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One day, I bought a Deborah Crombie book for my mother and she loved it, so I’ll buy her more and I didn’t even know they were part of a series!
Who Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are?
Born in Texas, Deborah Crombie went on a post-university trip to England that started her passion for Britain. She even immigrated to the UK for a while, before returning to Texas.
That’s where she started to write the first Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid/Sergeant Gemma James novel. The series became quite popular, winning awards and an international audience.
The series is set in London, England, and revolves around Duncan Kincaid, a Scotland Yard superintendent, and Gemma James, a sergeant. As their personal and professional relationship develops, Kincaid and James are working together to solve presumably unsolvable mysteries.
Kincaid and James Books in Order:
Every book in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- A Share in Death – 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. Kincaid’s keen sense of duty won’t allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James.
- All Shall Be Well – Perhaps it is a blessing when Jasmine Dent dies in her sleep. At long last an end has come to the suffering of a body horribly ravaged by disease. It may well have been suicide; she had certainly expressed her willingness to speed the inevitable. But small inconsistencies lead her neighbor, Duncan Kincaid, to a startling conclusion: Jasmine Dent was murdered.
- Leave the Grave Green – When Connor Swann, the dissolute son-in-law of influential Sir Gerald and Dame Caroline Asherton, is found floating in a Thames River lock, the circumstances eerily recall a strangely similar tragedy. Twenty years ago, the Ashertons’ young son, Matthew, drowned in a swollen stream while in the company of his sister Julia—Connor Swann’s wife. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James quickly discover that Connor’s death was no accident.
- Mourn Not Your Dead – The murder at Holmbury St Mary was not one that Duncan Kincaid would relish investigating. A man has been beaten to death in his own home. A man who just happened to be Commander Alastair Gilbert of the Metropolitan Police…
- Dreaming of the Bones – It is the call Duncan Kincaid never expected—and one he certainly doesn’t want. Victoria, his ex-wife, who walked out without an explanation more than a decade ago, asks him to look into the suicide of local poet, Lydia Brooke—a case that’s been officially closed for five years. The troubled young writer’s death, Victoria claims, might well have been murder.
- Kissed a Sad Goodbye – Duncan Kincaid has promised the weekend to Kit, the eleven-year-old son of his ex-wife. The son he never knew he fathered—who doesn’t yet know Kincaid’s true identity. But Duncan’s best intentions are shattered by an investigation that draws him in and swiftly consumes him. It seems to begin with the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman in an East London park.
- A Finer End – When Duncan Kincaid’s cousin Jack calls from Glastonbury to ask for his help on a rather unusual matter, Duncan welcomes the chance to spend a relaxing weekend outside of London with Gemma—but relaxation isn’t on the agenda. Glastonbury is revered as the site of a source of strong druid power. Jack has no more than a passing interest in its history—until he comes across an extraordinary chronicle almost a thousand years old. The record reveals something terrible and bloody shattered the abbey’s peace long ago—knowledge that will spark violence that reaches into the present.
- And Justice There Is None – Gemma James is adjusting to professional and personal changes that include her eagerly sought promotion to the rank of inspector—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.
- Now May You Weep – Newly appointed Detective Inspector Gemma James has never thought to question her friend Hazel Cavendish about her past. So it is quite a shock when Gemma learns that their holiday retreat to a hotel in the Scottish Highlands is Hazel’s homecoming—and that fellow guest Donald Brodie was once Hazel’s lover, despite a vicious, long-standing feud between their rival, fine whiskey distilling families. But when a sudden, brutal murder unleashes a slew of sinister secrets and long-seething hatreds, putting Hazel’s life in peril, Gemma knows she will need help unraveling this very bloody knot.
- In a Dark House – An abandoned Southwark warehouse burns and within it lies the charred corpse of a female body. At the same time, workers at Guy’s Hospital anxiously discuss the disappearance of a hospital administrator .And in an old, dark, rambling London house, nine-year-old Harriet’s awful fears won’t be silenced… Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid have their own pressing concerns. But they must put aside private matters to investigate these disturbing cases.
- Water Like a Stone – Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James take their sons to picturesque Cheshire for their first family Christmas with Duncan’s parents—a holiday both dreaded and anticipated. But not even the charming town of Nantwich and the dreaming canals can mask the tensions in Duncan’s family, which are tragically heightened by the discovery of an infant’s body hidden in the wall of an old dairy.
- Where Memories Lie – Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James find themselves drawn into a web of deceit and treachery that has its roots in the turmoil of 1939, as England and Germany hover on the brink of war. Gemma learns that her friend Erika Rosenthal lost a valuable brooch during her escape from Berlin, a piece made by her father, a noted Art Deco jeweler.
- Necessary as Blood – Artist Sandra Gilles has made a name for herself and a secure place for her mixed-race family in Brick Lane’s vibrant community. But then Sandra disappears without a trace, leaving behind her three-year-old daughter, and her shocked and grieving husband is the prime suspect. When he vanishes as well, Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid must examine of the terrible and irreparable consequences of greed and temptation.
- Nocturne (Short Story) – A very short and optional story (only 12 pages) that leads into the next novel, No Mark Upon Her.
- No Mark Upon Her – When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman’s body tangled up with debris in the river, Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. She was a high-ranking detective with the Met—a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.
- The Sound of Broken Glass – When Detective Inspector James joins forces with Detective Inspector Melody Talbot to solve the murder of an esteemed barrister, their investigation leads them to realize that nothing is what it seems—with the crime they’re investigating and their own lives.
- To Dwell in Darkness – Recently transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters, Duncan Kincaid and his new murder investigation team are called to a deadly bombing at historic St. Pancras Station. As Kincaid begins to gather the facts, he finds every piece of the puzzle yields an unexpected pattern, including the disappearance of a mysterious bystander.
- Garden of Lamentations – On a beautiful morning in mid-May, the body of a young woman is found in one of Notting Hill’s private gardens. To passersby, the pretty girl in the white dress looks as if she’s sleeping. But Reagan Keating has been murdered, and the lead detective, DI Kerry Boatman, turns to Gemma James for help.
- A Bitter Feast – Duncan, Gemma, and their children are guests at Beck House, the country estate belonging to the family of Melody Talbot, Gemma’s trusted detective sergeant. A centerpiece of this glorious fall getaway is a posh charity luncheon catered by up-and-coming chef Viv Holland. Attended by several dozen of the area’s well-to-do, as well as national food bloggers and restaurant critics, the event could make Viv a star. But a tragic car accident followed by a series of mysterious deaths could ruin her ascent.
- A Killing of Innocents – On a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she’s been stabbed. Kincaid immediately calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crimes which are on the rise.
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