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A Share In Death [Mass Market Paperback]

Deborah Crombie
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2003 Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels (Book 1)

A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just whatScotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised dramatically when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon who enjoys homicide a bit too much.

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A Share In Death + All Shall Be Well + Leave The Grave Green
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This polished mystery seems more the work of a seasoned genre master than the first novel it is. Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid, spending his vacation from Scotland Yard at a Yorkshire time-share along with several other guests, finds his holiday anything but relaxing. Immediately after he arrives at the elegant estate, he overhears a heated argument between the snobbish caretaker and her sarcastic assistant manager. Late that evening, the assistant is electrocuted in the Jacuzzi. To the consternation of Yorkshire police, Kincaid assumes an active role in the investigation, which becomes more urgent after two more deaths. Meanwhile, Sgt. Gemma James, a pragmatic single mother charmed by Kincaid's unpretentious demeanor and bachelor status, digs for additional clues in London. Crombie, a Texan, has written a convincingly British whodunit, limning Kincaid and James with the ease and authority of one who has already completed several installments in a series. Readers will surely welcome follow-up appearances.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This talented American debuts with an energetic "British" mystery. When New Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid finally takes a well-deserved vacation at a Yorkshire time-share resort, he becomes involved in the murder of an employee there. He enlists the aid of his London partner, Sergeant Gemma James, and the two gather enough material to weed through the resident/suspect young politician, spinster sister, adulterous lovers, etc. Great continuity, clever plotting, and hidden agendas all contribute to a successful novel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant and professional April 23 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is exactly what most readers of "cozy" mysteries want when they sit down to read a new book. Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid is on holiday at a time-sharing resort in Yorkshire when the assistant manager of the resort is electrocuted in the swimming pool. The local police official, who is both obnoxious and incompetent, is predictably unhappy with Kincaid's presence, and Kincaid compounds the situation with his inability to restrain his curiosity. A second murder soon follows, and a third seems imminent.
There are ample suspects, some of them likeable and some downright nasty. Every character seems to have at least a minor skeleton in his or her closet, and Crombie keeps the reader asking why Mr. X did that, or why Ms. Y was where she was at such-and-such a time - all the elements you're supposed to have when reading a mystery.
In short, nothing spectacularly memorable here, but a debut for Ms. Crombie which certainly makes me want to read the rest of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May Be A Promising Start. July 28 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This may be a promising start to a new series, but I found this book quite simplistic (written at about Grade 4 level,) and the coincidences were a bit too much! Kinkaid appears to be a lame duck since he seems to yearn romantically about both women his age that he meets during the course of solving the murder. Also, I knew that it was an American author writing an English procedural (a la Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes who do it so skilfully), but I found that the story did not sound English and the characters did not sound and act like the English do. It didn't ring true. I will attempt to read another book in the series to see if it gets better. I was looking forward to beginning this series after I had read some of the reviews, so I am disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Start Dec 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Deborah Crombie's first book A Share in Death in her series about Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid and his Sergeant Gemma James shows great promise for the series. Duncan is taking advantage of a vacation at a timeshare in Yorkshire which his cousin has offered him. He looks forward to the week away from his professional responsibilities. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that it will not be as relaxing as planned when Duncan discovers a body in the jacuzzi. Duncan realizes that he will have to participate in some capacity with the investigation for it to be resolve successfully.
It is a classic plot for a mystery with all of the suspects in one spot and forced to examine each others motives. People's mistakes lead them in to further danger. They begin to suspect each other and emotions heighten . To aid in the investigation, Duncan sends his capable sergeant Gemma on a fact-finding tour about the resident guests of the time share.
Characters are done with interest and the reader is caught up hoping that some are not involved in the felony and that others will not perish. Crombie skillfully uncovers a bit of information at a time until it is clear who the culprit is and there is the right amount of tension in hoping for apprehension.
At the conclusion of the book the reader is ready to read the next of the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A promising first novel, but disappointing. July 7 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Duncan Kincaid is an engaging detective hero, and Miss Crombie's writing style is very effective. I enjoyed the suspenseful buildup until near the end of the book--and then the conclusion ruined the carefully prepared plot. When a character who has already been nearly killed goes completely and idiotically out of her way to place herself in jeopardy, one sees the author's manipulation too clearly and tends to lose interest in whether or not the character survives. And when the hero suddenly makes an amazing and illogical mental leap to the precise answer to the mystery just in time to race to a last-second rescue, things are stretched even further. And when the murderer turns out to have efficiently killed two innocents who get in the way but stupidly flubs the one murder that he supposedly has been planning for months, it is just too much. And why on earth he would choose a vacation complex, enrolling himself as a guest, when he wishes to keep his tie with the intended victim secret, ah, that is the real mystery. What we have here is one of those impossible Martha Grimes plots. Now if you happen to like Martha Grimes, you may enjoy this book thoroughly.Having said this, I intend to give Deborah Crombie another chance and read one of her other Duncan Kincaid novels. This one does show real promise and real talent. If only the ending had been more believable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great First Book July 16 2004
By m-lee
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most first books in a series can be rather tedious because of the time spent by the author establishing characters as well as plot. But Ms. Crombie did an excellent job keeping this interesting. I can't wait to read the next in the series. I predict Ms. Crombie will be giving Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George a run for the money!!! Excellent read!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well done update of a classic potboiler April 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mystery fans are more than familiar with the classic premise of a murder at an isolated country house. Crombie updates that idea by making her house a time-share retreat. Our hero, Duncan Kincaid, has been given a week and finds himself sharing more than cocktails with the eclectic group of guests.
This is a pleasant, well paced read. There aren't any huge surprises or novel concepts. It's not a surprise that virtually every one of the guests has a secret or two. And the reader knows from the start that one of the guests must be the killer. Still, Crombie did a nice job of keeping me guessing. While the book isn't a page turner, it is an entertaining read.
I read this book mostly because it's the first in the Kincaid/James series that achieved a MacCavity award and Agatha and Edgar nominations for the fifth book in the series - Dreaming of Bones. I expect to enjoy the three books in between as I work my way to the award winning book.
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