Writing Techniques in The Old Contemptibles

Martha Grimes
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In this novel, the most highly praised and popular of the series, Grimes uses the same basic techniques of her previous novels but achieves greater depth by use of related scenes and characters. A unique feature is the use of a "disguised" Melrose Plant.

The use of related scenes and characters begins with the novel's prologue.

Carole-anne Palutski, Jury's young neighbor who appears throughout the series, is shopping with Jury for "antique" jewelry when Jury first meets Jane Holdsworth. Grimes establishes a number of complex relationships in this brief scene. First, it foreshadows the scene in the fifth chapter in which Jury is shopping for a genuine antique, an engagement ring for Jane. Also, Carole-anne notices Jane before Jury meets her and compares her with Jury's past romantic interest, Susan, called "SB-slash-H" by Carole-anne, who dislikes all of Jury's women and reduces them to their initials. Jury himself in...

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This section contains 371 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Old Contemptibles Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Old Contemptibles from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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