An early effort from Deborah Crombie, a master of detective fiction

A Share in Death is from Deborah Crombie.

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.

You might also enjoy my posts:

For an abundance of great mystery stories, go to Top 20 suspenseful detective novels (plus 200 more). And if you’re looking for exciting historical novels, check out Top 10 historical mysteries and thrillers reviewed here (plus 100 others).

And you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, plus a guide to this whole site, on the Home Page.

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A mystery writer can have a bad day, can’t she? | Mal Warwick's Blog on Books - 8 years ago

[…] In her police procedurals set in England, Deborah Crombie has generally done an unusually good job of writing convincing and engaging mystery novels — despite the fact that she’s a native Texan and lives in a Texas town. On most of my previous excursions into the lives of Crombie’s protagonists, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, I’ve enjoyed myself immensely. (See my reviews of Now May You Weep, And Justice There Is None, and In a Dark House.) However, The Sound of Broken Glass is a disappointment, as was Crombie’s first effort, A Share in Death. […]

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