Dreaming of the Bones Hardcover – Oct 1997
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"Deborah Crombie might be the most British of American mystery novelists," said an astute reviewer in reference to Mourn Not Your Dead, the fourth book in her excellent series about Duncan Kincaid, an inoffensively upper-class Scotland Yard superintendent, and Sergeant Gemma James, his rougher-edged partner and lover. In addition to her finely tuned ear for the subtler nuances of Britspeak, Crombie--a resident of Richardson, Texas--achieves a rare and therefore enviable balance between the details of her characters' private lives and the plot of each particular book. That delicate balance is especially welcome in Dreaming of the Bones, when Kincaid's former wife, Dr. Victoria McClellan, threatens his personal and professional equanimity. A Cambridge don, Vic has been writing a biography of poet Lydia Brooke, who claimed kinship to the distinguished World War I bard Rupert Brooke, and whose suicide five years before is now beginning to appear suspiciously like murder.
--The New York Times Book Review
"A story of death, obsession and secrets."
"An elegant, literary mystery...outstanding."
--Mystery Lovers Bookshop News
"Deborah Crombie at her best...This is a story of great depth and understanding."
"Dreaming of the Bones will make you cry and catch your breath in surprise."
--The Orlando Sentinel
"Haunting...The best book in an already accomplished series."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Nominated for the Edgar and the Agatha awards for The Year's Best Novel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.)
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!
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
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... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Sonja Harken
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2003 by Suzanne G. Bowles
Deborah Crombie gives a nice comfortable mystery story with several detours for one to ponder. Characters are very interesting people. This story was strange but well written. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2002
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... Read morePublished on Dec 25 2000 by Lynne
I was prepared to like this book very much indeed, having seen it recommended by a number of ordinarily trustworthy reviewers. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2000
Deborah Crombie gives us a very interesting plot. It's rare to read about the murder of one the main characters, but the author doesn't deceive you. Just great suspense reading. Read morePublished on June 14 1999
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. Read morePublished on March 16 1999 by neurondoc