|"With The Old Silent, best-selling author Martha Grimes once again delivers a captivating assortment of memorable characters that hover around the center of a gruesome mystery. In the tenth murderous case for Richard Jury, the New Scotland Yard superintendent witnesses a killing in a West Yorkshire inn called the Old Silent, while his highborn, amateur colleague, Melrose Plant, wishes he could perform one as he drives his impossible Aunt Agatha to the Old Swan in Harrogate. The regulars return: Sergeant Wiggins (nostrums in hand); Jury's nemesis, Racer; and Racer's own nemesis -- the cat Cyril.
"Caught up in a triple murder, Jury would go to any lengths to help Nell Healey, the lovely widow of one of the victims. But Nell Healey remains silent as the Yorkshire moors, quiet as the grave, while the scope of the mystery widens.
"In Yorkshire: the residents of Weavers Hall -- an elderly Italian princess, who loves to talk aboout Major Poge's 'kill-to-cartridge ratio'; Ramona Braine, mildly psychic (or psychotic), and her son, the Beastly Boy; Ellen Taylor, a leather-clad, chain-smoking American novelist who is 'hot, very hot in New York' ('New Yawk'); Abby Cable, who escapes the lunacy of the Hall by living in the barn with her sheepdog, Stranger, and who drags Melrose Plant along on a sheep-saving expedition; and, above all, the eloquently silent Nell Healey.
"In Cornwall: Divisional Commander Brain Macalvie, for whom 'God does the lighting'; and Dr. Dennis Dench, brilliant osteo-anatomist, whose opinion (worse luck for him) conflicts with Macalvie's concerning the skeleton of a boy kidnapped years before.
"In London: the famous rock band, Sirocco, and its electrifying guitarists, Alvaro Jiminez and Charlie Raine; steamrolling rock critic Morpeth Duckworth; and the sizzling lead guitarist of Black Orchid, Stan Keeler, whose dog Stone 'is more famous than Fergie's kid.'
"And more, from an 'East Coast American, [who] has daringly and quite successfully undertaken to beat the English writers of country village crime at their own game' (Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times). But the somber moors of West Yorkshire are not a tea-cozy world; they echo the 'brooding and cynical overtones of Raymond Chandler' (Time)." -- from the dustjacket flaps of the book club edition, 1989