The Old Success by Martha Grimes
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES' BEST CRIME NOVELS OF THE YEAR
When the body of a Frenchwoman washes up on a wild inlet off the Cornish coast, Brian Macalvie, divisional commander with the Devon-Cornwall police, is called in. With the only visible footprints belonging to the two girls who found her, who could have killed this mysterious tourist?
While Macalvie stands stumped in the Isles of Scilly, Inspector Richard Jury - twenty miles away on Land's End - is at the Old Success pub, sharing a drink with the legendary former CID detective Tom Brownell, a man renowned for solving every case he undertook. Except one.
In the weeks following the unexplained death of the tourist, two other murders are called in to Macalvie and Jury's teams: first, a man is found dead on a Northamptonshire estate, then a cleaner turns up murdered at Exeter Cathedral. When Macalvie and Jury decide to consult Brownell, the retired detective insists that the three murders, though very different in execution, are connected. As the trio set out to solve this puzzle, Jury and Macalvie hope that this doesn't turn out to be Brownell's second ever miss.
Written with Grimes's signature wit, sly plotting, and gloriously offbeat characters, The Old Success is prime fare from 'one of the most fascinating mystery writers today' (Houston Chronicle).