"To balance Kincaid's cool reserve as an imperturbable observer of human folly, Ms. Crombie gives him a warm, outgoing sergeant in young Gemma James. Like everything else about this first mystery, it's a well calculated move that pays off smartly." - New York Times Book Review

"This talented American debuts with an energetic 'British' mystery... Great continuity, clever plotting, and hidden agendas all contribute to a successful novel." - Library Journal

"…ruthless murderer…surprising motive…thoroughly entertaining mystery…Kincaid is likable, intelligent, and perceptive chap.” –Booklist

"Reminiscent of Agatha Christie." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Fans of (Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George) are likely to relish…Deborah Crombie."
–The Baltimore Sun

"Deftly translates the classic English “country house” puzzler to modern times…A thoroughly enjoyable piece of entertainment." – Houston Chronicle

(Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #1)

There is surely nothing more peaceful than the Yorkshire Moors in autumn, or so Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid supposes when he take on the unlikely role of time-share holder at stately Followdale House in northern England.

Newly promoted, weary from overwork, Kincaid opts for a holiday "incognito," relaxing with just a few good books. Some of his fellow guests have been to the time-share hotel before. Others are newcomers. One is a killer.

Kincaid's anonymity comes to an abrupt end when a new acquaintance is found murdered in the hotel's whirlpool bath. It's convenient that a Scotland Yard man should be on the scene, but not so serendipitous for Kincaid.

With help from his clever, down-to-earth Sergeant, Gemma James, Kincaid searches for a hidden connection between victim and suspects. Could the murderer be Cassie Whitlake, the provocative time-share manager with a unique social-climbing agenda? Or one of the MacKenzie sisters, eccentric spinsters on holiday from their goat farm in Dedman Vale? Or Graham Frazer, the brash insurance salesman who is accompanied by his unhappy fifteen-year-old daughter? Or does one of the other guests or staff have a secret worth killing for?

Kincaid, at odds with the local officer in charge of the case, also struggles with his developing friendship with the intriguing scientist Hannah Alcock.

When the killer strikes again, Kincaid and Gemma must pool their knowledge as together they move toward a startling confrontation with the murderer. 

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