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Publisher's Summary

Gemma James is adjusting to professional and personal changes - and a future now intricately entwined with Duncan Kincaid. But her new responsibilities are put to the test when she is placed in charge of a particularly brutal homicide: The lovely young wife of a wealthy antiques dealer has been found murdered on fashionable Notting Hill.

The main focus of Gemma's investigation is Karl Arrowood, who had the most powerful motive for killing his unfaithful wife. But this case sets off warning bells for Duncan: It's far too similar to an unsolved murder in which an antiques dealer was killed in precisely the same way.

Investigate more mysterious doings with Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James.
©2002 Deborah Crombie. (P)2010 BBC Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Constance
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 08-25-11

Great story, well narrated

Loved this good story, which unfolds layer by layer. The writing is literate---not Dorothy Sayers good or John Le Carre good, just plain solid, entertaining, interesting good. If you've listened to all the super-star literate mysteries then try the Deborah Crombie series that features a sympathetic, smart, not-too-hard-boiled, but just tough enough woman detective. Narration is excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Possibly my favorite

Love the way Deborah Crombie braids the past and present together throughout the book. It took great skill to write a novelette within a novel that takes you through some fifty years of storyline so well. All believable and interesting. Many surprises in this one and a bitter sweet ending.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • judith
  • clemson, SC, United States
  • 12-11-12

Deborah Crombie is always a favorite!

This was not Deborah Crombie's first in the series, but I liked hearing the male reader, as opposed the the females, who have read most of her works.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the best in this series

I have read in print all the Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid books over the years, and I'm going back now and listening to them. And I think this was one of the best in the series.

It starts with the murder of antiques dealer in fashionable Notting Hill, but Doug connects it to a similar murder that occurred previously to another antiques dealer elsewhere. As they are investigating these murders, another, slightly mysterious story, is also taking place, weaving in and out of the main one, about a family from Trinidad. Crombie handles the two plot lines very smoothly.

This is also a turning point for the characters in the series, as pregnant Gemma with her son Toby move in with Duncan and his newly-reunited son Kit, as they have decided to be a family. This proves to be a very moving part of the whole story.

I've always liked this series, though later books seem to have more filler and less mystery. I think this one still has a perfect combination of mystery and character development. Recommend!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Marjorie
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 11-04-15

So many characters! So confusing!

Although I really like this series, I felt like I needed a detailed program to keep track of all the characters. The time jumps were equally befuddling, and perhaps were easier to follow in written form. by the time I finished I was still confused about one of the main characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Skillful Blend of Past and Present

So far I've loved everything about this series. Main characters Duncan Kincaid and Jemma James are interesting, complex characters who have changed and matured as the series progressed.

The story lines are intricate, but not confusing. The pace of the stories is steady, but not overwhelming. In this book Debra Crombie once again skillfully weaves elements from the past into the current mystery. There is tragedy, but there is also hope.

Narrator Michael Deehy is excellent. The tone of his voice is pleasing, his diction is excellent.

I look forward to listening to more books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Decent British police procedural, but drags.

4.5 years ago, I listened to #2, All Shall Be Well. I rather liked it, but my comments there are equally applicable to this book. "While I enjoyed the book, I found it slow and tedious at times. Further, the conclusion, while pulling together various characters and unresolved questions, also draws a rabbit out of the hat." In #8, Gemma is no longer with Scotland Yard, but is a DCI. The main difference is that (1) she is pregnant with Duncan's baby and (2) they move in together. Nevertheless, Duncan finds a way to involve himself in the case, and Gemma professes to enjoy working with him again. Their relationship seems to be more one of convenience than excitement.

Michael Deehy (aka Gerard Doyle) give his usual excellent reading.

I know Crombie has her ardent fans, and that's fine, but the MC's seem kind of drab to me. I won't be rushing out to grab another in the series.

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Not One of Her Best

I'm a big fan of this series but this was a disappointment. There were too many characters and two of the many were even known by two names! Usually when I encounter this, I make a note in a tablet with a list so I can keep them straight, but didn't realize the problem soon enough. Subplot about Carl's sons from an earlier marriage was only there for red herrings and just muddied the waters.

Another problem was that the story went back and forth between present and past without a warning.

Lastly, I am always unhappy when there are too many coincidences. For example: Adam has affair with Dawn, not knowing his biological father is Dawn's husband Carl.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the forward movement of the Gemma/Duncan relationship although references were made throughout to past events without explanation. What happened to Kit's mother, etc. Fortunately I had read the book that came before in the series so I knew what happened to Kit's mother already.

I didn't have trouble finishing the book, but it just was a bit aggravating.

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Great writing and performance

This series is beautifully written with elegant prose. I'm so glad that Michael Deehy has returned as the narrator. He did a great job at the beginning of the series, and I was disappointed with the change midway. He performs the characters nicely, and makes clear who is speaking at any given time--something that hasn't been true with the interim reader.