55. A Share in Death - first in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series
by Deborah Crombie
Kindle book - 3
I recently read these words and thought I might begin my book reports on mysteries with a quote from Max Mallowan, Agatha Christie's husband.
'The critic of detective fiction,' he wryly observes, 'must be either a knave or a fool, for the elegance of the narrative lies in the arc from crime to solution. One cannot discuss mysteries intelligently,' he writes, 'without discussing their endings.'I find that I am simply not able to 'discuss mysteries intelligently' for the same reason. I am even reluctant to talk about the characters and their secrets. So, for the most part such book reports will be short and sweet.
This series by Deborah Crombie has been on my reading radar for years, and finally I've begun and am so glad I did. This is an advantage to beginning a mystery series late- there are all those books ahead of me!
Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard has just been promoted and given a little vacation. A relative owns a time-share in the Yorkshire countryside and urges him to go and have a relaxing time. Well, of course we readers of mystery know that never, ever do 'our' detectives have a relaxing time. Something always happens, whether in their jurisdiction or not, and our unflagging heroes get to work. And so it is here. The assistant manager is found dead in the hot tub with a toaster. The local police officer thinks it is a case of suicide, but Kincaid thinks otherwise. He's in a difficult position because technically he is a guest, not a policeman. And he had gotten to know the victim a bit before he died. The dead man 'knew the dirt' about everyone staying there. And there is plenty of it amongst the guests and the employees. Kincaid cannot just stand by. He enlists the help of Sergeant Gemma James in London. She is a single mother of a young boy, living in not such a nice area of the city. They make a very good team but as yet, there isn't any romantic involvement. I think this may change in later books.
I so enjoyed this first in the series and the second, All Shall Be Well, awaits me on my Kindle. Good writing, good characters, good setting, good mystery.