THE OLD FOX DECEIV'D by Martha Grimes
Kirkus Star


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Even better than the near-perfect The Man with a Load of Mischief (which wound up with a let-down), Grimes' second case for introspective Inspector Jury of Scotland Yard is immensely welcome--especially since it also brings back Jury's unofficial sidekick, aristocrat Melrose Plant. This time Jury is called in to help solve the murder of Gemma Temple, who's been found dead in bizarre black-and-white costume in the tiny cliff-top village of Rackham. And it soon is revealed (with some agreeable echoes of Josephine Tey's Brat Farrar) that Gemma had been posing as the long-disappeared Dillys March, ward of Sir Titus Crael of The Old House. So Jury must delve into the tangled Crael past--the long-ago death of Sir Titus' wife and son in a car crash, the long-ago drowning of the Crael cook (a supposed suicide)--in conversations with the surviving Craels. . . and with a fetching assortment of locals: the Craels' bitter housekeeper Olive; retired roof-thatcher Percy Blythe; and, above all, twelve-year-old Bertie Makepiece, who (with his dog Arnold) resiliently gets along very nicely despite virtual desertion by his fun-seeking mum. Warmth, humor, and great style--plus, this time, a thoroughly satisfying plot: Grimes has it all firmly under control now--with one of the smoothest, richest Traditional-English mysteries ever to originate on this side of the Atlantic.
Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1982
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1982


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