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

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

by Deborah Crombie

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060534387
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/06/2003
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 132,375
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

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

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.

Table of Contents

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."

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A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This may be a promising start to a new series, but I found this book quite simplistic (written at about Grade 4 level,) and the coincidences were a bit too much! Kinkaid appears to be a lame duck since he thinks romantically about both single women that he meets during the course of solving the murder. Also, I knew that it was an American author writing an English procedural (a la Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes), but I found that the story did not sound English and the characters did not sound and act like the English. It didn't ring true. I will attempt to read another book in the series to see if it gets better. I was looking forward to beginning this series after I had read some of the reviews, so I am disappointed.
danja More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy a good mystery. A share in death did not disappoint. would recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great first book of a series. I look forward to reading all the rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now i know classic english turned noir
RavenKR More than 1 year ago
This is my first Deborah Crombie novel and I enjoyed reading it. In this mystery Duncan Kincaid takes advantage of a free stay at a posh resort which a family member cannot use. Instead of a vacation, it turns out to be a job for him to help the local police solve several murders which happen there. You have no idea who the murderer is until the very end. There are so many suspects. I would definitely recommend this book and this author to mystery lovers.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Many friends have convinced me that I needed to start reading the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mysteries.  Great suggestion!  Just finished book one, and am surprised how wonderfully well written this English cozy was done for a first time author.  Definitely fits that fun place that Agatha Christie developed for me. Glad there are so many more out there to be read. Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is vacation at a friend's timeshare---or at least, that was his plan before a dead body showed up in the whirlpool.  Even though this happened in someone else's district, Kincaid can't help but become involved when the local constabulary seems to be more interested in snubbing Kincaid than solving a murder.  Soon, Kincaid calls upon his mate, Gemma James, to do some needed investigating too. The cast of characters was distinctly quirky, and the clues abounded, but I was still surprised by the final results. A sign of good things to come.  Definitely left me NOT wanting to go on a "time share" vacation any time soon!!  Looking forward to the developing relationship between Kincaid and James also.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me wanting more time to read. Always my way to judge how much I love a particular book. And to answer about the 2010 pub date, it's the date of the publication of the ebook. All new issues of a title requires a pub date that reflects the new version. Book the same just another version.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This is a series I'm going to want to read every one of. A great british police procedural. In this first episode we meet Duncan Kincaid, of New Scotland yard, recently promoted to Superintendent detective. Kincaid is vacationing in Yorkshire when he becomes embroiled in a series of murders and attempted murders. Crombie gives us many suspects, good motivation, a well developed plot, a great sense of place, and doesn't give us enough to solve the mystery until quite near the end.We also meet, very slightly, Gemma James, Kincaid's detective sergeant who is still back in London holding down the fort while Kincaid tries to avoid the wrath of the local police force who resent NSY's nosing in.It's a great beginning story, and promises lots more. I've read another so I know they get even better. I can't wait to have another helping.
jonesli on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Sometimes when I receive a book through Bookmooch it looks so good that I start reading it immediately and before I know it, I've finished it. This book was one of those instances.This is my first time reading this author and this book is the first in the Gemma and Duncan series. Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is spending a week's vacation in a Yorkshire time share when two people are killed and another is in danger. He tries to help the local police solve the crime before anyone else is hurt, but is met with resistance at just about every turn.This book has a well written plot with good character development, although at one point it was a little difficult for me to keep track of all of them. I have to admit that for me, the ending came out of nowhere.I look forward to continuing with this series.
FicusFan on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This is the first book of the series and the first book of Crombie's that I have read. This series was the choice of my RL Mystery Book Group, or I would never have picked it up.Overall it got better as it went along. Once the first murder happened the story took off. Prior to that it was very shallow, with standard little shots of set-up. Lets lay out character, place, and victims and try to guess who is going to be murdered, and who is the killer. There was no actual story with any depth, independent of waiting for murder and mayhem. The idea that these characters were actual people with any life off the page was non-existent. Many of the characters were shallow and forgettable. In fact it was one of those books that you can't keep them all straight, who is who, which are related, and what their claim to fame was. You also didn't really care about the loss of the murder victims from the story. Just not anyone for the reader to develop any emotional connections. The memorable characters were more likely to be cliches than to have any depth.The detecting was good, as was the interaction of Kincaid with the local police, and the remaining guests at the time share. Keeping James at a distance basically doing scut work was a disappointment. The whole idea of the series is that they are a team that works together.The mystery was very low key and not something I saw coming. The clues were there, but very subtle.I have one more of her books, that was recommended as the best of the series (Dreaming the Bones). I will read it, but after that I am probably done with Crombie. Just too many other really good books to read.
bknrd on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I fell in love with Deborah Crombie many years ago when I was living in Texas. Gemma and Duncan are a fantastic crime fighting duo. The characters have developed well over the series and I just love coming back each time a new titles comes out. Crombie really has a feel for London. I began reading the series after a trip to London and it too me right back. . Then come to find out, Crombie lives in North Texas. Check this series out! You will love it.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie is the first in her series featuring Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and DS Gemma James. A smartly written, fast paced, traditional mystery that made me think of Agatha Christie crossed with Elizabeth George. More modern than Christie, and without the angst of George.Having been offered a week at a luxurious time-share in Yorkshire, Duncan Kincaid is taking a well earned break but when fellow guests start being murdered, he can¿t help but get involved. Pulling some strings to ease the feelings of the local police, and bringing his assistant into the case, Duncan begins to investigate both guests and staff. The interesting, slightly mismatched team of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones sparks my interest. This relationship looks to be developed as the series continues and I am interested to find out where it is going.I thought this was a good start to this series. If you like your cozy mysteries with a slight edge, I would recommend you give this series a try.
ccayne on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Another in my self-education of mystery writers. This is the first in the Kincaid/James series and mimics a classic locked room mystery. I did not figure out who the culprit was but I enjoyed the ride. The characters were great and the pacing was good. This is a good choice for those who don't like gritty mysteries but might want something a bit above a typical cozy.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First Deborah Crombe book for me. Won't be my last. A great murder mystery set in a vacation timeshare in England.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. (There's nothing quite like a good "British mystery"!) It was a good plot, and I liked the characters. I also think it was a good first book in a series. I'm certainly no stranger to mysteries, but this kept me guessing until the end. I will definitely read more by Deborah Crombie.
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I've read a later book in this series that I enjoyed more. 
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