Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie

65. All Shall Be Well - second in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series
by Deborah Crombie
mystery, 1994
Kindle book - 11
finished, 10/17/10

This second in the series takes place in the building where Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid lives. One of his neighbors, a fifty-year old woman named Jasmine, is slowly dying. Kincaid has become quite fond of her, and his friendship means a great deal to her. When she does die, the assumption is that it was a natural death but it turns out she had asked a friend to assist her in suicide. And the autopsy shows that Jasmine died from an overdose of morphine. Was it suicide or was it murder? And if the latter, why kill a woman who was dying anyway?

Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James become quite emotionally involved in the case as they spend time in the dead woman's home, searching for clues to why anyone would want to murder her. The author's descriptions offer the detectives and the reader a sense of who Jasmine was.
One wall held prints and Gemma went closer to study them. The center of the grouping was a sepia-tinted photograph of Edward VIII as a young man in Scouting uniform, smiling and handsome, long before the cares of Mrs. Simpson and the abdication. A memento of Jasmine's parents, perhaps?

Kincaid stopped in front of the solid, oak bookcase and contemplated the spines as if they might reveal something if he stared long enough. Books were jammed in every which way, taking up every inch of available space. Gemma joined him and scanned the titles. Scott, Forster, Delderfield, Galsworthy, a much worn, leather set of Jane Austen.
"There aren't any new ones," said Gemma, realizing what struck her as odd. "No paperbacks, no best sellers, no mysteries or romances."
"She reread these. Like old friends."

This is the sort of building Duncan Kincaid would come home to in Hampstead, London.
The silence in Carlingford Road seemed intense after the main thoroughfares, and the air in the shadow of his building still held the night's chill.

You may read the opening of the book at the author's website to get an idea of the writing, the feeling of the book. I am so loving this series, and have the third waiting on my Kindle.


  1. Sounds interesting! The picture of the Victorian homes at the bottom reminds me of those we saw in Wheeling, West Virginia last week!

  2. I do like that quote about the chill of the building! Lovely - I may have to seek this one out. Thankyou!

  3. Isn't that amazing, Rebecca.

    Katherine, this is such a good mystery series.

  4. There are so many great series out there and just not enough time!!!! Loving the sounds of this one!

  5. Nan, I don't know why I've never read anything from this series. Just one of those things, I guess. After all, try as I might, I can't read EVERYTHING. :) I love English mysteries of a certain sort (Have you read any of Martha Grimes' Richard Jury books?) and these sound like the sort of thing I should have read long ago. I'll have to play catch-up.

  6. Staci, I sure know what you mean!

    Yvette, this is a series that I think is great. Good characters and interesting stories. I hope it continues to be so good. I read some of the MG books years ago, and a while back bought the first in the series to try again.

  7. I must have missed this one. Thanks for the tip. I really enjoy Deborah Crombie.

  8. Commonweeder, I enjoyed this one for the glimpses into the home lives of Duncan and Gemma. She's such a good writer.

  9. You are really a Kindle fan, I can see. How many books do you have on it? I have the Kindle app for my iPad and love reading the books there too sometimes.

    Whenever I want a book, I'll now purchase it as an eBook, unless the print version (in the case of an older book) is cheaper.

  10. Diane, I do love it! But it is only my 'bedtime' book. I don't even bring it downstairs. The real reason I got a Kindle was the ease of handling. I had actually hurt my shoulder from over-use holding of books in bed. :<) I am still buying hardcover and paperback books. As long as they are made, I'll buy them. I have bought quite a few for the Kindle - mostly mysteries, and many at quite low prices.


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