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"The Old Wine Shades" by Martha Grimes

 
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Barbara
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: "The Old Wine Shades" by Martha Grimes Reply with quote

In some ways, this was a great read. However ...

Super-spoiler alert
Spoiler (highlight to read):
... there were too many things that didn't make any sense, at least to me.

  • Why did the villain have to kidnap the children at the end? If he really thought he was in danger from their knowledge, why did he seem quite relaxed about their knowledge after they escaped? And why would he only kidnap them and risk them escaping?

  • The dog. Aughghggg!!!! The autistic boy and the dog were interchangeable in their intelligence, ability to communicate and ability to affect the people around them. Gah!

  • Are we really supposed to think the villain would fall for the Niels Bohr impersonation?

  • What was the reason behind the woman-child-dog impersonation in the first place?
On the other hand, I did like the aspect of the story that harks back to "The Open Window" by Saki. http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/openwin.html


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MrsBrown
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just put this on hold at the library; I might be able to get it next week. I noticed it's a Richard Jury mystery and I haven't been too pleased with those ones for the last 3 or 4. I think she's getting tired of him and she's become Polly Praed.

I'll let you know. oh boy! oh boy! oh boy! oh boy! oh boy! oh boy!


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsBrown wrote:
I just put this on hold at the library; I might be able to get it next week. I noticed it's a Richard Jury mystery and I haven't been too pleased with those ones for the last 3 or 4. I think she's getting tired of him and she's become Polly Praed.


I am a glutton for punishment too and as soon as I can connect to the library online, I'm going to put it on hold too. Even though I really hated the last ones she wrote.

She got dumped by her former publisher. After reading the last book, I started to suspect that whoever used to be her editor was the one who actually wrote her books.

You think she's become Polly Praed, MrsBrown? I always got the impression that Polly Praed wasn't a bad writer.



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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

llizard wrote:

You think she's become Polly Praed, MrsBrown? I always got the impression that Polly Praed wasn't a bad writer.


I always got the impression that Polly Praed wasn't too thrilled with her writing. Isn't she the one who writes the romance? mystery? novels and doesn't care if the characters match? I have a memory of her wondering if her hero had brown or blue eyes and then not really caring. Am I thinking of someone else? oh boy! skip stomp


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsBrown wrote:
I have a memory of her wondering if her hero had brown or blue eyes and then not really caring. Am I thinking of someone else?


Hmmm.... maybe I skipped over any Polly Praed bits. I guess I didn't really care. skip skip skip

edit: Even though I don't really care about any of the dreary Richard Drury characters any more stomp , I just put the book on hold and have am number 13 of 13. There are 149 copies in the library so I should get it soon.



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PostPosted: Wed 18 Oct, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: "The Old Wine Shades" by Martha Grimes Reply with quote

blm wrote:
In some ways, this was a great read.


It was definitely much better than the last one (or was it the 2nd last one that I was so disgusted by?) But...

blm wrote:
However ...
Super-spoiler alert
Spoiler (highlight to read):
... there were too many things that didn't make any sense, at least to me.



Me too!!!

Super-spoiler alert (continued)
Spoiler (highlight to read):


  • 1. If Jury is supposed to be such a great detective, how could he be taken in even for a second by Harry's story? Or was he just too drunk to be properly attentive? And speaking of all the drinking... is it a tribute to Hammett? Or Stout??

  • 2. Who was answering (as when Melrose was talking to Ben Torres: It's not the woods. It's not the woods!)? Was it Fate? Or was it the dog in the 10th dimension?? rrrrrrrrr

  • 3. blm wrote: "The dog. Aughghggg!!!! [...]"
    Indeed! And the cat too. I'm surprised that there wasn't an aquarium filled with talking red herrings in Harry's house.

  • 4. blm wrote: "Are we really supposed to think the villain would fall for the Niels Bohr impersonation?"
    Perhaps this was just so we could get a better picture of Melrose' looks. Or maybe Bohr was a wine enthusiast and we're supposed to imagine that they talked mainly about that.

  • 5. blm wrote: "Why did the villain have to kidnap the children at the end? [...] And why would he only kidnap them and risk them escaping?"

    Sequel....

  • 6. What was supposed to happen with the blood stain slipper prints that the dog stamped into Harry's room? Is that for the sequel? Oh wait, I know! Grimes is planning a new series with Mungo as the featured detective.




blm wrote:
Spoiler (highlight to read):
On the other hand, I did like the aspect of the story that harks back to "The Open Window" by Saki.


Spoiler (highlight to read):
Maybe there were a number of stories that we were supposed to be recognizing. Perhaps this book is like a medley of greatest hits.



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PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was right and wrong. Right in that Martha Grimes has become her own character; I was wrong about the character. She's become Joanna Lewes, the bad formulaic writer, not Polly Praed, the apparently not-so-bad mystery writer.

Spoiler (highlight to read):
THis was the dumbest book I've read in a long time. There were so many smoking guns in there--the slipper prints, the children kidnapped, Ben Torres, .... There were so many that I don't even care. I kept waiting for it to get better but it never did. And the dog! oh, PLEASE!!!!


sigh


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsBrown wrote:
I was right and wrong. Right in that Martha Grimes has become her own character; I was wrong about the character. She's become Joanna Lewes, the bad formulaic writer, not Polly Praed, the apparently not-so-bad mystery writer.


Exactly. But it really wasn't quite as bad a read as the book that ended with

Spoiler (highlight to read):
Jury getting shot so that I thought she had mercifully killed him off to sparing herself from having to write any more Jury mysteries.


Watch, I'll still get sucked into reading the next one... stomp



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PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

llizard wrote:
Watch, I'll still get sucked into reading the next one... stomp


Yep, me too.

What bothered me about this one were all the references to the last one which I'm sure I read. I vaguely wanted to read the last one again but then I put that thought out of my mind.


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Oct, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsBrown wrote:
What bothered me about this one were all the references to the last one which I'm sure I read.


I thought I had read the last one too but I didn't recognize half the stuff she referred to and started thinking maybe I hadn't read the penultimate one after all. Interestingly, I had NO desire to read the previous one to see what she was talking about. (I kept thinking, "Hey!! I thought she'd killed you off!")

I was VERY glad that we didn't have to endure the thoughts of the girl's doll (the one that was featured in one of the recent previous books) again!

Spoiler (highlight to read):
It was bad enough that the dog (and cat) were featured so prominently. Brrrrrr.

Speaking of the cat, Racer's cat really gave me the pip too.

One last thing, since when did Jury call Racer "Guv"? Perhaps since Grimes saw "Prime Suspect"?


I hope that someone will remind me that I don't really want to read the next Jury book... la la la

Spoiler (highlight to read):
Unless she really does kill Jury off with liver poisoning because he's drinking so heavily.



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