Review: Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie


Dreaming of the Bones
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series, Book 5
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural (British)
Published by Scribner, 1997
E-book, Purchased
355 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: It is the call Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid never expected — and one he certainly doesn’t want. Victoria, his ex-wife, who walked out without an explanation more than a decade ago, asks him to look into the suicide of local poet, Lydia Brooke — a case that’s been officially closed for five years. The troubled young writer’s death, Victoria claims, might well have been murder.

No one is more surprised than Kincaid himself when he agrees to investigate — not even his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James. But it’s a second death that raises the stakes and plunges Kincaid and James into a labyrinth of dark lies and lethal secrets that stretches all the way back through the twentieth century — a death that most assuredly is murder, one that has altered Duncan Kincaid’s world forever.
Ten years ago, twelve years ago, he’d been a by-the-book copper, and he probably would have laughed at her suspicions. But he’d learned not to discount intuition, even as unlikely as it sometimes seemed.
“One of the things I’ve learned over the years in police work is that sometimes we just can’t know all the answers–life doesn’t always tidy itself into neat little compartments. It’s frustrating and infuriating, but if you don’t learn when to let go, you can’t stay in the job.”


  • This is another series which is best read from the beginning. I’m really glad I did!
  • Duncan’s ex-wife calls asking for a favor–which doesn’t please Gemma at all! It puts a crimp in their relationship until they both talk.
  • I like the quotes and poems at the beginning of chapters…though I’ve never done well interpreting poetry. It was fun to read about the poetry though.
  • Victoria, Duncan’s ex-wife, is writing a biography of a poet who went to college in Cambridge in the 1960’s and lived there most of her life until her death five years before this story opens.
  • The Cambridge setting is well-done.
  • I was pulled in by one of the red herrings!
  • I did finally figure out what must have happened, but it was close to the end of the book!
  • One theme I find in this series I’ve read so far–the importance of the past to what happens in the present. In this book it’s the poet Lydia Brooke’s life.
  • During each book we slowly learn more about Gemma and Duncan and their pasts. I like that it slowly unfolds.


  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This book really stuck with me. I think because it has Duncan’s ex-wife in it and he must really confront a number of difficult things from his past.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

4 thoughts on “Review: Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie”

  1. I found this book to be one of the ones that most drew me in and stuck with me, I think because of all the tangled relationships and what it reveals about Duncan and about Gemma. Good review – you made me want to reread it!


  2. This was one of my favorite ones and one where we start getting a little more character development than in her earlier ones which seemed a bit more like basic procedurals. You’re killing me with these reviews! Crombie is one of my favorite authors but these are all books I haven’t read in 15+ years and I’m really wanting to go back and reread them! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: