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Dreaming of the Bones  By  cover art

Dreaming of the Bones

By: Deborah Crombie
Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
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Publisher's summary

Often compared to both Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, Deborah Crombie is internationally acclaimed for her deftly written mysteries that combine suspense, with lyrical prose. Sharply etched characters further enrich this story of tangled relationships and dark secrets. Twelve years after their divorce, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid receives a phone call from his ex-wife Victoria asking for his help. While working on a biography of the late poet Lydia Brooke, she has uncovered information that has her convinced Lydia's suicide five years ago was really murder. As Duncan begins his investigation, another murder occurs closer to home. Now he finds himself frantically searching for clues in Lydia's complicated past to find the killer before he strikes again. Award-winning author Deborah Crombie has crafted a beautifully written, multilayered mystery that leaves you gasping with surprise. Jenny Sterlin's narration deftly creates an air of suspense while capturing every nuance of the language.
©1997 Deborah Crombie (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Dreaming of the Bones

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story ruined by the narration

Any additional comments?

I always enjoy the books in this series, but I had to stop listening to this one and read it instead. The background narration was fine, as was Gemma's dialogue, but when reading dialogue for the other characters she gave them all the same exaggerated accent that reminded me of Katharine Hepburn at her comic best. It was almost impossible to follow a conversation with everybody sounding pretty much the same. Ms Sterlin's voice is not unpleasant, I just think she was the wrong choice for this book. With so many characters, the book needed a narrator who could give them distinctive voices.

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24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

calling all English majors

if you studied English and loved poetry, you're in luck with this book. The story centers around a poet and there are frequent quotations from the poems of Rupert Brook. I almost gave up on it during the first couple of chapters, because English was decidedly NOT my favorite class in school, and I abhor artsy poetry in particular. I stuck it out only because once I find an author I like, I always read his or her books in sequence.
I'm glad i didn't give up on this. The plot became more interesting as the story wore on. Around the middle of the book there is another death, and suddenly it became a page-turner. In addition, it contains essential background info concerning Kincaid's personal life, which I would have missed if I had given up and skipped to the next book in the series.
The author has mastered the disdainful upper-class drawl of the cultured English snob.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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A story to satisfy

Listen to the sample, the narrator is fine - More than fine. She is good. The problem is she is new. You may start out a series and get attached to a narrator's voice and you feel let down when he/she is replaced. I felt that about the Bernie Gunther series because I adore John Lee's voice. This is a good book, kept me guessing and I enjoyed Ms. Sterlin's reading. It is harder, I feel, for a woman to do men's voices, but they can and do. Enjoy.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A subtle british procedural

Deborah Crombie weaves a complex and subtle tale, with many characters, some of which I lost track of at times but later recovered. A multiple murder occurring over several years unfolds against the backdrop of Cambridge and the wonderful poetry of Rupert Brooke. My only complaint would be the characterization of a 12 year child as an adult. Otherwise, this is a wonderful book.

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14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Reader Not Recommended

I really hate to say this, but I think Jenny Sterlin has done Dreaming of the Bones a real disservice. It sounds like she's just reading the material for the first time and trying out different ways to present each character. The result is that none of the characters have an identifiable voice and sometimes the accent and the tone in any particular scene is just all wrong. She drawls a lot and sometimes has an arch tone so it sounds like the words she's reading were written by Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde. A mess.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Poetry is not for me

I have really enjoyed this series until this one. There is a lot of poetry by Rupert Brooke and I know I should have enjoyed it but I found it a mostly boring story. I love the characters & will continue on.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best so far

I'm listening to the Kincaid-James series in chronological order. This is the fifth of fourteen so far published, and, like each of its predecessors, it just gets better from book to book. At first I thought this one was rather slow, but it becomes riveting as the novel proceeds. I recommend it very highly, and if you have the time and money, I'd also recommend that your begin by listening to the books in order if you haven't done so already.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Overall an Excellent Piece of Detective Fiction

Would you listen to Dreaming of the Bones again? Why?

I would listen again but prefer a different narrator.

What did you like best about this story?

Lots of twists and turn. This is a dark and very well written British crime story.

What aspect of Jenny Sterlin’s performance would you have changed?

All the male characters sound incredibly pompous and arrogant. I had a hard time LIKING Duncan Kincaid because of the style of his voice. :-(

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No but it did make me think.

Any additional comments?

Deborah Crombie is a fine writer. She ranks up there with Martha Grimes.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A laid back detective novel

I enjoyed this book in spite of the narrator, who used the same nasal, annoying drawl for almost every male character. Since I listened to Laurie King's Sherlock Holmes series (which Ms. Sterlin also narrated) before this book, I also had to keep reminding myself that Sherlock was NOT in this story. Most British accents are much easier to listen to, but this exaggeration is totally disappointing.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Consummate bore - horrid.

The best comment about this book is a quote from Tony Hillerman: “Literary fiction is where not much happens to people you don’t like very much.”

Nothing happens. Nobody is likable -- what IS it, anyway, that causes women to go bonkers over female poets who kill themselves? I don't understand it -- and I clearly don't care to spend any more time trying.

Deborah Crombie has written some very good books -- detective fiction, where things actually do happen, and the people are at least tolerable. This? Completely without merit.

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6 people found this helpful