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Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #12)
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Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #12)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  4,247 ratings  ·  226 reviews
Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma's help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigio ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 436 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by HarperLuxe (first published January 1st 2008)
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Matt Schiariti
Twelve books into the series and these Kinkaid/James novels show absolutely no sign of getting old. It can be normal and sometimes expected for a long running series to seem a bit stale or 'samey' after a dozen novels but such isn't the case with Debora Crombie's fantastic detective novels. She seems to have a bottomless well of entertaining material to draw upon and write about. From long dead poets to the whiskey business to firefighting, life on boats...Crombie just seems to make the central ...more
I may have said it before, but this series just gets better and better! I love the way Deborah Crombie weaves recurrent characters into her mysteries. In this 12th novel, a friend of Gemma's, Erika Rosenthal, a 90 year old Jewish lady who fled Berlin just before World War II, reveals some interesting secrets about her past.

Crombie is a remarkably good writer and, although she is an American writing Scotland Yard mysteries, I am very impressed with her British English! I only found one word in th
While Crombie usually sits near the top of my top-10 list of serious detective fiction authors, and while any Crombie book is always better than the average-bear mystery novel, I had trouble engaging with this one, in spite of the multiple-plot, multiple-time-frame nature of it. There is very little of Duncan in this one, and while Gemma is beset with family troubles, there doesn't seem to be much depth to them. Perhaps Crombie got too involved with her research on WWII Jewish experience in Lond ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
The roots of the mystery in this, the 12th book in the Gemma Jones and Duncan Kincaid series by Deborah Crombie, lie in Nazi Germany and the escape from the Nazis of Gemma’s friend Dr Erika Rosenthal and her husband David. Her father was a well-known jeweler and he sent with her his masterpiece, a diamond brooch, which disappeared during the escape.

When a friend spots this diamond piece in an auction house catalog, Erika calls her friend Gemma to ask a favor: find out how the brooch came to be f
A fine story but nothing to ooh or ahh about. I've only read one other in this series (Leave the Grave Green) and things have changed a lot but it didn't seem as bad as some 12th books in a series. The mystery was okay but the personal things seemed to matter more. It wasn't a phone in mystery though as you sometimes get later in a series when really the author is just looking to tell stories about the characters and the mystery is barely there.

I just don't particularly care for Gemma; she's not
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Hagen
Where Memories Lie, by Deborah Crombie, a-minus, Borrowed from the National Library Service for the Blind, Library of Congress

Gemma receives a call from an old friend, Erica. She looks in an auction catalog for valuable art objects, and finds that a brooch, which belonged to her, which her father made, and which was lost to her captors before she left Germany, has turned up in this catalog for sale. She asks Gemma to check it out. Gemma talks to the clerk who listed the brooch for sale but can g
Ann Mcelligott
No. 12 in Crombie's series of police procedural featuring Detective Inspector Gemma James and Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. Gemma has developed a friendship with Dr. Erika Rosenthal, a retired academic who escaped Nazi Germany with her philosophy husband, David, during World War II. When a diamond brooch, stolen fifty years before, turns up in the catalog of a London auction house, Erika turns to Gemma for help. The brooch had been made by her father in 1938 and given to Erika when sh ...more
Some of my friends love this author but somehow, there is something missing that I can't identify. I think it is perhaps that I grew up in the UK, and there are some nuances that are hard to identify but are missing when American authors set their mysteries in England. Go figure. I'll still read them though. I did like the way in which this story involves the Second World War, and in particular the Holocaust, and ties it in with the art world and a famous Auction House that she calls 'Harrowby's ...more
It seems that every author at some point finds it necessary to write a book about World War II and the Holocaust. This is Deborah Crombie's. Luckily, she does not find it necessary--except for some citations at the beginnings of chapters--to give us history lessons. In fact, she is able to use the natural curiosity of Duncan's adolescent son Kit to give us the necessary historical background effectively without preaching. Unfortunately, Crombie's recent work has fallen into a different trap: cas ...more
First Sentence: Erika Rosenthal woke, her body jerking to the whump of the bomb, the flash of light from the incendiary flickering against her closed eyelids.

DI Gemma James’ former neighbor, Erika Rosenthal, has asked for her help. A unique Art Deco brooch, made by her father in Germany at the beginning of WWII, was thought to be stolen and thought by Erika to relate to her husband’s suicide many years’ ago. Now it is in the catalogue of a London auction house. Gemma’s information investigation
I would be hard put to choose a favorite in this series, however, I particularly liked this book. This thoughtfully plotted mystery visits a painful past between England at war and the plight of German Jews seeking asylum. That back story told through the voice of Gemma's friend, Ericka Rosenthal, a favorite recurring character and wise nonagenarian, forms a clever basis for the modern crime mystery. This is a common but never hackneyed device in Crombe's hands as she weaves several stories toge ...more
Once again, this is another exciting English murder mystery. I was pleased to see that Gemma's friend Erika Rosenthal made a reappearance in this book and that her character was developed on a much deeper level. The plot kept reverting back to events in Erika's life that had transpired 50 or 60 years ago, and it explained a lot of what was happening in the current story. I really love the way the author causes the minor characters to appear again and again as I read each book in the series of Du ...more
Great book! Series just gets better and better...

Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma's help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigious London auction house. Erika believes the theft may be tied to her husband
Carolyn Hill
When a spectacular diamond Art Deco brooch, which had long ago been stolen from Detective Inspector Gemma James's aged friend Erika Rosenthal, appears for sale at an auction house in London, Erika enlists Gemma to look into it. The valuable brooch had been made by Erika's father, a Jewish master jeweler in Germany, and given to Erika as her inheritance to smuggle out of Nazi Germany. What happened to Erika, her husband, her father, and her brooch is one of the mysteries Crombie unspools. The bro ...more
I may like this best of the entire series. It moves along briskly, with all the present-day action happening in just a couple of days. The back story goes back many years, and could have been stretched out to explain a great deal more, but there's plenty of information to drive the present-day mystery.
The Library Lady
I can't give an objective review about these books. I just inhale them in one short sitting and wish they were longer.
I love the way Crombie can weave together the past and the present to make a wonderful mystery across years. I also love the way she weaves what's going on in Gemma and Kincaid's family life into the story, too. Her books are really an escape and I lose track of both time and what's going on around me when I read one of her books.

This one involves Erika's past, her escape from Germany and a brooch Erika's father made for her.

Gemma's mom is ill, Gemma's dad is cranky with her, and Gemma's relati
This book is very much a page turner and I read it on two successive late nights. The detective is a woman cop married to another one but the book doesn't get into too much police procedural. Also there are other viewpoint characters in the earlier chapters all of whom are believable characters.
The action largely takes place in contemporary London but there are a few scenes in the 1950s.
The story concerns a valuable brooch which turns up at an auction house, having previously belonged to a Jewis
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This is my second mystery in less than a month by Deborah Crombie and it was just as good as the first one. She writes excellent, tight plots, and links in just enough personal elements without the personal dominating. Her writing flows well and describes characters and places well without getting bogged down in being overly descriptive. There is little in the novel that is extraneous. I was completely engaged and lost in the world of the novel while reading it, and as soon as I finished I wishe ...more
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James #12
Gemma's friend,Erika Rosenthal, finds a brooch that her father made in an auction catalog. She wants Gemma to find out where it came from. Erika has not seen the brooch since she left Germany during WWII. Gemma goes to the auction house and questions a woman, Kristin, about where the brooch came from. The next day Kristin is found dead, run over by an SUV. Gemma gets Duncan to ask for the case. He does. She assists him because she has taken some time off from wo
A diamond brooch, an old friend and murder, sends Gemma Jones searching through records that are dusty with age. Gemma’s old friend, Erika Rosenthal, contacts her and asks for her help. This is the first time that Erika has ever approached Gemma wanting help and Gemma is determined not to let her down.

Erika escaped Nazi Germany along with her husband David and settled in England. Gemma’s father was a famed jeweler and remained in Germany but helped Erika and David escape. Her father gave Erika a
BOTTOM LINE: #12 Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James, London; quietly dark police procedural. Gemma’s friend, the very private Erika Rosenthal, is forced to relive the worst times of her long life when a valuable piece of her long-lost jewelry turns up unexpectedly at a Christie’s auction. Erika’s parents in pre-WWII Berlin, her life in London after the war with her peculiar husband David, and Duncan’s son Kit’s hard work to truly feel a member of their family, at first seem disparate elements and the p ...more
Terri Lynn
I loved it and finally Duncan and Gemma are engaged. She proposed to him and I feel happy for the whole family!

Detective Inspector Gemma James starts out by trying to help her older friend Erika, a Jew who managed to get out of Germany during the Nazi years. Erika had been married to David, her university professor, who was murdered in London by a Nazi who he was about to uncover (the man had changed his name to an English one)publicly and his manuscript stolen. Erika has a brief affair with the
J.M. Cornwell
England, Diaspora, murders old and new, jewels and mystery.

An old friend calls Detective Inspector Gemma James to help her find out how a brooch lost before World War II turned up in an auction house in London. Erika Rosenthal’s hasn’t seen it since her husband, David, and she fled a farmhouse in the middle of the night ahead of a ruthless murderer. Jakob Goldshtein’s Art Deco jewelry is prized for its beauty and workmanship, but the brooch was special, a wedding gift to his daughter, an uncata
This one wasn’t so good. Oh Gemma, the detective and her Scotland Yard boyfriend, Kincaid, are still interesting and attractive. Although Kincaid has become a sweet, flat complement to Gemma. But really who cares if Gemma and her dad don’t get along, or if Kincaid’s side kick, Cullen, wants to get with Melody, Gemma’s side kick. Or if Melody has a big secret, that’s revealed in the next book. Kit, Kincaid’s son, whose mom was murdered, has a better role here; he befriends Erika, Gemma’s neighbor ...more
I realize that I've been reading a lot of romance novels lately, so that's what's on my mind, but even if I hadn't, it would have been hard not to notice that *this* is how you write a love story.

First, the mystery -- first class, as is typical with Deborah Crombie. Solid characters, solid story, and an ending that actually took me by surprise. I'm afraid that anything else I say will be a spoiler, so I'll just leave the mystery part at that.

As to the love story, or stories, I should say, sinc
Deborah Crombie has used this device before -- the modern-day crime with roots in the past, specifically World War II -- but this may be her richest story yet in that vein. Gemma James's elderly friend Erika Rosenthal, long ago a refugee from Nazi Germany, enlists Gemma's help when a piece of jewelry stolen long ago shows up in an auction catalog. At first an unofficial inquiry, the investigation turns official and involves both Gemma and her husband Duncan as people connected with the case begi ...more
this is another very solid entry in this series. Quite satisfying because it brings back many of the people we have met without seeming to force things. Some are quite peripheral, but one (Erika) is central. It also advances the family relationships that lie at the heart of these stories, and expands out to show us a bit more of some of the back stories for the main characters. Again, I think it important to read these books in order, but I find them very rewarding.
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Deborah Crombie is the author of 15 novels featuring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James. The 16th Kincaid/James novel, To Dwell in Darkness, will be released by William Morrow in September, 2014.

Crombie lives in McKinney, Texas with her husband, two German Shepherd Dogs, and two cats. She travels to Britain frequently to research her books.
More about Deborah Crombie...

Other Books in the Series

Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #1)
  • All Shall Be Well (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #2)
  • Leave the Grave Green (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #3)
  • Mourn Not Your Dead (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #4)
  • Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)
  • Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)
  • A Finer End (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #7)
  • And Justice There Is None (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #8)
  • Now May You Weep (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #9)
  • In a Dark House (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #10)

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