The Old Wine Shades

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Monday, August 07, 2006
by Martha Grimes #22

I miss mysteries! I hardly read them anymore, and I'm not sure why. That being said, I always like reading Martha Grimes. This is her twentieth Richard Jury novel. TWENTY! That's a freaking lot. Grimes seems to have found a way to keep things interesting for herself, which in turn is interesting to me. I know this probably irritates some long-time fans of the series, but I'm okay with less hypochondriac Wiggins in every novel, with less procedural, with less Mysterious Woman To Whom Jury Develops a Romantic Attachment Therefore She Must Die In a Sad Yet Predictable Fashion. There's still plenty of Melrose (I heart Melrose), still cameos from the Long Pid gang, still animals and children, and still that hint of romance -- but now with some characters who've been hanging around for ages and not new Jury Romance Cannon Fodder. (it sounds like I'm Jury Relationship obsessed... I'm not really, but she does manage to make it an issue without it being The Only Issue.)

This particular story involves a chance encounter, a missing boy and his mother, a psychic dog named Mungo, wine (duh), Schrodinger's Cat, a mental institution, a sociopath, the smoking room at Boring's, and the set up for a future nemesis for Jury. (nemesis! so exciting!!) But best of all is the melancholy people-are-awful-but-also-occasionally-wonderful world she's created. (I always end up laughing out loud at least once when reading one of her novels, which I appreciate.)
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