Waiting on Wednesday: August 31

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

………………………..

garden-of-lamentationsGarden of Lamentations

by Deborah Crombie

Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #17

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Publication date: February 7, 2017

Synopsis: On a beautiful morning in mid-May, the body of a young woman is found in one of Notting Hill’s private gardens. To passersby, the pretty girl in the white dress looks as if she’s sleeping. But Reagan Keating has been murdered, and the lead detective, DI Kerry Boatman, turns to Gemma James for help. She and Gemma worked together on a previous investigation, and Gemma has a personal connection to the case: Reagan was the nanny of a child who attends the same dance studio as Toby, Gemma and Kincaid’s son.

Gemma soon discovers that Reagan’s death is the second tragedy in this exclusive London park; a few months before, a young boy died in a tragic accident. But when still another of the garden’s residents meets a violent end, it becomes clear that there are more sinister forces at play. Boatman and Gemma must stop the killer before another innocent life is taken.

While his wife is consumed with her new case, Kincaid finds himself plagued by disturbing questions about several previous—and seemingly unrelated—cases involving members of the force. If his suspicions are correct and the crimes are linked, are his family and friends in mortal danger as well? Kincaid’s hunch turns to certainty when a Metropolitan Police officer close to him is brutally attacked. There’s a traitor in the ranks, and now Kincaid wonders if he can trust anyone.

As Gemma begins to see a solution to her case, she realizes she holds a child’s fate in her hands. Can she do the right thing? And can Kincaid rely on his friends, both inside and outside the Scotland Yard force, to stand beside him as he faces the deadliest challenge of his career?

.…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • This series is one of my most favorite series! So excited!
  • It has been nearly 2½ years since the last book was published.
  • I read books 1-14 in about a year. Now I’ve waited a year to read book 15 since I only had books 15 and 16 already published. I wanted to know the next book was coming soon!

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Review: No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

no-mark-upon-her-kindleNo Mark Upon Her
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series #14
Genre: Mystery (police procedural)
Published by Macmillan, 2011
E-book, purchased
480 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: Olympic rowing hopeful and senior Metropolitan Police officer DCI Rebecca Meredith goes out alone to train on the river in Henley on a dark afternoon in late October – and doesn’t return. When a desperate search by the police and a K9 team reveals the possibility of foul play, Scotland Yard wants one of their own on the case. Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, returning from celebrating his marriage to long-time partner Detective Inspector Gemma James, is called to Henley to investigate. He soon finds that the world of elite rowing can be brutal, and that Rebecca Meredith’s ex-husband was not the only person with good reason for wanting her dead. Then, when a search-and-rescue team member is threatened, Kincaid realizes the case may be even more complex and more dangerous than he believed.

He felt stained by others’ grief, as if it had steeped into his skin, like old tea. He had never, in his more than twenty years of police work, become inured to watching people absorb the shock of death.

and

Surely he had misinterpreted what he’d heard. Because he could have sworn that his guv’nor had just suggested that he fix the outcome of an investigation.

Cheers

  • This is the first book after Gemma and Duncan’s wedding and they are celebrating their marriage as the book opens–for the third time! The first time was in the garden of their London home; the second in a register office and now the third time was with Winnie and Jack and all their families so they could have a formal celebration in Winnie’s church.
  • Gemma and Duncan have become foster parents to Charlotte after their investigation into the disappearance of Charlotte’s parents. As the book opens Gemma is finishing up family leave she and Duncan have both agreed to take until Charlotte is secure enough to attend child care.
  • Gemma admits to herself as much as she loves their children she’s looking forward to getting back to work. Now a new case has come up and Duncan has to work it even though he’s supposed to start his family leave in a few days. Gemma is not happy!
  • I really like the way the author writes about Gemma and Duncan’s children and family. They are very realistic. They have problems and worries, but they love each other and I love seeing that.
  • Charlotte’s “Alice” birthday party was so much fun to read about.
  • Much of the book takes place on the Thames with lots of rowing. I enjoyed learning more about the sport.
  • The mystery was good and as always I like reading about the procedures of finding the criminals.
  • I love the way Ms. Crombie writes about her settings. I always feel like I’ve visited the area.
  • I really like reading about search and rescue dogs. I think they are wonderful!
  • I like the integrity Duncan and Gemma show.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • The books really should be read in order since things which happen in earlier books have far-reaching ramifications.
  • I continue to love this series. It’s my favorite police procedural mystery series at the moment. I like the mysteries and I like the relationship between Gemma and Duncan and their children and how it grows and develops.

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

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.

Reading Challenges

Review: Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie

necessary-as-bloodNecessary as Blood
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series #13
Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
Setting: East End, London, England
Published by Harper Collins e-books, 2009
E-book, purchased
388 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: Once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, London’s East End is a vibrant mix of history and new ideas, but the trendy galleries of Brick Lane disguise a seedy underside where unthinkable crimes bring terror to the innocent. Artist and young mother Sandra Gilles disappears without trace after leaving her three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Her lawyer husband, Naz Malik, is devastated – but he’s also the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

“…I don’t feel quite right about using our parish church for hatch, match, and dispatch,” she amended. “It just seems a bit callous, somehow.”

and

Whatever her rationale, she was meddling in their case, and he didn’t like it. He disliked even more the fact that he couldn’t complain about it.

But he would just have to bide his time.

Cheers

  • This is such a good series and I especially like the conclusion of this book in the personal life of Gemma and Duncan.

    necessary-as-blood-map
    Laura Hartman Maestro’s map from the hardcover edition endpapers
  • Gemma and Duncan are such fun to read about both in their professional lives and in their personal lives.
  • Duncan and Gemma are engaged in this book, but Duncan is worried that Gemma may not want to get married since she keeps putting off setting a date for the wedding.
  • I also love reading about Kit and Toby. Ms. Crombie does a good job with the children in these books.
  • We get more of a view of Gemma’s family in this book. Gemma’s mother has cancer and is in the hospital. Gemma’s father isn’t the strong one in the relationship and he has trouble holding things together. He lashes out at Gemma who is very hurt by the things he says to her.
  • The mystery in this book is very good. It was hard to figure out exactly what had happened. It’s especially heartbreaking because of three-year-old Charlotte whose mother disappeared.
  • Gemma gets involved in this case, but from a different angle than Duncan and his sergeant.
  • I’ve mentioned before how much I love the maps which are in the hardcover edition endpapers. Laura Hartman Maestro does a wonderful job drawing them. Most of the maps are also available to view on Ms. Crombie’s web page. Though don’t look too closely at a map from a book you haven’t read–it might contain spoilers.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I love this series. Each book is so good and I love reading about the solving of the mysteries as well as reading more about Gemma and Duncan and their family.
  • My only worry is that there are only 16 books in the series so far and this is number 13. I think she’s writing another book in the series, but there’s no publishing date yet.

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

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.

Reading Challenges

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

Review: In a Dark House by Deboarah Crombie

in-a-dark-houseIn a Dark House
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #10
Genre: Mystery (police procedural)
Published by Avon, 2005
E-book, purchased
384 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: In a Dark House puts Gemma and Duncan’s multilayered relationship to the test, as these two gifted investigators find themselves working a brutal and complex case from differing perspectives. It starts simply. Superintendent Kincaid is called in to “help” when a member of Parliament’s venture into real estate goes up in smoke. At first Duncan expects that his role will be limited to keeping the politician’s involvement out of the limelight. But the discovery of the body of a nude young woman at the fire scene guarantees he’ll soon be doing more than damage control.

Gemma comes to the case through unofficial channels, when her offer to help a friend whose lodger has vanished reveals unmistakable signs of a double life. When the M.P.’s wayward daughter disappears, Gemma and Duncan discover disturbing evidence linking that to another missing-persons case — one where an angry father, desperate to remove his daughter from his ex-wife’s care, entrusted his little girl to a virtual stranger, only to have both the woman and child disappear without a trace. Carefully, patiently, Duncan and Gemma tease out the connections between the brutalized corpse, the missing women, the kidnapped girl and a series of suspicious fires that suggest a pattern of accelerating danger. Sue Stone

Whatever the reason, she knew only that she wanted fiercely to hold on to things just the way they were and not take any risks that might bring about change.

and

“How can you, of all people, trust in fate?” Erika, a German Jew, had lost every single member of her family during the war.

“Because the only other option is to live in constant fear, which to me seems hardly worth doing.”

Cheers

  • I continue to love this series.
  • Lots happens in this book . . . missing women, murder, arson, a missing child . . . and how do they fit together? Or do they even fit together?
  • And the book also shows important aspects of Gemma and Duncan’s lives. Their personal lives have happy and sad aspects just as everyone’s lives do.
  • Because so much has happened in her personal life Gemma wants to keep everything the same. That’s impossible to do, of course, but she’s trying very hard.
  • During this book Duncan and Gemma seem distant from each other. She doesn’t want to talk about the miscarriage. They don’t discuss marriage. Their work tends to get in the way of their personal lives. While I read this book I did wonder how they can possibly juggle their very busy professional work and be there for their sons. This is the dilemma countless parents face every day.

Jeers

  • The beautiful maps included with this series are very small and unreadable in the digital copies. They can’t be enlarged.
  • I would like to see more cases where Gemma and Duncan work on cases which aren’t entangled. However, I do understand Ms. Crombie wanting to show them working together.
  • It felt a little like Duncan and Gemma were walking in place in this book. Not a lot happens in their personal lives. Time needs to pass before they can move forward.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I don’t want to continue reading this series so fast since I only have six books until I catch up! I will space them out a little more!

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

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • The Ultimate Reading Challenge is hosted by Popsugar (a mystery or thriller)

Review: Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie

d4cd8-nowmayyouweep

Now May You Weep
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #9
Genre: Mystery (police procedural)
Published by William Morrow & Company
E-book, purchased
416 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: A gripping story of family rivalry, romance and sinister deeds, set in the haunting Scottish Highlands. When Detective Inspector Gemma James is persuaded by her friend, Hazel, to take a trip to the Scottish Highlands, land of mists and fine whiskey, she jumps at the chance. But Gemma soon learns that Hazel has ulterior motives, and that her friend has concealed more than one dangerous secret. At their remote B&B, Hazel encounters her former lover, Donald Brodie, now the owner of a well known local distillery. Their relationship had ended abruptly years before, when they had been driven apart by their parents. Now he is determined to win her back. But the lovers’ reunion yields shocking – and mortal – consequences. Suddenly all too aware of the distance between her and Kincaid, Gemma must come to terms with what she has learned.

It was a cold-blooded business, policing, thought Gemma, and for the first time, the knowledge that it had to be done did not make it seem more palatable.

and

“Hullo, love.” he said against her hair, his voice gentle. “I can’t let you out of my sight, can I, without your getting into trouble?”

Cheers

  • Such a good book!
  • I loved reading about the whiskey making in Scotland. I really felt like I was at a distillery smelling the angels’ share! (The angels’ share is the amount of alcohol which evaporates from casks while they mature.)
  • Scotland is also described lyrically. The quotes from Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson are especially evocative.
  • In some ways the writing in this book reminds me of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea–also about Scotland and also a book I loved.
  • The mystery is good, but almost overshadowed by the personal events in the book.
  • Gemma discovers she doesn’t know nearly as much about her friend Hazel as she thought. Hazel has always been so calm and competent and so helpful with her insights and advice…a good therapist. We sometimes forget the people who help others are also human and make mistakes in their own lives. It’s easy to put people on pedestals and if they fall to feel betrayed.
  • Once again, the past affects people’s lives and we learn a bit about what happened in Scotland in the late 1890’s and the effects on the characters in the story. Though the effects were not exactly what I thought they were as I was reading. There were a few red herrings in this story!

Jeers

  • I don’t like reading about infidelity in marriage, but this book doesn’t glorify it. The ramifications and heartbreak are shown.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • As many of my blog readers know I’ve loved discovering and reading Deborah Crombie’s mysteries. Since September this is the ninth book I’ve read!

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

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

Review: And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie

and-justice-there-is-none

And Justice There is None
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series, Book 8
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural (British)
Published by Bantam, 2002
E-book, Library
416 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Gemma James is adjusting to professional and personal changes that include her eagerly sought promotion to the rank of inspector–and a future now intricately entwined with Duncan Kincaid. But her new responsibilities are put to the test when she is placed in charge of a particularly brutal homicide: The lovely young wife of a wealthy antiques dealer has been found murdered on fashionable Notting Hill.

Dawn Arrowood was six weeks pregnant. Her lover, Alex Dunn, a porcelain dealer in London’s bustling Portobello Market, appears absolutely devastated by her death, but Gemma’s the main focus of investigation is soon Karl Arrowood, who had the most powerful motive for killing his unfaithful wife. But this case sets off warning bells for Duncan: it’s far too similar to an unsolved murder in which an antiques dealer was killed in precisely the same way and when the escalating violence claims yet another victim, he and Gemma find themselves at increasing odds with each other–as two separate investigations become linked in the most startling of ways. Their hunt for a killer will traverse the teeming stalls of the city’s antiques markets to a decades-in-the-making vendetta of history and hatred that has been honed to a flawless, deadly point. To solve this case, Gemma and Duncan must walk a merciless razor’s edge through a place where true justice will be a long time coming.

When she could hear him again, he was saying, “–reason for ringing. Doug Cullen and his girlfriend have invited us for dinner on Saturday night–”

“Saturday? We’re moving on Saturday!”

“All the better. Kit can watch Toby, and we won’t have to cook. A nice gesture on Cullen’s part, I thought. I’ll tell him about seven, all right? See you tonight, love.”

The phone went dead, but Gemma sat for a long moment with it pressed to her ear, thinking thoughts of murder.

Cheers

  • I didn’t realize this took place at Christmas time until I started reading. Since I had just completed the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon it fit right in.
  • The personal lives of Gemma and Duncan move along in this book. I enjoyed seeing that.
  • Even though they don’t work together anymore–Gemma is an Inspector now working at the Notting Hill Station and Duncan is still at Scotland Yard, but they still find ways to work together on cases. In this instance, Duncan noticed a case he had worked on was similar to the case Gemma is working. Then they need to figure out if there’s a link and what it is.
  • I like the history excerpts about Notting Hill and Portobello Market at the beginning of each chapter.
  • At the beginning of most of the chapters there are flashbacks to the late 1950’s and 1960’s. I spent much of the book trying to figure out who the people were in the present day. It was a mystery within the mystery.
  • As usual this is a good mystery.
  • As I’ve noted in other reviews the past is important to the present and why the mystery and murder happens.
  • Gemma faces some of the same problems women everywhere sometimes face when they are in a supervisory position–especially in a traditionally male dominated job like police work.
  • There are some sad parts in this book, but they’re realistic.
  • I really like the maps in the books I’ve gotten from the library. They spotlight the places important to the story.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts. . .

  • This is now one of my favorite series I started this year.

Have you read any of this series? How do you like it?

Reading Challenges

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

 

Review: A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

a-finer-end

 

A Finer End
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, Book 7
Genre: Mystery
Published by Bantam Books, 2001
Library Book
325 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: When Duncan Kincaid’s cousin calls from Glastonbury to ask for help on an unusual matter, Duncan welcomes the chance to spend a relaxing weekend away from London with Gemma. But Glastonbury’s ancient past soon reveals a dark and bloody secret which is about to shatter the calm of the present day.

Once outside, she stood her bike upright, then paused. There was a sharpness to the air that matched the clarity of the magenta sky above the Tor, and from somewhere she could have sworn she heard the faint thread of pipes. She felt again the temporal dislocation that Glastonbury sometimes engendered, as if the centuries had eased their boundaries and bled into one another.

and

“You all right?”

“The music . . .”

“Lovely, wasn’t it? Good choir at St. John’s” He whistled under his breath. “I promised the Major we’d buy him a drink. The Freemason’s arm, you think? It’s a nice enough evening to sit outside.”

Gemma gazed at him in consternation. Tall, slender, his unruly chestnut hair falling over his forehead, looking down at her with an expression of interested inquiry–he made a picture of the perfect sensitive man. So why did she suddenly feel they might as well be from different planets?

How could he take such music for granted? Had he not felt that the glory of it was almost beyond bearing? The gap between their perceptions seemed immense.

Cheers

  • Very different mystery than others I’ve read so far in this series. Not the typical police procedural!
  • A-finer-end-map
    Endpaper in A Finer End–Glastonbury map by Laura Hartman Maestro

    I didn’t figure out the mystery in this book. There are many threads and characters. Very entertaining and interesting.

  • We find out more about Duncan and Gemma. They have more problems to overcome and no longer work together. Gemma is promoted at the beginning of this book and given a new assignment. This puts added strain on their relationship. They already have other problems from past books–the murder of Duncan’s ex-wife, Duncan’s son and the fact they both are divorced and Gemma is especially shy about a permanent relationship.
  • Music plays a big part in this book. I really like how Gemma is discovering her innate love of music.
  • Such an interesting book. I love all the history about Glastonbury and the maps which have started showing up in the books. The history in Ms. Crombie’s books have me searching the internet to find out more about the setting and historical aspects.
  • This book is mystical in many places. That fits in the setting of Glastonbury.
  • Jack Montfort, is the reason Gemma and Duncan go to Glastonbury. Jack is an architect with both feet on the ground, but when he starts automatic writing and gathers a group of people around him who hope to figure out the why and what of the authomatic writing other mysteries. secrets and dangers begin to appear.
  • The group around Jack all have their own secrets and some don’t seem very trustworthy.
  • In all the books I’ve read so far in this series history and past actions are very important in the stories. This book continues with that pattern, but even more so.

Jeers

  • I had trouble keeping up with the characters in the first part of the book. A lot of people were introduced in a short period of time. That made the beginning of the book a little slow. I persevered and was soon hooked!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • Another excellent book in this series.

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

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge (Hoping to read 100 books this year)

Review: Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie

kissed-a-sad-goodbyeKissed a Sad Goodbye
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series, Book 6
Genre: Mystery, British Police Procedural
Published by Bantam Books, 1999
Library book
322 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Scotland Yard’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James face their most haunting case yet when the past devastatingly intersects with the present….

The call from Scotland Yard couldn’t have come at a worse time for Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. He has promised the weekend to Kit, the eleven-year-old son of his ex-wife. The son he never knew he fathered — who doesn’t yet know Kincaid’s true identity.

But Duncan’s best intentions are shattered by an investigation that draws him in and swiftly consumes him. It seems to begin with the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman in an East London park. But Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James will discover that this case has long roots that reach far back into the past, and that resentments which should have been decades buried still have the power to hurt — and maybe even the capacity to kill.

“Sit down. I’ve made us some coffee. This morning we’re just going to get acquainted.”

“But I thought . . .” Gemma’s nervousness flooded back. Whatever had possessed her to make this appointment, to give up a free Saturday morning that could have been spent with Toby? It had been a stupid idea, a chance thought followed up when it should have been dismissed, and now she was about to make an utter ass of herself. Thank goodness she’d told no one but her friend Hazel what she meant to do.

Wendy Sheinart sat down beside Gemma and lifted the coffeepot. “Now.” Smiling, she filled Gemma’s cup. “You can tell me why you want to play the piano.”

Cheers

  • I did figure out who had committed the murder, but didn’t figure out the correct reason!
  • I like learning more and more about Duncan and Gemma. I empathize with Duncan and all the changes to his personal life that occurred in the last book.
  • So many things have changed in Duncan and Gemma’s lives. Finding out he has an 11-year-old son came as a shock. He and Gemma are still trying to come to terms with this and how it affects their relationship. And Duncan is trying to figure out how he can be part of Kit’s life when he isn’t Kit’s legal guardian.
  • During this book Gemma must make decisions about her future.
  • One of the things Ms. Crombie does a good job with is showing many sides to her characters. Gemma has gradually discovered a love of music as these books have progressed. As the quote above shows she decides to take piano lessons, but she’s very unsure of herself and doesn’t like to admit her vulnerability. It doesn’t quite fit how she sees herself.
  • I also like the quotes which Deborah Crombie puts at the beginning of each chapter. In this case, the books she quotes from tell about the setting for this book–The Isle of Dogs, a peninsula in the River Thames. The history of the area and especially during WWII is important to the story.
  • The library books (hardcovers) I’ve read in this series have wonderful maps on the end pages. The map from this book, drawn by Laura Hartman Maestro, is great because it really helps to visualize the area in England the book talks about. They also show where certain things happen in the book so I don’t look too closely until I’ve finished a book! I think all the maps are drawn by her, but I’m not sure.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • If you have the opportunity, read from the books from the beginning as Gemma and Duncan’s lives change throughout the books.
  • Such a good mystery series. Deborah Crombie does a great job creating a series which is satisfying both on the personal level as well as the professional level.

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

Reading Challenges

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

 

Review: Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

dreaming-of-the-bones

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.
and
“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.”

Cheers

  • 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.

Jeers

  • 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

Review: Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie

mourn-not-your-dead

 

Mourn Not Your Dead
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series, Book 4
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural (British)
Published by Scribner, 1997
E-book, Purchased
310 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: The murder at Holmbury St Mary was not one that Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard would relish investigating. A man has been beaten to death in his own home. A man who just happened to be Commander Alastair Gilbert of the Metropolitan Police… Only adding to Kincaid’s problems are his tangled personal feelings for Sergeant Gemma James. And in an investigation of this importance neither can afford a breakdown in their relationship. Combining subtle emotional nuances and psychological insights with the intricacies of police procedure, Deborah Crombie produces a powerful contemporary mystery in the classic tradition.

When she’d started in the force, a rookie constable, she’d almost unconsciously shared her parents’ disdain for those who could “better themselves if they made the effort,” but experience had quickly taught her that the equation was almost never that simple. For some the most you could do was try to make their lives a little more comfortable, and if possible leave them a bit of dignity.

and

“And we can’t compromise ourselves….We swore to uphold the law, not to pass sentence, and we dare not cross that line, no mater how good our intentions….”

Cheers

  • The book is told from both Duncan’s and Gemma’s points of view.
  • This is a case no policeman would want to investigate–the murder of a Commander with the Metropolitan Police. Lots of political problems with that one!
  • Gemma is uncomfortable with Duncan and they are at odds with each other during much of the book.
  • I really like the dialogue Crombie writes as well as the sense of place and descriptions she gives the reader.
  • The mystery is also well plotted and kept me guessing.
  • I like the characters introduced in each book. Some become continuing characters and some we don’t see again, but they are well crafted.
  • These books don’t pull their punches. Sometimes bad things happen when we don’t want them to.

Jeers

  • I’m still troubled by the relationship between Duncan and Gemma. But I’m compulsively reading these books!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m reading these books much faster than I’m getting them reviewed. I have to hurry up and get these reviews done and posted!

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

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge