A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #1) by Deborah Crombie, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #1)

A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #1)

3.9 38
by Deborah Crombie
     
 

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A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary,

Overview

A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised dramatically when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon who enjoys homicide a bit too much.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This polished mystery seems more the work of a seasoned genre master than the first novel it is. Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid, spending his vacation from Scotland Yard at a Yorkshire time-share along with several other guests, finds his holiday anything but relaxing. Immediately after he arrives at the elegant estate, he overhears a heated argument between the snobbish caretaker and her sarcastic assistant manager. Late that evening, the assistant is electrocuted in the Jacuzzi. To the consternation of Yorkshire police, Kincaid assumes an active role in the investigation, which becomes more urgent after two more deaths. Meanwhile, Sgt. Gemma James, a pragmatic single mother charmed by Kincaid's unpretentious demeanor and bachelor status, digs for additional clues in London. Crombie, a Texan, has written a convincingly British whodunit, limning Kincaid and James with the ease and authority of one who has already completed several installments in a series. Readers will surely welcome follow-up appearances. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This talented American debuts with an energetic ``British'' mystery. When New Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid finally takes a well-deserved vacation at a Yorkshire time-share resort, he becomes involved in the murder of an employee there. He enlists the aid of his London partner, Sergeant Gemma James, and the two gather enough material to weed through the resident/suspect young politician, spinster sister, adulterous lovers, etc. Great continuity, clever plotting, and hidden agendas all contribute to a successful novel.
Emily Melton
Detective Inspector Duncan Kincaid is finally taking a holiday from his stress-filled job at Scotland Yard. He plans to relax, walk on the moors, and do some sightseeing, but this is a crime novel, after all, and vacations "never" go according to plan in crime novels. On Kincaid's second day at the time-share condo he's rented in the north of England, the assistant manager is found electrocuted in the whirlpool. Then a guest is bludgeoned to death on the tennis court. Kincaid is sure the killer is one of the guests at the condo, but he's puzzled by the lack of motive, the dissimilarity between the two victims, and the different methods the murderer used. It takes the near-death of another guest before Kincaid realizes he's been looking in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons. But his quick thinking and fast action expose the ruthless murderer and uncover the surprising motive. This is a thoroughly entertaining mystery with a cleverly conceived and well-executed plot; there are also some nice humorous touches, and, best of all, Kincaid is a likable, intelligent, and perceptive chap.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451617627
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Series:
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
48,493
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

A Share in Death


By Deborah Crombie

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Deborah Crombie All right reserved. ISBN: 0060534389

Chapter One

Duncan Kincaid's holiday began well. As he turned the car into the lane, a shaft of sun broke through the clouds and lit a patch of rolling Yorkshire moor as if someone had thrown the switch on a celestial spotlight.

Drystone walls ran like pale runes across the brilliant green of pasture, where luminous sheep nibbled, unconcerned with their importance in the composition. The scene seemed set off in time as well as space, and gave him the sensation of viewing a living tapestry, a world remote and utterly unattainable. The clouds shifted again, the vision fading as swiftly as it had come, and he felt an odd shiver of loss at its passing.

The last few weeks' grind must be catching up with him, he thought, shrugging away the faint sense of foreboding. New Scotland Yard didn't officially require newly promoted Detective Superintendents to work themselves into early coronaries, but August Bank Holiday had slipped easily into September, and he'd gone right on accumulating his time off. Something always came up, and the last case had been particularly beastly.

A string of bodies in rural Sussex, all women, all similarly mutilated - a policeman's worst nightmare. They'd found him in the end, a real nutter, but there was no guarantee that the evidence they'd sopainstakingly gathered would convince a bleeding-heart jury, and the senselessness of it took most of the satisfaction from finishing up the mountain of paperwork.

"Lovely way to spend your Saturday night," Gemma James, Kincaid's sergeant, had said the evening before as they waded through the last of the case files.

"Tell the recruiters that. I doubt it occurred to them." Kincaid grinned at her across his littered desk. Gemma wouldn't grace a poster at the moment, her face white with fatigue, carbon smudge like a bruise along her cheekbone.

She puffed out her cheeks and blew at the wisps of red hair that straggled into her eyes. "You're just as well out of it for a week. Too bad some of us don't have cousins with posh holiday flats, or whatever it is."

"Do I detect a trace of envy?"

"You're off to Yorkshire tomorrow, and I'm off home to do a week's worth of washing and go round the shops? Can't imagine why." Gemma smiled at him with her usual good humor, but when she spoke next her voice held a trace of motherly concern. "You look knackered. It's about time you had a break. It'll do you a world of good, I'm sure."

Such solicitousness from his sergeant, ten years his junior, amused Kincaid, but it was a new experience and he found he didn't really object. He'd pushed for his promotion because it meant getting away from the desk and out into the field again, but he'd begun to think that the best thing about it might be the acquisition of Sergeant Gemma James. In her late twenties, divorced, raising a small son on her own - Gemma's good-natured demeanor, Kincaid was discovering, concealed a quick mind and a fierce ambition.

"I don't think it's exactly my cup of tea," he said, shuffling the last loose sheets of paper into a file folder. "A timeshare."

"Your cousin, is it, who arranged this for you?" Kincaid nodded. "His wife's expecting and their doctor's decided at the last moment that she shouldn't leave London, so they thought of me, rather than let their week go to waste."

"Fortune," Gemma had countered, teasing him a bit, "has a way of picking on the less deserving."

Too tired even for their customary after work stop at the pub, Gemma had gone off to Leyton, and Kincaid had stumbled home to his Hampstead flat and slept the dreamless sleep of the truly exhausted. And now, deserving or not, he intended to make the most of this unexpected gift.

As he hesitated at the top of the lane, still unsure of his direction, the sun came through fully and beat down upon the roof of the car. Suddenly it was a perfect late September day, warm and golden, full of promise. "A propitious omen for a holiday," he said aloud, and felt some of his weariness drop away. Now, if only he could find Followdale House. The arrow for Woolsey-under-Bank pointed directly across a sheep pasture. Time to consult the map again.

He drove slowly, elbow out the Midget's open window, breathing in the spicy scent of the hedgerows and watching for some indication that he was on the right track. The lane wound past occasional farms, squarely and sturdily built in gray, Yorkshire slate, and above them the moor stretched fingers of woodland enticingly down into the pastures. Crisp nights must have preceded this blaze of Indian summer, as the trees were already turning, the copper and gold interspersed with an occasional splash of green. In the distance, above the patchwork of field and pasture and low moorland, the ground rose steeply away to a high bank.

Rounding a curve, Kincaid found himself at the head of a picture-book village. Stone cottages hugged the lane, and pots and planters filled with geraniums and petunias trailed cascades of color into the road. On his right, a massive stone half-circle bore the legend "Woolsey-under-Bank." The high rise of land, now seeming to hang over the village, must be Sutton Bank.

A few yards further on his left, a gap in the high hedge revealed a stone gate-post inset with a brass plaque. The inscription read "Followdale," and beneath it was engraved a curving, full-blown rose. Kincaid whistled under his breath. Very posh indeed, he thought as he turned the car into the narrow gateway and stopped on the gravel forecourt ...

(Continues...)


Excerpted from A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
Copyright © 2003 by Deborah Crombie
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

What People are saying about this

Peter Robinson
"Crombie handles the elements of a traditional mystery with a skill of an experienced writer."
Barbara D'Amato
"If you love the classic mystery form - and I certainly do - you must meet Superintendent Duncan Kincaid...He's a winner!"
Bill Crider
"Deborah Crombie is not just a new writer to watch; she's a new writer to read - and the sooner the better."

Meet the Author

Deborah Crombie is a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, two cats, and two German shepherds.

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