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Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)
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Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #5)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,457 ratings  ·  219 reviews
"Deborah Crombie might be the most British of American mystery novelists," said an astute reviewer in reference to Mourn Not Your Dead, the fourth book in her excellent series about Duncan Kincaid, an inoffensively upper-class Scotland Yard superintendent, and Sergeant Gemma James, his rougher-edged partner and lover. In addition to her finely tuned ear for the subtler nua ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Avon (first published 1997)
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Mary Ronan Drew
I hate to say this. I know authors hate it when people say this about their books. But it’s true: This is a crossover novel. It’s a mystery and the author perceives it as a mystery, which it is. But it’s so much more.

Deborah Crombie is the best of the contemporary writers of the police procedural. Her plots are complex without being convoluted, her writing style is clean and occasionally lyrical, and her characters are realistic and face their problems in a realistic way.

Here is Publisher’s We
Just finished Deborah Crombie's Dreaming of the Bones. I am very surprised at how long this took me to finish. It is an absolutely beautiful and lyrical mystery novel...seamlessly written. Perhaps I was taking my time because I didn't want the experience to be over? I found it amazing that Crombie adapted her writing style to the subject matter...the re-opening of a poet's death. The entire book read like a very long prose poem and the poetry she constructed to weave into the story of Lydia was ...more
Deborah Crombie provides her fans a mystery that spans all the way back to WWI.

The intricate story tells of Lydia Brooke, a poet. When she was a student at Cambridge in the 1960s, she emulated her namesake, Edwardian poet, Rupert Brooke.

Lydia died five years prior to the events in this story. Her death was attributed to suicide.

Dr. Vic McClellan, Duncan Kincaid's former wife, calls him out of the blue and asks for his help. Duncan and his lover, Gemma Jones, have a comfortable life together. Dun
Anne Hawn Smith
Feb 14, 2010 Anne Hawn Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, forensics
This is the first of this series that I have read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I thought the characters well developed and the plot complex, but easy to follow. I also liked the setting and the way the plot moved between the past and present.

The only thing that is a problem is the relationship between Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. As colleagues, their relationship would have presented a problem and also the way they operated on vacation and in another jurisdiction. However, this is fiction and
Matt Schiariti
during the first third of this book I found myself not liking it as much as the previous novels in the series. Why? Well there just wasn't that much Kinkaid/James in this Kinkaid/James mystery! I'm glad I stuck with it though because it ended up being very good and quite frankly one of Crombie's darker books.

Things are going as normal for Duncan and Gemma..they're both comfortable with their relationship, doing their normal workday routines as coppers in Scotland Yard when Duncan gets a call fro
I think this is the breakout book in this series. The earlier ones are good; this one is great, more complex of plot, and deeper in characterization, especially of the non-series characters.
A first-rate story on two different levels. Firstly the murder mystery is finely unfurled: Kinkaid and James flounder between London and Cambridge, trying to put together well-hidden clues that will eventually allow them to solve an old crime and a new one. Secondly, this novel stirs up a lot of emotion in Kinkaid, who is personally affected by one of the crimes, and in Gemma who is now his partner in both a private and professional capacity.

I love the way Deborah Crombie develops these charact
I don't often give a book five stars. However, this fifth book in Deborah Crombie's Kinkaid/James mystery series is far and away the best to date. The very complicated plot spans three generations and is a complex network of personal and professional relationships. Taking place in present-day academic Cambridge, but reaching back in time as far as pre-World War I, there is poetry here - both literal and figurative. Ms. Crombie does a spectacular job of weaving it all together and keeping it all ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
these are excerpts from my responses to a mailing list discussion of this book and as such they include spoilers.

[On Lydia's letters and Vic's inklings of suicide]

I didn't like Lydia much and I really wanted to see her mother's side of all those letters! The letters all came from a period early on in Lydia's life and not the time close to her death. Vic's convictions seemed to be the biggest sign that Lydia was really murdered but I had mixed feelings about those.

It seemed reasonable that if

Susan Anderson
This is not a proper review, only my random thoughts as a reader having just finished Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie. In my mind, there's a difference between reader ramblings and book review. And also, I just finished listening to the unabridged audible version. I haven't actually cast my eyes upon the words. (That begs the question, "What is a book?" but the answer to that is a mighty one and for another day.)

You know, I really love Deborah Crombie's writing and DREAMING OF THE BONES
A great story where solving the mystery introduces lots of other topics that may be of interest to readers. While reading this book, I discovered some of the poetry of Rupert Brooke and look forward to reading more. (but I digress...)

Dreaming of the Bones continues the story of two Scotland Yard detectives as they work unofficially to solve a case with close ties to Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. I haven't read any of the previous novels in this series, so I'm not sure if I'm missing a lot of d
This next book in the Kincaid/Jones saga was not available from my local library service so I had to purchase a copy, which turned out to be an American publication, so I don't know if copyright problems affect its availability in the UK. I did try it as an audiobook, but iTunes turned it into an out-of-sequence jumble which was quite surreal to experience.

This time Duncan Kincaid is consulted by his ex-wife, Victoria Potts Kincaid McLellan, because she feels the poetess she is writing a biograp
I haven’t read Deborah Crombie before. She has some superficial similarities to Elizabeth George, being an American author writing British mysteries with an upper-class Scotland Yard detective (Kincaid) and his lower class sergeant (Jones). But while the genre is the same, the execution is different. Elizabeth George serves up heavy tomes full of lots of details; Crombie (on the basis of this story) serves up much simpler fare, though equally enjoyable. We do of course have the requisite detecti ...more
Feels like the series is hitting it's stride with this book. At first I wasn't sure I was enjoying it since it spent so much time with a woman who had been dead for five years. But the looks back in to Lydia's life proved important to her death (long believed to be a suicide) and to the death of Vic McLellan the woman who is writing her biography.

Vic also happens to be Duncan's ex wife who walked out on him 12 years ago without a word. She calls him out of the blue to ask his help in looking int
First Sentence: The post slid through the letter box, cascading onto the tile floor of the entry hall with a sound like the wind rustling through bamboo.

Twelve years ago, Duncan Kincaid’s wife walked away from their marriage. Receiving a call, asking for his help was not something he expected. Victoria Kincaid McClellan, mother of Kit, and abandoned by her current husband, has a position with the English Faculty and is writing a biography on 20th Century poet Lydia Ashby who had, supposedly, die
This book is over the top! It is book #5 in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James English mystery series, and the plot is very intricate and multilayered. Once again, there are many twists and turns, and many interesting personalities. I especially appreciated viewing the lives of an ex-wife and an ex-husband (from two separate marriages). They were shown to be at least somewhat likable people and not "monsters" as sometimes people sometimes choose to view former spouses! The book is full of murders, s ...more
I enjoy this series. The continuity from one book to the next is excellent. The development of the relationsip between Kinkaid and Gemma is very well done.
An excellent Kincaid and James. If it were not for a lengthy beginning that seemed to lead nowhere, I would have given it five stars.
Susan Johnson
I really liked this addition to the Kincaid-James series. As each book comes along, the plots get a little more complex. This one involves Kincaid's ex-wife who asks him to invesitgate a death that occurred five years ago. The death involved a poet who's biography the ex-wife is now writing. There are lots of twists and turns and events happen that change the two protagnoist's lives forever. An excellent edition to this entertaining series.
Sarah Pearce
I got hooked on this series as audiobooks. The first four books were narrated by this awesome reader, Michael Deehy. He was absolutely wonderful and the stories and characters literally [ha ha] would leap out of my car speakers. I couldn't wait to drive somewhere. For reasons unknown, the author abandoned Deehy and now the narration is done by this woman...I can't even remember her name...because she is so NOT memorable. She sounds like it is all such a might effort to read this story and that, ...more
It's no wonder this one received so many awards. Multi-layered suspense throughout. Am reading the entire series in order and am captivated. Visit "Stop, You're Killing Me! website for complete lists of mysteries and authors.
Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie
A bit of a departure from the earlier books in the series. It does not start with a murder or even a crime – but a phone call. Duncan’s ex-wife, Vic, calls him asking for help with a biography she is writing. The woman who walked out on him without a word, now needs his help. She believes the subject of her biography may have been murdered instead of committing suicide as originally ruled. Gemma is at first jealous and upset by Duncan meeting with and help
I enjoy reading Crombie's books. As the series develop so do Crombie's wrting skills. Great summer read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda Funk
Fast becoming my favourite author to have by my bedside for my daily dose of mystery-light-reading. She writes extremely well with interesting and highly developed characters, her plots are complex with lots of 'grey' (rather than black and white thinking). I love her habit of quoting famous writers and poets at the beginning of each chapter. To top it off, they are set in Britain, where all my favourite mystery series take place....well almost -- Louise Penney and Quebec are certainly also amon ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There were many things to like about this book. How well written it is. How multi layered the story is and how it slowly unfolds. What I didn't like. Vic, how she kept Kincaid from knowing he had a child and kept from Kit who his true father was. Just absolutely heartless and cruel. I didn't like that Vic didn't even know who the father was at first because she was sleeping with another man while married to Kincaid. I hated that it was explained away that the reason why she left Kincaid without ...more
Chad Bearden
I can't claim to be a fan of the British murder mystery, nor murder mysteries of any other nationality. I read my first Deborah Crombie novel back in the day because, like Ms. Crombie, I attended Austin College, and upon her returning to the campus for a discussion, I was tasked with writing an introduction for her speech. I'm nothing if not thorough, so in addition to researching her biography and writing credits, I felt it only just that I actually read some of her actual works. While not a li ...more
BOTTOM LINE: #5 DI Duncan Kincaid/Sgt Gemma James, Oxford and rural England; cosy police procedural/professional as amateur sleuth. Duncan’s ex-wife calls him after twelve years’ silence, seeking professional information about a poet who may have been murdered five years ago. Duncan’s need to help his family, and the changes in his relationship with Gemma help make this a rich and intriguing mystery that’s at times heartbreakingly sad.

Duncan's wife is writing a biography of the poet - at least
Terri Lynn
I just couldn't make myself like it though I tried hard. I have liked the previous books in this series very much but had to drag myself through this one forcibly. It felt like a punishment.

I like Gemma James a lot more than I like Duncan Kincaid and I found myself wishing she would dump him as a lover during this book and just be work partners the way they had been with no romance.

As this book begins, Gemma has become more comfortable with Duncan being both her boss at Scotland Yard and her
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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)
  • 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)
  • Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #11)

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