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The Sound of Broken Glass

(Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #15)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  7,100 ratings  ·  626 reviews
In the past . . .
On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a deep connection that end
Hardcover, Deckle edge, 359 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by William Morrow
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Michele Frazier I read one of later books first. Then I started at the beginning. If you start with the first book, the rest of them weave relationships. They are all…moreI read one of later books first. Then I started at the beginning. If you start with the first book, the rest of them weave relationships. They are all good, but start with "A Share in Death". You won't be sorry! (less)

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Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie is a 2013 publication.

This was a re-read for me. I first read this book back four or five years ago, and while the mystery could quite easily be read a stand-alone it was obvious I was missing out on some significant backstory between Gemma and Duncan, as well as a few other recurring characters.

I decided to go back and start reading the series from the beginning. It has taken me several years to get back to this point. I wanted to re-read this book
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
When I got the email from Goodreads that I had won "The Sound of Broken Glass: A Novel" from its First Reads program, my first thought was, "why the heck did I sign up for this book?"

I usually choose the books I enter for pretty carefully -- I don't just click and enter for whatever's available but select books that I really want to read. So it was with relief and excitement that I found out that this book was the latest from Deborah Crombie.

I've read all of Deborah Crombie's books, and even tho
Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Once again Deborah Crombie has written a terrific mystery, one even better than the last. I've been saying since I started reading her Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid stories 14 books ago, she can't possibly keep this up. Instead she's getting better.

The plot of The Sound of Breaking Glass is particularly clever. It begins with a band performing in a noisy pub that they don't normally play. They are there because their manager, Tam, wants a producer to see the lead guitarist, Andy, perform. Because t
Mal Warwick
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A Mystery Writer Can Have a Bad Day, Can't She?

If you’ve ever contemplated writing a thriller, or even just a run-of-the-mill crime novel, you may have stopped in your tracks when you came to the point of coming up with a plot. It ain’t easy (at least for those of us who aren’t named James Patterson). Readers tend to demand stories that keep them puzzled right up to the end, surprise or shock them in the closing pages, and then leave them with a satisfied feeling that everything makes sense afte
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duncan stays home with Charlotte who is still adjusting to her new home. Doug falls off a ladder, resulting in time off while he recuperates. Meanwhile Gemma and Melody are called to a crime scene near Crystal Palace where the murder victim is found tied up in a kinky manner. While a little forensic evidence exists, the police database offers no clue of the perpetrator's identity. The victim came to the seedy hotel from a local pub where he'd verbally abused a young guitarist. The guitarist had ...more
Patrice Hoffman
*Won Through a Goodreads Giveaway*

I have always heard good things about Deborah Crombie and her books. I was super excited after receiving news that I'd nabbed her latest. The only problem with nabbing it was the fact that it's the latest book in a well-established series. The series is known as her Kincaid/Gemma series and it is book number fifteen. I usually hate starting books any where except the beginning but I seriously wanted to start the book and not empty my bank account by buying fourt
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers everywhere
How hard it has been to wait an entire year for Deborah Crombie to produce yet another novel! How I've longed to know how Detective Inspector Gemma James has been getting along and how her husband, Duncan Kincaid, has been doing in his transition from CID detective superintendent to stay-at-home dad! How I've missed them!

In The Sound of Broken Glass, the 15th novel in the Kincaid-James series, Gemma and her sergeant, Melody Talbot, investigate the murder of Vincent Arnot, a well-respected barris
Jill Hutchinson
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another in the series of Kincaid/James books and it lives up to those that went before. The action centers around DI Gemma James in this edition as Kincaid is on parental leave looking after their newly fostered, soon to be adopted, little girl. Of course, Kincaid gets involved peripherally in his wife's case.....he just can't help himself.

In this story a respected barrister is found trussed and strangled in a cheesy hotel, soon to be followed by the death of a second barrister and the MO is the
Sometimes when I'm reading a mystery novel, the coincidences start piling up and throw me right out of the world the author is trying to create. In this book, however, I could tell that all the separate threads of the story would eventually come together and all I wanted was to know how. The only thing that stopped me reading it in one night was I couldn't keep my eyes focused any longer.

The only thing I didn't like was the very last page. Because -- holy cliffhanger! -- it's going to be another
Matt Schiariti
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Andy Monohan was 13, he became fast friends with his new neighbor, and older woman named Nadine. She was attentive, beautiful and encouraging; everything his mother wasn't. The two would sit out on their respective porches, seeking solace from the sweltering August heat, Andy playing his guitar, Nadine enjoying the sounds of the fledgling musician, letting him know that he had talent and one day he could make something of himself if he would stick with it. She was the kindest person he'd ev ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I only 'discovered' Deborah Crombie last year when I read No Mark Upon Her. I have been eagerly awaiting the next entry in her Duncan Kincaid/ Gemma James series. The Sound of Broken Glass (#15) releases today.

Kincaid and James are husband and wife and both work for Scotland Yard. Duncan is staying at home right now with their three year old daughter and Gemma is heading up her first big murder case.

Who has been killed? A prominent lawyer - found in a rundown hotel in Crystal Palace, naked and t
Reread July 2020. Still an addictive series.

Another series I try always to read. I like the blend of police procedure and family life, and the long-running history of their lives. This is Gemma's story, with Duncan at home as a house husband. There are 2 murders, both victims are lawyers, and these look like sex crimes. The link between them seems to be a young guitarist about to get his break--they're all connected through the Crystal Palace location of their pasts and present. Wonderful snippe
Oh, she's done it again! Another brilliant mystery novel in the Kincaid/James series that I adore. Her main characters are so well developed, I feel I know them. I loved the plot of "The Sound of Broken Glass", and felt frustrated when I had to put the book down. "Too many coincidences", you say? I say "so what?!" The historical references to Crystal Palace are all very interesting, and we meet up again with characters from earlier books, lovable guitarist Andy Monahan and the rather odd DI Maur ...more
Mojo Shivers
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes with this series the mysteries can be a little convoluted, with a large cast of involved parties that add up a pretty intricate, if sometimes complex, set of circumstances that add up to a motive for a murder. Not only that, because of such varied players, sometimes the means through which the killing is carried out can get pretty complex itself.

Not so with this book. I understand two-thirds of what had had happened in the past and how it had contributed to the crimes in the present. T
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
should be 3.5/5 - a good plot, a nice set of characters (well maybe not all characters =^-^=) - I read all ms. Crombie's books in this series - two more in my TBR - I really like the chemistry between kincaid/james, and james/talbot, and all the others -
nice begins of chapters with the historical explanation of the crystal palade, and the flashbacks in andy monohan's life were a good lead too.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Sound of Broken Glass kept me guessing until the end and, as always, I enjoyed how the author weaves together different stories (both past and present) to make a great read. One small storyline reminded me of the novel Daisy Jones and the Six and I thought if you ever wanted to do a book flight, these novels might pair well together.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Sounds Of Broken Glass
Deborah Crombie

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Gemma and Duncan are still sorting out their lives with their two sons and the addition of three year old Charlotte to their family. Duncan remains at home while Gemma remains the crime fighter. Duncan is happy but frustrated.

My thoughts after reading this book...

I have high hopes and strong opinions about this book because I love this series so much. I have read every one of them in the order they were written and in the o
Pat C.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I just read "No Mark Upon Her" and "The Sound of Broken Glass" consecutively and enjoyed both books and yet I can't say I LOVED either of them.
I like the author's ability to portray original and engaging characters. Except for her "villains" the people who populate her books are realistic yet likable and I find myself hoping for a positive outcome for them which is pretty much how I feel about the "characters" in my own life.
I also appreciate that she doesn't let you get attached to some charact
Deborah Crombie is one of those writers who reliably comes through with an engrossing, fast moving mystery, especially if Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are the detectives on the case. The Sound of Broken Glass is no exception. Newly married, Duncan and Gemma are working out child care arrangements for their blended family, and Duncan's being house husband for a while. Gemma lands the case of a London barrister who was murdered in a seedy hotel. A few days later, another death occurs, seemingly ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Crombie's books are wonderful rich in atmosphere and character, and The Sound of Broken Glass is no exception. This one is Detective Gemma James's story, braiding the strands of a story from the past about a lonely teenage boy and his lovely neighbor together with a present-day story of the investigation into the murder of a lawyer, found in a seedy hotel in London's Crystal Palace neighborhood. Great sense of place, and of course anyone who follows Gemma and Duncan will want to see how ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a good story that moved along well. The background of the Crystal Palace added to the story. London in winter doesn't sound like fun, weather-wise. Duncan and Gemma's relationship continues to develop as their family grows, and that is a interesting subplot. All in all a very satisfying read, especially for fans of the series.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have Christmas mysteries sitting unread on the shelf, and I might have picked one of them up when I was looking for a crime story to read last month, but I didn’t. Because there’s a series that I love, I knew that I was a few books behind, and the pull of another meeting was old friends was much stronger that the pull of seasonal trappings.

‘The Sound of Broken Glass’ is the fifteenth book in in the series that spins round Metropolitan police officers Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. When the se
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️
Not my first Deborah Crombie, and it won’t be my last! A 2 day read. Twists and turns and twists and compelling characters and a loving family rolled into it all.
Sam Sattler
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a longtime fan of Elizabeth George, and I have often wished that she would produce more than one new novel per year. So, finally discovering Deborah Crombie’s Scotland Yard detective series (The Sound of Broken Glass being the fifteenth book in the series) last year was one of the highlights of my reading year.

The novels of George and Crombie have much in common. Each series is anchored by a group of Scotland Yard detectives who, over the course of the series, change and mature as they exp
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This was not my favorite of the Crombie books, but it was still enjoyable. My main problems with the book were: a too convenient plot, and too much focus on pairing up characters.

The plot fit together, but it was so carefully constructed you just felt the effort that went into and it all came together too perfectly. I would have preferred maybe a more realistic story with some rough around the edges.

My other complaint is that the secondary characters were all fixed up so conveniently which felt
Jessica Howard
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-british, 2012
(Sigh) How I love Duncan and Gemma. Another great mystery - with a lot more Melody and Doug (Duncan and Gemma's respective Sergeants) and an interesting Crystal Palace setting. A teensy bit cliffhangery... going to be hard to wait for the next one!
Lucy Burdette
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Crombie is a master--manages to weave wonderful characters, an appealing setting, and a good mystery together into one polished package. This was an excellent addition to her series.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this series more and more as I read my way through it. I appreciate the depth of detail Crombie uses in outlining both her characters and their environment, and the fact that she brings even minor characters back into the stories with each book so that the world she is illustrating becomes a richer and richer tapestry. It is the same thing I love about Louise Penny's books and I am delighted to find another mystery author I enjoy as well.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars.

An interesting case with Andy, the guitarist being the centre of the present and the past. (view spoiler) And it looks like there're serious repercussions to Duncan and Co. from the last case. Obviously the powers that be don't like their dirty laundry being aired.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first Deborah Crombie .. I liked this a lot as clearly the author is effective with character development ... had I known the background of the characters better, I would likely have awarded this 5 stars. I liked the music theme throughout the mystery... I didn’t mind the significant number of ‘coincidences’, of people knowing people, as much of my personal and business life winds up this way ... by networking and meeting lots of people, we can easily have relationships that connect...
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Deborah Crombie is the author of 17 novels featuring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James. The 18th Kincaid/James novel, A BITTER FEAST, will be released by William Morrow in October, 2019.

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

Other books in the series

Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James (1 - 10 of 18 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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