New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Deborah Crombie has garnered tremendous praise -- and has been nominated for virtually every major mystery award -- for her piercing police procedurals featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, who are personally and professionally entwined.
To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.
Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own. (more)
Now the hippest neighborhood in London; historic Brick Lane in the East End is known as much for its delicious curries as its vintage clothing boutiques, its fashion designers, and its avant-garde artistic community.
But as always with revitalization and influx of wealth, there comes a clash of cultures, and the dark side of change. Artist Sandra Gilles has made a name for herself and a secure place for her mixed-race family in this vibrant community. But then Sandra disappears without a trace, leaving behind her three-year-old daughter, and her shocked and grieving husband is the prime suspect. When he vanishes as well, lives are shattered, bringing Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid into an examination of the terrible and irreparable consequences of greed and temptation--and into a case that will change their own family forever. (more)
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James find themselves drawn into a web of deceit and treachery that has its roots in the turmoil of 1939, as England and Germany hover on the brink of war. Gemma learns that her friend Erika Rosenthal lost a valuable brooch during her escape from Berlin, a piece made by her father, a noted Art Deco jeweler.
Now that heirloom has turned up for sale at a venerable London auction house, and Erika asks Gemma’s help in discovering its whereabouts for the last fifty years. But the past bleeds into the future when those connected with the brooch begin to die, and Gemma and Duncan learn that the long-ago unsolved murder of Erika’s husband has deadly repercussions in the present. Where Memories Lie is Crombie’s most suspenseful outing yet, and will keep you turning pages until its shocking end. (more)
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James’ idyllic Christmas holiday at his family’s home in the Cheshire countryside is interrupted by deaths both past and present. A teenager drowns in a local canal, the remains of an infant are found in an old canal-side dairy barn, and a third violent death touches them all.
As the detectives are drawn deeper, they realize that the lives of the three victims were intertwined in unexpected ways, and that the claims of the past will not be silenced until old wrongs are made right. In true Crombie fashion, Water Like a Stone will keep you on the edge of your seat as Duncan and Gemma find that the all-too-present dangers can threaten those they love most.(more)
An abandoned Southwark warehouse burns next door to a women’s shelter for victims of spousal abuse. Within it lies the charred corpse of a woman burned beyond all recognition. At the same time, workers at Guy’s Hospital anxiously discuss the disappearance of a hospital administrator – a beautiful, emotionally fragile young woman who’s vanished without a trace.
And in an old, dark, rambling London house, nine-year-old Harriet’s awful fears won’t be silenced - as she worries about her feuding parents, her schoolwork…and the strange woman who is her only companion in this scary, unfamiliar place. Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid – lovers and former partners – have their own pressing concerns. But they must put aside private matters to investigate these disturbing cases. Yet neither Gemma nor Duncan realize how closely these cases are connected – or how important their resolutions will be for an abducted young child who is frightened, alone …and in serious peril.
Available in hardcover and as an audio recording. (more)
Though her reputation for delving into the heart of murder is matched only by that of her former partner and current lover, Duncan Kincaid, newly appointed Detective Inspector Gemma James has never thought to question her friend Hazel Cavendish about her past. So it is quite a shock when Gemma learns that their holiday retreat to a hotel in the Scottish Highlands is, in fact, a homecoming for native daughter Hazel – and an event that has evoked strong reactions from the small community. Something is definitely amiss – and that something is quite possibly Donald Brodie, the charming if intense Scotsman who is a guest as well.
The truth comes out before long: Hazel and Brodie were once lovers, despite a vicious, long standing feud between their families, rival local distillers of fine whiskey. Their affair was fierce and passionate, and its fire might not have burned out completely. Certainly Brodie, now the domineering head of the family business, believe his “Juliet” still belongs to him alone – and he’s prepared to destroy Hazel’s English marriage to make it so.
A brutal murder puts Hazel’s very life in peril when she’s arrested for the crime. Hazel is the logical suspect, but Gemma knows that nothing is simple in this place of secrets and long-seething hatreds. As even more damning evidence piles up against the friend that Gemma never truly knew, the investigation into Hazel and Brodie’s history begins to take darker and more sinister and tumultuous turns. Gemma knows that she will need assistance to unravel this bloody knot – and so she calls the one man she trusts more than any other, Duncan Kincaid, to join her far from home…and in harm’s way.
Available in hardcover, paperback and as an audio recording. (more)
Gemma James is adjusting to professional and personal changes that include her eagerly sought promotion to the rank of inspector – and a future now intricately entwined with Duncan Kincaid. But her new responsibilities are put to the test when she is placed in charge of a particularly brutal homicide: The lovely wife of a wealthy antiques dealer has been found murdered on fashionable Notting Hill.
Dawn Arrowood was six weeks pregnant. Her lover, Alex Dunn, a porcelain dealer in London’s bustling Portobello Market, appears absolutely devastated by her death, but the main focus of Gemma’s investigation is soon Karl Arrowood, who had the most powerful motive for killing his unfaithful wife.
But this case sets off warning bells for Duncan: It’s far too similar to an unsolved murder in which an antiques dealer was killed in precisely the same way. And yet when the escalating violence claims yet another victim, he and Gemma find themselves at increasing odds with each other – as two separate investigations become linked in the most startling way.
Their hunt for a killer will traverse the teeming stalls of the city’s antiques markets to a decades-in-the-making vendetta of history and hatred that has been honed to a flawless, deadly point. To solve this case, Gemma and Duncan must walk a merciless razor’s edge through a place where true justice will be a long time coming.
Available in paperback. (more)
Duncan Kincaid has settled into his life as a part-time father to Kit, the twelve-year-old son he only recently discovered. But life has more changes in store: Gemma has pursued a promotion that ends their partnership on the job and places their personal relationship on a new, more tentative footing. So when Duncan’s cousin and childhood friend calls from Glastonbury to ask his help on a rather unusual matter, he welcomes the opportunity to get out of London – and to spend a relaxing weekend with Gemma. But relaxation isn’t on the agenda…
Jack Montfort, Duncan’s cousin, grew up in the shadow of Glastonbury Tor in a town revered as the site on an ancient abbey, the mythical burial place of King Arthur and Guinevere, and according to New Age followers, a source of strong Druid power. Montfort has not much more than a passing interest in the history of the area - until he comes across an extraordinary chronicle almost a thousand years old. The unsettling way this record comes into his hands brings Montfort into contact with a disparate group of townspeople: Nick Carlisle, a student of the myths surrounding Glastonbury’s past; Simon Fitzstephen, a Church scholar whose knowledge of the Old Religion and its ceremonies is just as deep; Garnet Todd, a strange and intense woman with a jealous attachment to the young and very pregnant Faith Wills; and Winifred Catesby, the Anglican priest whose love for Jack has nearly healed his grief at the loss of his wife and daughter.
Something terrible and bloody shattered the Abbey’s peace long ago, according to Montfort’s newly discovered history. And that knowledge will spark a violence that reaches into the present. When a member of Jack’s circle is attacked and left for dead, he appeals to Duncan to find the truth the local police cannot see. None of them envisions the peril that lies ahead, or that there is more at stake than either Duncan or Gemma dreamed possible. Available in paperback.(more)
A call from Scotland Yard couldn’t have come at a worse time for Duncan Kincaid. He has promised the weekend to Kit, the eleven-year-old son of his ex-wife. The son he never knew he fathered – who doesn’t yet know Kincaid’s true identity. But Duncan’s best intentions are shattered by a case that draws him in and consumes his interest.
A young woman’s body has been found in the tall grass of East London’s Mudchute Park, her jacket and short skirt carefully arranged to preserve her modesty. It seems too odd a detail for a simple case of robbery or assault gone awry. And indeed the case becomes more complex when the dead woman is identified as Annabelle Hammond, bold and brilliant head of a family-owned tea company. For the victim was a mystery even to those who knew her best.
Alluring, headstrong, and ambitions, Annabelle was the sort of woman who inspired the strongest of emotions…passion certainly, jealousy, anger, even obsession. And when Duncan and Gemma fan out to question anyone connected to her, it doesn’t take long to discover that the lady was also adept at keeping secrets…especially from those she loved. As the detectives try to penetrate Annabelle’s tangled affairs to glean the motive for her murderer, their list of suspects grows to include her suave, upper-class fiancé; the handsome street musician who may have been the last person to see her alive; her sister’s vengeful ex-husband; even her own father. But what they don’t know is that this case has long roots that reach far back into the past, and that resentments that should have been long buried still have the power to hurt, and many even the capacity to kill.
Available in paperback. (more)
Dr. Victoria McClellan, Cambridge feminist biographer, is writing the life of the talented but tortured poet Lydia Brooke, five years after Brooke’s tragic suicide. As a student at Cambridge in the early sixties, Lydia emulated her namesake, the romantic Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, who formed a nature-worshipping group called the Neo-Pagans.
Now living in Grantchester, the village near Cambridge where Rupert Brooke and his friends gathered for their Bohemian frolics, Vic McClellan finds herself immersed in Lydia’s past. One of the female pioneers of the confessional voice in poetry, Lydia survived a tumultuous marriage, brushes with madness, and early suicide attempts. But Vic discovers that the poet achieved a new creativity and balance in midlife, and she finds it increasingly difficult to accept that Lydia died by her own hand. Why would she abandon her success in a final gesture of defeat?
So for the first time in twelve years, Vic calls her ex-husband, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard, to ask for his help in proving that Lydia was murdered. At first Duncan fears that Vic is too close to her enigmatic subject, that she simply does not want to believe that Lydia would take her own life. But he cannot refuse her request, and when he begins to investigate, he finds aspects of the case that arouse his own suspicions.
Duncan’s involvement with Vic and her son, Kit, complicates his fragile relationship with his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James. Then he receives some terrible news that will change his life forever.
As Duncan faces his greatest personal and professional challenge, he and Gemma embark on a quest for a murderer that will expose secrets that have reached out over thirty years and poisoned a dozen lives.
Available in paperback. (more)
When a high-ranking police officer is brutally murdered, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James are drawn into a case that not only challenges their investigative skills but forces them to examine their ethics and their relationship with each other.
On an evening in mid-November, Alastair Gilbert, a Commander in the London Metropolitan Police, is found dead in the kitchen of his suburban Surry home by his wife, Claire, and seventeen-year-old stepdaughter, Lucy. Gilbert was bludgeoned to death, and there was no sign of forced entry. Someone must have taken Gilbert by surprise – or the killer was someone he trusted. Kincaid was once Gilbert’s student at the police academy, and he fears his personal antipathy toward the dead man may lessen his objectivity in this case. Even more distracting is the state of his relationship with Gemma – strained and tense ever since their intimate encounter a few days earlier.
Both Duncan and Gemma must try to put their feelings for each other and their memories of Alastair Gilbert aside as they discover that Gilbert did not always play by the rules that he publicly espoused, particularly when the rules might have hindered his rise to power.
Gilbert was disliked in the village, too, especially by the owner of the local pub, whose son had become the object of Gilbert’s wrath. Events in Gilbert’s past lead the police inquiry to London and, eventually, back to the village, where Duncan and Gemma must call on their reserves of courage and compassion to solve the most troubling case either of them has ever encountered.
Available in paperback and soon as an audio recording. (more)
When a body is discovered floating in a Thames river lock one damp and dreary morning, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James are summoned from Scotland Yard to the Chiltern Hills outside of London. A drowning in the countryside doesn’t ordinarily merit Scotland Yard’s attention, but the dead man is Connor Swann, son-in-law of Sir Gerald Asherton, a renowned operatic conductor, and Dame Caroline Stowe, a celebrated and beloved soprano. And prints on the corpse’s neck suggest that Connor Swann didn’t just fall in the river after too many pints; in fact, he may have been strangled.
Kincaid and Gemma soon discover that this is not the first tragedy to strike the Ashertons – twenty years earlier their twelve-year-old son, Matthew, a musical prodigy, drowned in a swollen stream on a cold November afternoon while walking from school with his sister, Julia. The memory of the talented and charming Matthew lingers, haunting the Ashertons’ elegant estate. His sister Julia’s life has been shaped by the incident. Now, estranged from her husband, she remains the black sheep of the family, a painter rather than a musician.
At first it seems that Julia had a good reason to leave Connor Swann – he was a bit too fond of the ladies and the horses for his own good. But Kincaid and Gemma suspect that Connor may not have been such a scoundrel after all, and that none of the family’s relationships are as simple as they appear on the surface. As the threads of the case become more tangled, Kincaid and Gemma explore the quiet beech woods above the Thames as well as the glamorous world of London opera in search of answers. And when Kincaid finds himself dangerously drawn to one of the suspects, he and Gemma must sort out their complicated feelings for each other.
Available in paperback and as an audio recording. (more)
Murder strikes where Scotland Year Superintendent Duncan Kincaid least expects it. Coming home to his Hampstead flat after working all night on a case, Kincaid finds his terminally ill friend and neighbor, Jasmine Dent, has passed peacefully away in her sleep.
Kincaid quickly discovers, however, that Jasmine’s death may not be as straightforward as it seems. Margaret Bellamy, a young friend of Jasmine’s, tells him that Jasmine had asked for her help in committing suicide, but had changed her mind at the last minute. When autopsy results reveal that Jasmine died from a lethal dose of morphine, Kincaid must discover whether Jasmine killed herself, or if someone else ended her life prematurely.
Why, he asks, would someone kill a woman who had only a few months to live? Did Jasmine’s younger brother, Theo, need his inheritance to keep his small antiques shop afloat? Did her nurse, Felicity Howarth, indulge in a spot of mercy killing? Or did Margaret Bellamy’s unscrupulous boyfriend, Roger, decide he couldn’t wait for Margaret to come into her share of Jasmine’s money?
With help from Sergeant Gemma James and Jasmine’s own journals, Kincaid explores Jasmine’s life from her childhood in India to the final months of her illness, discovering a hauntingly beautiful young woman, secretive and ambitious. Somewhere in her past may be the key to her murder…
Available in paperback and as an audio recording. (more)
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.
Available in paperback and as an audio recording. (more)