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Kissed a Sad Goodbye


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About the Author

Deborah Crombie's five previous Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels have been nominated for the Agatha, Macavity, and Edgar Awards. She lives with her family in a small North Texas town, where she is at work on the next book in the series.


The murder of a beautiful businesswoman in London's Isle of Dogs neighborhood calls both local police and Scotland Yard into play. The Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James (Dreaming of the Bones, Scribner, 1997) create a psychological profile of the victim and thoroughly investigate the thriving family tea concern. Her long-time friend and (estranged) fianc‚, a local land developer, and a panhandling (but well-born) clarinetist are high on the list of suspects. Crombie provides a most satisfactory police procedural here, with full-blown characterization, a deceptively simple story line, and gripping human-interest subplots. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/99.]

"Atmospheric ... absorbing ... haunting."
-- The Washington Post Book World

"[Crombie] is writing in P.D. James territory, and she is a master."
-- Associated Press

"Crombie never stumbles as she maneuvers her way through her complicated plot as skillfully as she handles the ongoing romance between her two detectives. The result is an Anglophile's delight."
-- The Sunday Denver Post

"Deborah Crombie is an American mystery novelist who writes so vividly about England, she might have been born within the sound of Bow bells. [She] gets better with each book ... lyrical, biting, and evocative."
-- The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

Also by Deborah Crombie:
Dreaming of the Bones

And coming soon in hardcover from Bantam Books:
A Finer End

YA-In the sixth Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery, Scotland Yard DS (detective superintendent) Kincaid is knee-deep in personal turmoil when he is notified about the murder of a young unidentified woman. He is trying to spend time with 11-year-old Kit, the grieving son of his recently deceased ex-wife while he determines how to tell the boy that he is his father. The intricacies of this case, however, draw him away from that endeavor and put him and Sergeant James in the company of a complex cast of characters. The murder victim turns out to be Annabelle Hammond, the daughter of rich and powerful William Hammond, the sister of Jo Lowell (whose marriage Annabelle broke up after having an affair with Jo's husband), and the lover of two other men. Hence, there is no shortage of suspects. The clues to the intriguing mystery present themselves as the layers of the story are revealed, much like peeling an onion. Scenes of East London's Isle of Dogs are vividly described. Readers learn about the forced evacuation of children from London during World War II as well as the privations and devastation suffered by England, and especially London, during the war. Young adult mystery fans will easily get caught up in the characters, the settings, and the case itself.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Scotland Yard detectives Sergeant Gemma James and Superintendent Duncan Kincaid (Dreaming of the Bones, etc.) return to solve a murder committed in the East End of London. On the Isle of Dogs in the Docklands area, a young woman is found dead. Oddly, her corpse has been carefully, even reverently, arranged. The stunningly beautiful victim, Annabelle Hammond, is the director of a family-owned tea company that is headquartered in a historic building nearby. Operating on the premise that Annabelle probably knew her killer, Duncan and Gemma poke around in the victim's past, meanwhile working through problems in their own lives. Duncan has recently learned that his ex-wife (who died in Dreaming of the Bones) left behind an 11-year-old son; now he is discovering how much time and emotion are needed to bring up a child. As previously, Crombie delineates expertly the interactions between lovers Duncan and Gemma, as their relationship continues to evolve. Most notable, though, is her masterful depiction of the history and character of the Docklands: the Isle of Dogs, and its historic cycle of destruction and renewal, provides a strong, atmospheric background to the tale, as the contemporary story is interspersed with accounts of the evacuation of local children (including Annabelle's father) during the bombings of WWII. Although not as emotionally intense as its Edgar-nominated predecessor, this complex, thoughtful novel is another satisfying entry in an exceptional series. Agent, Nancy Yost. (Apr.)

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