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4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read . . .
Except for Martha Grimes, I don't usually go in for English mystery series, the sort of thing with continuing characters and starring a Scotland Yard investigator, nor have I read any others in this series. But I can see why this novel was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and why it was nominated for both the Edgar and the Agatha.
Detective...
Published on Jan. 29 2001 by Michael K. Smith

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, not outstanding
I'm not shocked to see a reviewer bring up the subject of Plath with regards to Crombie's book. I, too, found Lydia Brooke to be a flat, imitative character. Too much about her and the audience she held with her psycho-sexual ego rang of Sylvia Plath. Although, in the case of Lydia Brooke, it resulted in a bad imitation, thanks to Deborah Crombie.
What was even...
Published on April 18 2000 by belladena


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4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read . . ., Jan. 29 2001
By 
Except for Martha Grimes, I don't usually go in for English mystery series, the sort of thing with continuing characters and starring a Scotland Yard investigator, nor have I read any others in this series. But I can see why this novel was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and why it was nominated for both the Edgar and the Agatha.
Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid has been divorced for twelve years, his life is ticking right along, and he has a nicely developing romance with his sergeant, Gemma James. And then he hears from his ex-wife, Victoria, now a professor of modern English poetry at Cambridge, who has been researching a biography of Lydia Brooke, who died in what Victoria has come to believe are suspicious circumstances a few years before. She wants Duncan's help, and he agrees, to Gemma's consternation. Sounds like a pretty routine plot, doesn't it? It's not, believe me. Where most writers in this genre concentrate on the plot, with characters who are less than three-dimensional, or (again, like Martha Grimes) develop wonderful characters but tend to stint the mystery itself, Crombie succeeds very well at both. Duncan and Gemma and Victoria all come alive, as do the supporting players, and you won't guess at the solution to the mystery until the denouement, either. By the end of the book, Duncan's life has become permanently more complicated, and I want to know what happens next! (Obviously, I'm going to have to go back and read the first four books in this series before tackling the sixth one.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing mystery by a talented writer., Aug. 17 2000
By 
E. Bukowsky "booklover10" (NY United States) - See all my reviews
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Deborah Crombie writes uncannily like another American-born author of English detective novels, Elizabeth George. Both Crombie and George write about British detectives who are intensely human, compassionate and introspective. At the same time, these detectives are very competent and persistent in their dogged pursuit of justice. Crombie and George also go to great pains to develop their characters, and they write natural dialogue that is both literate and engaging. In "Dreaming of the Bones," Crombie explores the deepening relationship between Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. The personal lives of these two characters are in turmoil, and suddenly, Kincaid and James find themselves joining forces to solve a serious of murders that hit uncomfortably close to home. In "Dreaming of the Bones," Crombie uses flashbacks skillfully and her sardonic humor is delightful. The only drawback is the ending, which is a little anticlimactic and drags on longer than it should. In spite of this flaw, I recommend "Dreaming of the Bones" highly, since it is a satisfying and an entertaining mystery.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, not outstanding, April 18 2000
I'm not shocked to see a reviewer bring up the subject of Plath with regards to Crombie's book. I, too, found Lydia Brooke to be a flat, imitative character. Too much about her and the audience she held with her psycho-sexual ego rang of Sylvia Plath. Although, in the case of Lydia Brooke, it resulted in a bad imitation, thanks to Deborah Crombie.
What was even uglier was the continual reference to the supposedly destructive relationship between Rupert Brooke and Virginia Woolf. All in all, too many things pointed at the Huges/Plath relationship. If Crombie wanted to detail the life of Plath, couldn't she have written another boigraphy, without disguising it in this awkward mystery?
What kept me reading this book was the likeability of Gemma and Duncan, and an empathy for the young son of the murdered Brooke-biographer. Beyond that, this book rounded out into an atrocious ending, with no satisfactory motive, that left me feeling dissatisfied and positive I wouldn't seek out Crombie's other mysteries.
I agree that 'bloody' was used far too much, sometimes twice in a sentence. Ugh!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Sylvia Plath-like character & Tartt's 'Secret History', April 14 2000
By 
Kiki D. (Detroit, MI USA) - See all my reviews
I don't read a lot of murder mysteries, and I've never read any of Deborah Crombie's other books, so I am a little at a disadvantage. Overall, the book is well written, and the characters are realistic, especially Duncan and Gemma, who are both interesting and likeable. Unfortunately, Lydia Brooke, the poet turned suicide/murder victim is the weakest character in the book. A not-very-thinly-disguised Sylvia Plath, with a-not very-thinly-disguised Ted Hughes-ish ex-husband, Lydia is weakly drawn and not particularly compelling. Perhaps that's because I kept comparing her with her real-life counterpart, Plath, who was - and still is- a very compelling person. Crombie's imitation of Plath's gushing "Letters Home" rings false, and her rendition of Plath's 'Ariel' in the 'voice' of Lydia Brooke is cringe-inducing. The introduction of a Donna Tartt-esque ending, a la "The Secret History" was over-the-top and not particularly believable. As for Crombie being the most British of American mystery writers, I found her over-use of "cheerio", "bloody", "love" , etc., irritating - exactly the sort of words an American would use when writing 'British' characters. I wish I could say that I will seek out more of Ms. Crombie's books, but I doubt that I will, given that I didn't enjoy this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, and the Best in the Series, so far., Jan. 2 2004
By 
S. Schwartz "romonko" (alberta canada) - See all my reviews
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Dreaming of the Bones is a wonderful book, and the title reflects the storyline. The way Ms. Crombie slides in and out of the past with the book is almost dreamlike. In this book, Duncan Kincaid and his Gemma are trying to solve what could have been a five year old murder, but while they're trying to convince the authorities that it was murder and not suicide another death occurs that can't be anything but murder. Kincaid has to determine what happened years and years ago to try to figure out who has committed these murders. In his search he comes upon some truths of his own that will probably change his life completely. It's a voyage of discovery for him as well as revenge. Despite the few discrepancies this book seemed to be more British than the others that I have read in this series. Ms. Crombie should do a bit of research to determine how the English spell "colour", but it did not take away from the story, and I really did enjoy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, March 16 1999
By 
neurondoc (Bethesda, MD United States) - See all my reviews
So how can an author keep the readers interested in the two main characters after they become romantically involved with each other? For Deborah Crombie, it is easy. Bring in Duncan's ex-wife with a several-year-old murder masquerading as a suicide, her 11 year-old son, another murder, and still tie in Duncan and Gemma's explorations of their new relationship. This is a book about shattered dreams, new expectations, surprise revelations, and distorted relationships.
DREAMING OF THE BONES is, at times, funny, extremely sad, touching, and infuriating. It is Crombie's most emotionally complex book yet. I couldn't put it down and read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Another British murder mystery, Dec 5 2003
I though this book was entertaining and well written. It is another in the slew of mystery novels featuring Britiesh gentlemen detectives, combining crime solving with personal dilemmas. This is similar to books written by Ruth Rendell. What I liked best about the book was the descriptions of Cambridge, which brought back my own university days. What I liked least was the murder plot - this writer is so good that I don't think she needs to rely on formula. She would do just fine writing straight literary fiction.
I read this several years ago and then reread it - I didn't realize that I had already read it till half-way through, so I guess it is not a particularly memorable book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Series gets better & better, Sept. 27 2003
By 
Suzanne G. Bowles "Dr. Sue History Prof" (Florham Park, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreaming of the Bones (Hardcover)
I am reading all of the Kincaid-Gemma books in chronological order. This is the best one yet. I like Crombie's books better than Elizabeth George's. Her characters get on with the crime solving & don't indulge in such navel-gazing & endless angst over their relationships the way George's do. I think the reader should just take this book for what it is -- fiction -- a good mystery & not get onvolved in analyzing the poetry, the letters, & who is supposed to represent whom in real life. Just enjoy it! I can't wait to read the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and riveting, Feb. 12 1999
By A Customer
I've been a fan of Ms. Crombie's since I first picked up one of her books but this is by far her best. I felt every emotion her characters felt and found myself not wanting to put it down, even at one in the morning. The writing in this book is on par with the great P.D. James and I anxiously look forward to Ms. Crombie's next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!, Dec 25 2000
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Lynne Casey (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This is one of my favorite murder mysteries of all time. I've read tons of murder mysteries, and this one ranks #2 on my list (second only to the Reeve's Tale by Margaret Frazer).
In Dreaming of the Bones, Deborah Crombie combines an intriguing plot with engrossing characters. I highly recommend this book.
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Dreaming of the Bones
Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie (Paperback - July 2000)
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