Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #12)

Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #12)

by Deborah Crombie


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061986635
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/29/2010
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #12
Pages: 295
Sales rank: 224,204
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(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.

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Where Memories Lie LP
A Novel Chapter One

The vast stucco palaces of Kensington Park Road and the adjoining streets had long ago been converted into self-contained flats where an ever-increasing stream of refugees from every part of the once civilized world had found improvised homes, like the dark-age troglodytes who sheltered in the galleries and boxes of the Colosseum.
Sir Osbert Lancaster,
All Done from Memory, 1963

The day was utterly miserable for early May, even considering the expected vagaries of English weather. At a few minutes to four in the afternoon, it was dark as twilight, and the rain came down in relentless, pounding sheets. The gusts of wind had repeatedly turned Henri Durrell's umbrella wrong side out, so he had given up, and trudged down the Old Brompton Road with his head down and his shoulders hunched against the torrent, trying to avoid losing an eye to carelessly wielded umbrellas that had proved stronger than his own, and dodging the waves thrown up by passing automobiles.

Pain shot through his hip and he slowed, wincing. He was near ing eighty, and the damp did quite unpleasant things to his joints, even without the stress of an unaccustomed jog.

What had he been thinking? He should have stayed at the V&A until closing, then perhaps the worst of the storm would have blown through. He'd met a friend at the museum's café for Saturday-afternoon tea, always a pleasant treat, but his haste in leaving had been inspired by his desire to get home to his flat in Roland Gardens and its seductive comforts—his book; a stiff whisky;the gas fire; and his cat, Matilde.

Jostled by a hurrying passerby, Henri stopped to recover his balance and found himself gazing into the windows of Harrowby's, the auction house. A poster advertised an upcoming sale of Art Deco jewelry. An avid collector, Henri usually kept up with such things, but he had been away for a spring holiday in his native Burgundy—where the sun had shone, thank God—and missed notice of this one.

The auction was to take place the following Wednesday, he saw with relief. He could still buy a catalog and peruse it thoroughly—if he hadn't missed the four o'clock closing time, that is. A quick glance at his watch showed one minute to the hour. Henri shook his wet umbrella, showering himself in the process, and dashed through Harrowby's still-open doors.

A few minutes later, he emerged, cheered by his acquisition and a friendly chat with the woman at reception. The rest of his walk home seemed less laborious, even though the rain had not abated. He toweled himself off and changed into dry socks and slippers, with Matilde impeding the process by purring and butting against his ankles. He decided on tea rather than whisky, the better to ward off a chill, and when the pot had steeped he lit the gas fire and settled himself in his favorite chair, the catalog resting carefully on his knees. It was beautifully produced, as Harrowby's catalogs always were—the house had never been known to lack style—and Henri opened it with a sigh of pleasure. Making room for the insistent cat, he thumbed through the pages, his breath catching at the beauty of the pieces. He had taught art history before his recent retirement, and something about the clean, innovative shapes of this period appealed to him above all others.

Here, the master artists were well represented; a diamond and sapphire pendant by Georges Fouquet, a diamond cocktail ring by Rene Boivin—

Then his hand froze. An entry caught his eye, and his heart gave an uncomfortable flutter. Surely that couldn't be possible?

He studied the photo more closely. Henri appreciated color, so diamonds alone had never thrilled him as much as pieces that set platinum against the red, blue, or green of rubies, sapphires, or emeralds, but this—

The brooch was made of diamonds set in platinum, a double drop that reminded him of a waterfall or the swoop of a peacock's tail. The curving style was unusual for Art Deco, where the emphasis had been highly geometric. But the date of the piece was late, 1938, and the name—the name he recognized with a jolt that sent the blood pounding through his veins.

Shaking his head, he stood, dumping Matilde unceremoniously from his lap. Then he hesitated. Should he ask to view the piece before taking any action? But no, the auction house would be closed now until Monday, and he doubted a mistake in the attribution, or in his memory.

He slipped the catalog carefully back into its bag and carried it into the hall, where he donned his wet boots and coat once again, and reluctantly left the shelter of his flat.

"Why the bloody hell did it have to rain?" Gemma James dropped supermarket carrier bags on her kitchen table and pushed a sodden strand of hair from her face. Rivulets from the bags pooled on the scrubbed pine table. Grabbing a tea towel, Gemma blotted up the water as Duncan Kincaid set down his own load of dripping plastic.

"Because it's May in London?" he asked, grinning. "Or because the patron saint of dinner parties has it in for you?"

She swatted at him with the damp towel, but smiled in spite of herself. "Okay, point taken. But seriously, I meant to do the flowers from our garden, and now that's out. Not to mention that between boys and dogs, the house will be a sea of mud."

"The boys are with Wesley, probably making themselves sick on Wesley's mother's sweets and watching God knows what on the telly. As for the dogs, I will personally wipe every trace of muck from errant paws, and I can run down and get flowers from one of the stalls on Portobello." He slipped his arm round her shoulders. "Don't worry, love. You'll be brilliant."

Where Memories Lie LP
A Novel
. Copyright © by Deborah Crombie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #12) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a series best read in order, as the personal development of Inspector Kincaid and Gemma James is integral to all of Crombie's novels. As a long time reader, I found it it a relief to see these characters get their heads together after taking turns at severe relationship anxiety. Well plotted, the novel moves smoothly back and forth between investigation of a modern crime and flashbacks to the roots of that crime in the period surrounding World War I. Crombie's period detail is always admirable, and this is no exception.
harstan More than 1 year ago
David and Erika Rosenthal escaped from Nazi Germany during WWII. They settled in London where she became a professor and he a philosopher until he was murdered in 1952 while investigating neo Nazi sympathizers his homicide remains an unsolved cold case. Erika is stunned when family friend Henri Durrell shows her a diamond brooch in a Harrowby¿s auction catalogue because they recognize the name and the picture as hers, lost, probably stolen, years ago.------- Erika asks her friend Police Inspector Gemma James to investigate Gemma and her Scotland Yard partner Duncan Kincaid activate the cold case to investigate how the brooch got to the auction house. However the case is already odd as auction house clerk Kristin Cahill died in a mysterious hit and run. Soon others involved in the sale also die as the cops know WWII, 1952, and the present tie together but struggle with finding the culprit anyway.---------------- This is an exciting English police procedural filled with growing tension from the moment a distraught Erika calls Gemma. The story line is fast-paced even when the plot flashbacks to 1952 focusing on David¿s inquiries into Neo-Nazis. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this strong tale as Deborah Crombie provides a wonderful investigative thriller.-------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I have just begun reading this particular book, "Where Memories Lie", I have read all of the preceding books of the series. I have enjoyed the series tremendously and I would recommend these books to anyone who likes a good mystery in the form of a classic "who done it".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in the series and findthem and this in particular to be engrossing and a great read. Great character development as well as good story.
TexasGrandmaKK More than 1 year ago
The historical details were interesting but in the first 1/3 of the book the plot was very slow moving and extremely confusing. I much prefer Victoria Thompson's or Charles Todd's historical mysteries as they keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Crombie's book was much better in the final 1/3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lyrical and absorbing.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
Layers upon layers of connecting mysteries made this a most compelling book. Starting with an art deco diamond brooch from Gemma’s friend Erika’s past, the story moves through auction house and library to Nazi Germany, with fraud and mysterious death in the wake. Gemma’s mother’s illness is a second plot, family love and problems and big decisions. I’ve learned to make a little list of characters, to help keep everything straight . . . well worth the effort. I’m glad to know more books remain in this series. A satisfying ending to this book left me looking forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an exciting and at the same time tragic book. And about Emma's dear friend. It was interesting to view a little of England immediately post WWII. I really enjoyed this addition. Each book in the series is better than the last.
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