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Nominated for an Edgar, Deborah Crombie's 1997 Dreaming of the Bones was such a triumph in all respects that it's a hard act to follow. Kissed a Sad Goodbye, Crombie's sixth book about Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, isn't quite as spectacular as her previous rendition. Still, the author who creates her very British world from a town in North Texas has managed to come up with an entirely respectable and highly enjoyable effort. Her story offers a fascinating setting in place of the poignant, personal drama that invigorated Dreaming of the Bones.
The body of a lovely young woman is found in London's fashionable Docklands area. She turns out to be Annabelle Hammond, the director of an old family firm of tea merchants. She was a woman of tremendous talent and sexual appetite, but also the kind of harsh and abrasive personality that provides plenty of motives for murder. The Hammond family is also historically linked to the self-made property developer Lewis Finch and his son, an activist dropout and street musician. The other suspects include a spineless boyfriend who works at the tea firm, a secretary too loyal to be true, and herrings of various shades of crimson. Kincaid and James have to solve it all, even as their own personal problems threaten to intrude. Thanks to Crombie's enviable ability to bring people and places to life with a single phrase, the story zips along like the new Docklands electric railroad.
Previous Kincaid-James books in paperback include Dreaming of the Bones, All Shall Be Well, Leave the Grave Green, and Mourn Not Your Dead. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scotland Yard detectives Sergeant Gemma James and Superintendent Duncan Kincaid (Dreaming of the Bones, etc.) return to solve a murder committed in the East End of London. On the Isle of Dogs in the Docklands area, a young woman is found dead. Oddly, her corpse has been carefully, even reverently, arranged. The stunningly beautiful victim, Annabelle Hammond, is the director of a family-owned tea company that is headquartered in a historic building nearby. Operating on the premise that Annabelle probably knew her killer, Duncan and Gemma poke around in the victim's past, meanwhile working through problems in their own lives. Duncan has recently learned that his ex-wife (who died in Dreaming of the Bones) left behind an 11-year-old son; now he is discovering how much time and emotion are needed to bring up a child. As previously, Crombie delineates expertly the interactions between lovers Duncan and Gemma, as their relationship continues to evolve. Most notable, though, is her masterful depiction of the history and character of the Docklands: the Isle of Dogs, and its historic cycle of destruction and renewal, provides a strong, atmospheric background to the tale, as the contemporary story is interspersed with accounts of the evacuation of local children (including Annabelle's father) during the bombings of WWII. Although not as emotionally intense as its Edgar-nominated predecessor, this complex, thoughtful novel is another satisfying entry in an exceptional series. Agent, Nancy Yost.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I am reading this series in succession and very much enjoying it.
You've read the synopsis of the book. The story weaves back and forth, somewhat convoluted. Read more
I liked this book very much; was intrigued by the plot and the switching back and forth between present day and WWII England. Read morePublished on July 17 2000
One of the aspects of reading a Deborah Crombie novel is the many layers of past & present into which she draws you. Read morePublished on May 19 2000 by Rebecca Brown
I've read all the books in this very enjoyable series, and this one's definitely the best so far. I'd recommend to anyone interested to read the books in chronological order. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 1999
Deborah Crombie has done it again. It's amazing that this Texan writes such "English" mystery novels. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 1999
Okay, should you read this one and then go back and read the others?
This is newest in a line of very good books. Read more
The question before you: start with Crombie's first book or start with the best one? The lives of the chief characters are more interesting if read in order, but I found this... Read morePublished on June 19 1999 by Crystal Graham
"Kissed a Sad Goodbye" is a workmanlike police procedural. The strengths of the books are its dialogue, which is realistic, and the flashbacks to World War II, which are... Read morePublished on June 13 1999 by E. Bukowsky