987 The Five Bells & Bladebone was her "breakthrough" book, landing on the New York Times bestseller list. Her next two books, The Old Silent and The Old Contemptibles, were also New York Times bestsellers in both hardcover and paperback.

In 1992, with the publication of The End of the Pier, Grimes departed from her beloved cast of characters in the Richard Jury series to write a ...

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