As a fan of Deborah Crombie’s intricately woven mysteries featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, I seized on A Share in Death as an opportunity to read the backstory, much earlier in their careers than in the more recent novels. I was disappointed.
The first book from Deborah Crombie about her English detectives
A Share in Death, set in an isolated timeshare hotel in Yorkshire, reads as little different from the old-school parlor tales of Agatha Christie and her imitators. By comparison, Crombie’s later novels are rich with suspense, historical detail, and characters that are hard to forget. With all the suspects holed up as virtual captives in one spot, A Share in Death becomes an elaborate guessing game. All that’s missing is the climax set in the living room, where the triumphant detective announces to looks of astonishment who the killer really is.
In the future, I’ll stick with Crombie’s more mature writing.
A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James #1) by Deborah Crombie @@@ (3 out of 5)
About the author
Texas-based Deborah Crombie has written 17 Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones mysteries as of 2017, and she doesn’t yet appear to be done with the series.
For additional reading
For one of her more successful efforts, go to Why read mystery stories? Author Deborah Crombie offers good reasons. Another is at Uncovering corruption at Scotland Yard.
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