Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie
Yes, it’s that time again. Another Deborah Crombie Kincaid/James mystery! Although it was not as enthralling and dramatic as the previous entry, Dreaming of the Bones, Kissed a Sad Goodbye did not disappoint. I know I’ve become a broken record when it comes to extolling the virtues of Deborah Crombie’s character development but, for me, it is the best part of her writing and something that is sorely lacking from many novels. I also found the mystery elements in Kissed a Sad Goodbye to be entertaining. The plot jumps back and forth between the present day murder investigation and an intriguing backstory that takes place during the Second World War. If you, like me, enjoy a good English mystery novel, please give Deborah Crombie a try.
Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie
Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid’s ex-wife, Victoria, the one who walked out on him ten years ago, needs a favor. She asks him to look into the five-year old suicide of a troubled local poet that she has been researching. Kincaid surprises everyone, including himself, when he agrees to re-open the closed case. However, the deeper he and partner, Gemma James, go into the past, the more evidence turns up supporting Victoria’s claims that the poet was actually murdered. This is the best Kincaid/James mystery that I’ve read so far. All of Deborah Crombie’s mysteries are impeccable, multi-layered, character-driven stories with believable endings and “Dreaming of the Bones” is no different but it was also tense and left the main characters forever changed by the end. I’ve recommended Deborah Crombie’s mysteries before and I will continue to do so.
Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie
Deborah Crombie has filled the Agatha Christie-sized hole that was left in my life when I finished the final Hercule Poirot novel. Ms. Crombie’s novels are set in modern times but are also thoroughly British and excellent police procedural mysteries. “Leave the Grave Green” is the third book featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Unlike Christie’s Poirot & his side-kicks, Ms. Crombie’s protagonists have been changing and growing throughout her series. It is one of the main reasons that her books are so compelling to me. Her characters are believable and appealing. The mystery elements are formulaic but that doesn’t bother me having tore through 40+ Poirot novels over the course of a couple years. I apologize in advance if this blog becomes clogged with Deborah Crombie mystery novels, I’ll do my best to space them out. 🙂
All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie
I read the first in Deborah Crombie’s mystery series in September of last year and enjoyed the introduction to her main characters, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. In this second novel, Kincaid’s terminally ill neighbor dies peacefully in her sleep but Kincaid has a suspicious feeling. Ms. Crombie’s stories are written with wit and humor but it’s her characters that will continue bring me back to her series. Her books are less about the mystery, although I will admit to being surprised by the ending, and more about the depth of her characters and the emerging histories behind even secondary characters. After only two books, I’ve grown especially attached to Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. He has a good mix of intuition and smarts. He is also portrayed as genuine and caring. I don’t know about you, but I will certainly keep reading Deborah Crombie.
A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
“A Share in Death” is the first entry in the series. A quaint, country manor house full of vacationing tourists turns into a house full of suspects when one of the staff turns up dead in the pool. This book has a comforting Agatha Christie-esque feel to it. Although she’s originally from Texas, Ms. Crombie has a great sense for British culture and writing. Her protagonists Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid & Sergeant Gemma James are smart and audacious. And while I don’t expect these modern mysteries to continue to have so much in common with Christie’s novels, this one had the makings of a decent English countryside who-dun-it. I can say definitively that I will read more of Ms. Crombie’s mysteries.