April 15, 2013

A Share in Death

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Series #1
1993 Scribner
Finished on 3/11/13
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher’s Blurb:

There is surely nothing more peaceful than the Yorkshire Moors in autumn, or so Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid supposes when he takes 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 the 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 Dedham 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.

A Share in Death places Deborah Crombie among the gifted new crime writers who add freshness and vitality to the traditional detective novel form. Readers everywhere will love the compassionate and engaging Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, a heroine for the nineties.

I first learned of this series from my dear friends, Nan and Kay. Over the years, they have spoken highly of Crombie’s mysteries, and after voicing an interest, Kay offered to send me a few of the books to help get me started. The books were promptly stacked (and forgotten) on a bookcase in my office last summer, but when I decided to devote the month of March to mysteries, I immediately pulled the first two in the series from the stack and added them to a new pile on my nightstand. It didn’t take me long to get engrossed in this new series and I wound up reading close to 100 pages on the first day. I finished in record time, as I was anxious to get back to the story at the end of each day. As soon as I finished, I was tempted to continue with the second novel, but decided to hold off so the plots and characters wouldn’t blur together in my memory. I’ve since gone on to read that second installment and am eager to return to the series now that a few weeks have passed. As with any series that involves a set of returning characters, I’m enjoying the developing relationship between Kincaid and Jemma, whom I have envisioned to resemble Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle and his driver, Samantha Stewart (of Foyle’s War), and I’m eager to see what that future holds for them. With 15 books in the series, I have a lot to look forward to!

Click here to read Nan’s review of this debut novel by Deborah Crombie.


  1. I keep reading good things about Crombie's work. I need to give it a try.

    1. I'm just about ready to dive into #3!

  2. Kay's love for this series is the reason I bought the first one on audio!!!!

    1. Have you listened to it? I have several of the books, but when I run out, I may switch to the audios. Are they any good?

  3. I found this to be a middle of the road cozy-type mystery. It's the only one I have read/listened to by Crombie, but will probably move on to the second at some point and see how that goes.

    1. It definitely has a cozy feel to it, doesn't it? The second in the series is about the same, but I enjoyed it. I wonder if her more recent installments in the series are less cozy. I'm planning to continue, either way.


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