My review of Martha Grimes’ The Old Silent


Violence finds a burned-out Richard Jury when he becomes the only witness to a murder in a cozy inn called the Old Silent. Though Nell Healey shot her husband in cold blood, Jury will go to any lengths to help her and break through her reticence to untangle a web of twisted motives-and twisted lives.

5 Stars

Just reread this after 20 years. This was my original introduction to the series and it really colored my view on Richard Jury being melancholy and morose, even though he isn’t in many of the earlier novels. This is probably my favorite of the Jury novels with all the humor intertwined with the dark nature of the subject matter.

It starts off a bit slow, but the last 200 pages just flew by. The early part with Melrose being a brilliant conversationalist but not actually talking was hilarious. Lots of Melrose to make me happy. I also enjoyed all the references to the music. There is a part towards the end written from the perspective of two dogs which was a little strange and had me checking to make sure I didn’t mix up my pain medications. Macalvie makes another appearance, and he’s always a great character.

The paperback was formatted well with only one spelling error noticed.