Review: Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie

where-memories-lieWhere Memories Lie
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Gemma James & Duncan Kincaid #12
Genre: Mystery (police procedural)
Published by William Morrow, 2008
E-book, purchased
380 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma’s help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigious London auction house. Erika believes the theft may be tied to her husband’s death, which had always been assumed a suicide.

Gemma has a tough challenge. She must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London’s monied society to discover the jewelry’s connection to David’s murderer. However, the cold case needs to be put back on the books and possibly into the hands of her partner, Duncan Kincaid. When a second, present-day murder kicks the investigation into high gear, Gemma becomes more determined to exact justice for Erika—in a case that will have lasting repercussions.

The dessert she had bought ready-made–to her shame, baker’s daughter that she was–a beautiful fruit tart from Mr. Christian’s Deli on Elgin Crescent. Attempting to bake would definitely have sent her over the edge into blithering idiocy.


  • A diamond brooch showing up at an auction house in London years after stolen from Dr. Erika Rosenthal in Germany before WWII causes all the future events in this mystery.
  • I always love the way Ms. Crombie mixes the past and the present. She makes me care about the people and each time period.
  • Erika is a friend of Gemma’s who has been a character in several earlier books.
  • In this book the story from the past is particularly poignant. Erika’s story really hit a chord with me.
  • Gemma and Duncan work so well together even if their assistants aren’t as happy about them working a case together!
  • I like reading about Gemma and Duncan’s family. Everything isn’t always perfect, but they all work together as a family and love each other. I really like that.
  • I didn’t figure out all of the mystery until the end.


  •  None I can think of!

Author info

  • A trip to Yorkshire inspired Deborah Crombie’s first Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mystery. She’s a Texas native who still lives in Texas though she spends time in England every year.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is another of my favorites in this series. It’s a very powerful book and a good mystery.

Literary awards

  • Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel (2009)

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

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl

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.

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