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Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)
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Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #6)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,463 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Crombie weaves a tale of two boys who become allies, then friends, in a story of trust and betrayal whose repercussions echo across six decades.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 6th 1999 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1999)
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In her previous novel, "Dreaming of the Bones" Deborah Crombie explored a new structure intertwining two story lines--past and present. And IMO she was not particularly successful in that first attempt.

In "Kissed A Sad Goodbye" she uses the same technique but with much better effect. The modern murder mystery was plotted with the precision and attention to characterization and setting that have become a hallmark of her books, while the back story forms such a poignant and historically significan
This book is exceptional! The plot centers around of the murder of a very beautiful and successful woman. Soon the detectives discover that she has many secrets in her life, and the plot is very complicated and lives of the characters in the story are very intertwined. Once again, Deborah Crombie kept me entertained from cover to cover. This is book #6 in the English murder mystery series of Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James of Scotland Yard. I am looking forward to book #7!
Mary Ronan Drew
Deborah Crombie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Usually when I find an author I like (Donna Leon, say, or Charles Todd) I read the books very slowly, waiting six months or longer between them. I just don’t have the self-discipline to do that with Deborah Crombie’s Gemma James and Duncan Kinkaid series. I’m gobbling them up at a rate of one a week.

Kissed a Sad Goodbye was as usual very well plotted. The characters, including of course James and Kinkaid, are complex. And the setting is ter
I confess. Instead of reading the books "I'm currently reading," I read this one. So many books. So little time. Another one in the Kincaid/James series. The body of a beautiful woman is found in a park on the Isle of Dogs. She been laid out in a manner suggesting she was killed by someone she knew. Who might it be? The fiance she with which she just had a quarrel? A jilted lover? A member of her family? Somehow this is all linked to events during World War II and the evacuation of children to t ...more
The frustrating thing about this Kinkaid and James series is that once I've got about 70% through, I just can't seem to put them down: my household chores are pushed aside, my family give me funny looks, my timetable is rearranged, but I just have to find out what happens in the end! And I agree with Claude, "Kissed a Sad Goodbye" was my favourite so far!

Another great Kincaid / James episode. Maybe my favourite so far. I liked the flashbacks into WWII with evacuee children, although usually, I don't like too many flashbacks. And I loved the encounter with one of the recurrent secondary character in the series, the clarinet playing busker.
Looking forward to more of the series.
Kissed A Sad Goodbye
By Deborah Crombie
Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
I listened to the audible book and read on the Kindle.
The book tells two stories that come together in the murder of beautiful Annabelle Hammond. On the kindle version the flashbacks to WWII England are italicized. In the audible version it is confusing to when the story jumps back and forth in time. I also was not expecting the rape of a child in the story, or I would not have been playing it in the car with children passengers. The
‘Kissed a Sad Goodbye’ by Deborah Crombie was a really good book but also a slightly frustrating book. By intertwining a historical story into the current crime story it was frustrating, as the reader, to not understand what was going on. I knew, because I occasionally employ common sense that the two stories would meet up somewhere, but that didn’t make it less frustrating to try and remember what was happening in each separate storyline during the breakaways. The other thing I struggled with h ...more
I keep telling myself that I will stop reading these books, at least for a long long time. The whodunit pattern is just a little too repetitive. However, I continue to buy the books, continue to read them. So maybe I should stop worrying about the pattern and start thinking about what's good in these books. I do like Gemma and Duncan, and I like the way they work together and love each other. That has long seemed a wonderful thing, to be able to work with someone you love. The stories are kind o ...more
This series is a very interesting series, but the last couple have been so depressing that I haven't wanted to get started on the next right away. Detective Superindendent Duncan Kincaid and his Seageant, and girlfriend, Gemma James have been assigned to solve the murder of a beautiful girl who is the owner and manager of a tea business called Hammonds. This case is a strain on Duncan and Gemma's relationship and to solve this case they have to go back in time to the war to find the motives for ...more
Gary Van Cott
I am rereading this series. This is the first book in the series where the author makes the setting (in this case the Isle of Dogs, complete with fabulous maps on the end papers) an important part of the story. I think this is an outstanding technique which the author employed, although not always with this level of success, in the rest of the series.

My only criticisms are that most of the characters who appear only in this book are all introduced right at the beginning in a somewhat confusing
Kincaid and Gemma get called out for a dead young woman that was left in a park. Kincaid was supposed to take Kit to Wimbledon to watch tennis. His weekend with Kit is ruined. Kit is angry about it. Duncan blurts out that Kit is his son and he did not know until his mother had pointed out their similarities at Vic (Kit's mother's) funeral. Kit is stunned and hurt.
The case is not going very well. They cannot figure out who killed Annabelle. Some of the suspects keep lying to Kincaid and Gemma. Ge
Ok. I liked this one better than I thought I would... but I'm getting really frustrated at the complete LACK of romance between Duncan and Gemma. To the point where I was actually more interested in her attraction to Gordon than I was with her "relationship" with Duncan! I wanted to love these two, but it is getting soooo luke warm to me. I can only hope things pick up in the future because they need some life support at this point. They don't seem to ever TALK! He talks and opens up to anyone b ...more
After reading so many of these books, I feel as if I know London well. She is an incredible writer who manages to flesh out her settings and characters that you believe you actually know the places and people. In this 6th book of the series, Duncan has invited his son Kit for the weekend and got tickets to a tennis match, and they are in thwe car when Duncan's cell phone rings and he has been called to the scene of a dead body. Kit is disappointed, especially because he has just been told that D ...more
A compelling story of morale character or the lack there of and the consequences to everyone as a result. It is neither beauty nor ugliness that causes a person to be disloyal or selfish or dishonest but rather it is the personal choices and decisions that a person makes in their life that results in this. I have a different point of view when it comes to the murder victim. The author states through a character that Annabelle is such a strong person but I have found in life that people who have ...more
BOTTOM LINE: #6 Duncan and Gemma, Isle of Dogs, London, Surrey; cosy police procedural. The death of a beautiful young executive in 1999 and her family’s history during WW2 in Surrey and the East End and The Isle of Dogs, gets interwoven with Duncan and Gemma’s relationship, the rebuilding of London, friendship and power, lust and love, into a densely plotted mystery.

The pacing is so very good that despite an initial confusion (difficult to keep all the times and people straight at first) I was
Terri Lynn
I just love Deborah Crombie's series about Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James!!!

Duncan and Gemma work for Scotland yard. He is her superintendent and she is his sergeant. Gemma is a single mom of 3 year old Toby. Her husband abandoned them when Toby was born and then later disappeared so he is not even paying child support. Duncan had been divorced for 12 years from Victoria who had just run off on him and then married Ian, an academic. She was murdered in the last book and Duncan discovered that
Kathleen Hagen
Kissed a Sad Goodbye, by Deborah Crombie, A-minus, Borrowed from Library Services for the Blind.

This is the sixth in the Kincade James series. They are called on the scene of a park where a man walking his dog found the body of a beautiful woman. She was identified as Annabelle Hammond, daughter of the owner of Hammond teas. As they begin the investigation, it becomes clear that Annabelle was killed by someone who knew her, and that there was a tangled web of betrayal involved with several suspe
Matt Schiariti
This book was fantastic. I admit that I didn't enjoy Dreaming of the Bones as much as I had the few that came before it in the series. While it was a good book, I found it a little sluggish to start and had a big lack of Duncan and Gemma. Although that book did pick up to a very satisfying conclusion, the hiccup at the beginning kept it from being a five out of five. There is NO hiccup in 'Goodbye.

Annabelle Hammond is found murdered by a local passerby one morning. She's lovingly laid out, no si
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Another in the Kincaid/James series and I must say, I am really enoying them. This one is set in the Docklands/East End of London and when the body of the very beautiful Annabella Hammond if found in a park, Duncan and Gemma are called in to assist the local police. There is a back-story here of a young boy, who was evacuated from the Docklands at the start of WW2 and this is all to relevant to the present day murder as it turns out. Annabelle has had a colourful love life and although she was e ...more
Carolyn Hill
I really enjoy Deborah Crombie's English mysteries. Perhaps because she is American and doesn't assume the reader knows the places she's writing about, she gives detailed descriptions of her settings which put you right there. You'll learn what you'll see if you look one way up the street or down the other, and there's even a wonderfully illustrated map on the inside covers, which I really didn't notice until I'd finished the book, which would have helped with my orientation if I'd only known. O ...more
Feb 15, 2008 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hmmm...okay, it was still good. The same "roots in the past" plot was present, and it was pretty decent, interesting characters by and large. I enjoyed the further development of Duncan's relationship with Kit, as frustrating as it could be for him (and by extension, me as the reader).
But (you knew there was a but, didn't you?), I was taken aback by what seemed like some out-of-character developments on the part of Gemma. (view spoiler)
It has been very enjoyable revisiting this series again. I'm a bit surprised, however, to find how quickly the relationship between Duncan Kincaid and his Sargent Gemma James has evolved. Not a big complaint, I just don't remember it that way; or maybe its me. I'm just not paying enough attention to the cues.

In any even this was a very good read. I really am enjoying this revisit and intend to continue on, even rereading books I know I have already read. I want the enjoy the road again.
I quite liked this book, the next in the Kincaid/James mystery series, but it was not up to the standard of the previous ones. The book reads easily, but the result was a little unsatisfying. The story involves a murder committed in the East End of London, specifically the Isle of Dogs in the Docklands area. There is a nice map of the locale in the end papers of the book, and some nice descriptions of the redevelopment of the Docklands. Mixed in is a parallel story taking place in WW2, which is ...more
Lourdes Venard
The body of Annabelle Hammond, director of an old family firm of tea merchants, is found on the Isle of Dogs in the Docklands area. Aggressive in business and in her personal life, she had, as one character says of her, "a talent for getting what she wanted, sometimes ruthlessly so." Engaged, Annabelle nevertheless had an initimate affair with street musician Gordon Finch, and she may also have had a relationship with his father, Lewis. In turn, Lewis Finch and Annabelle's father, William, were ...more
Clay Yearsley
This is such a great series. I force myself to wait a couple months before reading the next in the series. Each time I start a new one, it feels like slipping into my comfortable slippers.
"Kissed a Sad Goodbye" marks a departure in style for Crombie. She weaves together a current day mystery with flashbacks to World War 2 era England. In keeping with her other books, Crombie takes her time with the plot and characters, instead of rushing headlong through the story. It makes for a rich reading ex
Another cracker of a tale by Deborah Crombie, again enjoyable because set in a part of London I know a little - the Isle of Dogs and the Greenwich foot tunnel from Island Gardens. I was bemused by the proportion of characters with shades of red hair in this story, way beyond, the number in the normal population, but there you go... It was a fascinating plot of how the past can shape the present which developed as the story unfolds, while the relationship between Kincaid and Gemma has hit a sligh ...more
Crombie really does seem to get stronger with each book. This is a story about a young executive who is incredibly beautiful, yet turns up dead. Her beauty seems to have been a detriment to her because she used it to hurt other people, so there are no end of suspects. Meanwhile, Kincaid is trying to build a relationship with the son he just found out he had while solving the murder. I like to way the author weaves the personal lives of the main characters into what is happening, but all my favor ...more
An excellent mystery that kept me guessing right to the end. It has enough twists and turns to make one pick a culprit, then discard him/her, pick another, and then keep picking and discarding all through. And I still didn't get it right in the end. This one is every bit as well-written as her Dreaming of the Bones and just as lyrical, albeit with a different rhythm.

My main quibble is that quite a bit is made in the blurbs about Kincaid's relationship with his newly-discovered son....but not a l
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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)
  • 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)
A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #1) Necessary as Blood No Mark Upon Her (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #14) Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5) Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #12)

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