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A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060534389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060534387
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deborah Crombie grew up near Dallas, Texas, but from a child always had the inexplicable feeling that she belonged in England. After earning a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, she made her first trip to Britain and felt she'd come home. She later lived in both Chester, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland, where she failed to make as good a use of being cold and poor as JK Rowling.

It was not until almost a decade later that, living once more in Texas and raising her small daughter, she had the idea for her first novel, a mystery set in Yorkshire. She had no credentials other than a desire to write and a severe case of homesickness for Britain. A Share in Death, published in 1993, was short-listed for both Agatha and Macavity awards for Best First Novel and was awarded the Macavity.

Crombie's fifth novel, Dreaming of the Bones, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1997, was named by the Independent Mystery Booksellers as one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century, was an Edgar nominee for Best Novel, and won the Macavity award for Best Novel.

Subsequent novels have been published to critical acclaim and in a dozen languages. Crombie's fourteenth novel featuring Metropolitan Police detectives Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Inspector Gemma James, No Mark Upon Her, will be published by Harper Collins in February 2012.

The author still lives in Texas but spends several months out of the year in Britain, maintaining a precarious balance between the two, and occasionally confusing her cultural references.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By booknblueslady on December 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deborah Crombie's first book A Share in Death in her series about Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid and his Sergeant Gemma James shows great promise for the series. Duncan is taking advantage of a vacation at a timeshare in Yorkshire which his cousin has offered him. He looks forward to the week away from his professional responsibilities. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that it will not be as relaxing as planned when Duncan discovers a body in the jacuzzi. Duncan realizes that he will have to participate in some capacity with the investigation for it to be resolve successfully.
It is a classic plot for a mystery with all of the suspects in one spot and forced to examine each others motives. People's mistakes lead them in to further danger. They begin to suspect each other and emotions heighten . To aid in the investigation, Duncan sends his capable sergeant Gemma on a fact-finding tour about the resident guests of the time share.
Characters are done with interest and the reader is caught up hoping that some are not involved in the felony and that others will not perish. Crombie skillfully uncovers a bit of information at a time until it is clear who the culprit is and there is the right amount of tension in hoping for apprehension.
At the conclusion of the book the reader is ready to read the next of the series.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stan Vernooy on April 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is exactly what most readers of "cozy" mysteries want when they sit down to read a new book. Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid is on holiday at a time-sharing resort in Yorkshire when the assistant manager of the resort is electrocuted in the swimming pool. The local police official, who is both obnoxious and incompetent, is predictably unhappy with Kincaid's presence, and Kincaid compounds the situation with his inability to restrain his curiosity. A second murder soon follows, and a third seems imminent.
There are ample suspects, some of them likeable and some downright nasty. Every character seems to have at least a minor skeleton in his or her closet, and Crombie keeps the reader asking why Mr. X did that, or why Ms. Y was where she was at such-and-such a time - all the elements you're supposed to have when reading a mystery.
In short, nothing spectacularly memorable here, but a debut for Ms. Crombie which certainly makes me want to read the rest of her books.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on April 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mystery fans are more than familiar with the classic premise of a murder at an isolated country house. Crombie updates that idea by making her house a time-share retreat. Our hero, Duncan Kincaid, has been given a week and finds himself sharing more than cocktails with the eclectic group of guests.
This is a pleasant, well paced read. There aren't any huge surprises or novel concepts. It's not a surprise that virtually every one of the guests has a secret or two. And the reader knows from the start that one of the guests must be the killer. Still, Crombie did a nice job of keeping me guessing. While the book isn't a page turner, it is an entertaining read.
I read this book mostly because it's the first in the Kincaid/James series that achieved a MacCavity award and Agatha and Edgar nominations for the fifth book in the series - Dreaming of Bones. I expect to enjoy the three books in between as I work my way to the award winning book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Peterson on January 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read her February 2012 released book, "No Mark Upon Her" first because I didn't realize there were so many before it. Then I started over with her first book "A Share In Death". I found this story less interesting than "No Mark Upon Her" because it felt as if the author was just getting a feel for her characters, their personalities and her introduction to them was a bit clumsy. That said, I have started her second book in the series, "All Shall Be Well" and already I like Duncan Kincaid more and Gemma is seeming like a person I want to know better.
In the end, I think her books are best read in the correct order no matter how tempting it is to read her most recent books. Without slogging through the first few you will fail to get to know her characters properly and something will be lost that makes the stories better, so here is the list of her first 13:
1.-A Share in Death
2-All Shall be Well
3-Leave the Grave Green
4-Mourn Not Your Dead
5-Dreaming of the Bones
6-Kissed a Sad Goodbye
7-A Finer End
8-And Justice There is None
9-Now May You Weep
10-In a Dark House
11-Water Like a Stone
12-Where Memories Lie
13-Necessary as Blood
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Leonard L. Wilson on July 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Duncan Kincaid is an engaging detective hero, and Miss Crombie's writing style is very effective. I enjoyed the suspenseful buildup until near the end of the book--and then the conclusion ruined the carefully prepared plot. When a character who has already been nearly killed goes completely and idiotically out of her way to place herself in jeopardy, one sees the author's manipulation too clearly and tends to lose interest in whether or not the character survives. And when the hero suddenly makes an amazing and illogical mental leap to the precise answer to the mystery just in time to race to a last-second rescue, things are stretched even further. And when the murderer turns out to have efficiently killed two innocents who get in the way but stupidly flubs the one murder that he supposedly has been planning for months, it is just too much. And why on earth he would choose a vacation complex, enrolling himself as a guest, when he wishes to keep his tie with the intended victim secret, ah, that is the real mystery. What we have here is one of those impossible Martha Grimes plots. Now if you happen to like Martha Grimes, you may enjoy this book thoroughly.Having said this, I intend to give Deborah Crombie another chance and read one of her other Duncan Kincaid novels. This one does show real promise and real talent. If only the ending had been more believable.
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