Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

55. A Share in Death - first in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series
by Deborah Crombie
mystery, 1993
Kindle book - 3
finished, 9/10/10

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.


  1. I read this one years ago and then, for some reason, did not continue the series. I remember liking it very much. Another one to put on my list and try again. I'll have to reread A SHARE IN DEATH, and then move on.

    By the way, we had Indian food for lunch and then rode out and looked at lots in a new housing development. I thought of you and wished you could have been with us. I had carrot halwa for dessert. Are you familiar with that? I like it a lot. Very different though.

  2. I know I have read at least one of the Kincaid/James novels, but not this one. So I'll browse the online cataloge of my town's library again, see what they've got!

  3. A good quote - with which I also concur. When I did longer reviews on my book blog I often came across the problem.

  4. Looks like you have been enjoying your Kindle Nan. Sounds like a fun mystery.

  5. Library has it! I'm in the queue :-) Sounds very good and I agree there is nothing like a long series of good books stretching out in front of you!
    Have a wonderful Sunday, Nan.

  6. Kay, I think it was a great beginning, and I look forward to following these two detectives. I'll look up carrot halwa. Lucky you! I had the feeling you wanted to be in a more rural setting?

    Sallie, this is a good one!

    Librarian, I love discovering new series.

    Scriptor Senex, I was impressed with his thoughts.

    Bibliophile, maybe enjoying it TOO much!

    Niki, I don't know when you get a chance to read with all the work you do!

  7. When do I find time to read? Very good question...if the book is really good, at night, if it's so-so I'll usually fall asleep fairly quickly, I try to balance my computer time with reading usually an hour or so here and there in the afternoons, when I'm pretty much done in for anything else, other than crochet or knitting....
    I wish I had more reading time...don't we all?

  8. I really like this series, but haven't read this first one. I've been reading it for several years, but only what the library has available. Now I really want to find a copy of the first in the series!

  9. Niki, that's for sure! I'm at a stage of life now where I have fewer things I 'must' do, so am using that time to read.

    Jenclair, you will probably enjoy seeing the detectives just starting off. I really liked the book

  10. Thank you so much for introducing me to Deborah Crombie. I have read all but 4 of them in the last 2 months. I will be sad to have to wait for her to write the next book in this series.

    I have been recommending your blog to friends as a resource for what to read next.

  11. Lilly, I can't tell you how very happy this makes me!!! Thank you for taking the time to tell me.


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