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An Accidental Death

(DC Smith #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,320 ratings  ·  481 reviews
The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex DCI, ...more
Kindle Edition, 5th Edition, 251 pages
Published October 3rd 2013 by Covey Publishing
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Gcrivercat I don't remember if it was addressed in the 1st in the series, but it is in the 2nd. His name is David C Smith, a Detective Sargeant. He goes by DC (e…moreI don't remember if it was addressed in the 1st in the series, but it is in the 2nd. His name is David C Smith, a Detective Sargeant. He goes by DC (explained as a likely joke when he started out as a police officer, he couldn't remember). He used to be a DCI but didn't like the politics and stepped down to DS. (less)
Pam It explains in the book, he chose to be demoted because of the "politics" of the department after an internal investigation. At least this is how I re…moreIt explains in the book, he chose to be demoted because of the "politics" of the department after an internal investigation. At least this is how I remember it was explained! This was my first "DS" book, but not my last.(less)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Sandy
So once again I'm asking myself....how have I missed this series?! Instead of being fashionably late to the party, apparently I've shown up after everyone ate, drank, danced, got arrested & made bail.

This is a wonderful read, a straight up procedural full of well developed characters that grow on you with each passing page. The MC is D.C. Smith, a seasoned detective in Kings Lake, Norfolk. He's a widower who can't imagine not being on the job despite some not so subtle hints to retire. After a
...more
Cindy Rollins
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did not expect to like this British police procedural and its characters so much. I honestly checked the publishing date more than once
because it felt like it was so well-crafted and I could not believe it was a newer author. The character DC Smith is not at all the stereotypical hard-beaten detective. The murder (or is it?) is not gruesome and the language is clean and yet for all that it doesn't feel like some light cozy mystery at all but rather a real story about real people in a real plac
...more
Diane Dickson
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have just discovered Mr Grainger's - DC Smith series and if this first one is any indication then I am off and running on another series marathon. DC Smith is a fascinating, endearing character with hidden depths some of which we are shown in full and some which are merely hinted at. He is real and believable with a poignant history and the hint of mischief and subversiveness about him that will be loved by fans of David Jason's - Frost.

This first story is much deeper (sorry) than it first app
...more
Jean
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it

Peter Grainger’s An Accidental Death was an accidental discovery, and what a hidden gem! I’d not read anything by this author until I found this lovely police procedural, and now I will definitely be looking to continue the series.

DC Smith is a nearly 30-year veteran of the Kings Lake police force. He’s a recent widower, so rather than retiring, as some of his superiors no doubt would prefer, Smith keeps on truckin’. When a teenager’s body is found in the river after a gathering of his peers for
...more
Bicky
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, perfect
Amazing. A police procedural which makes your heart thump at every small step of the investigation purely through good quiet writing and not by thrills being provided by the villains committing audacious acts in quick succession.
Sergeant DC Smith (DC) has been a policeman for over thirty years. What makes him unique is that at some point he took a voluntary demotion for reasons unknown to us. This means that he is never in awe of his superiors. His DI was once his trainee and the way DC deals wi
...more
✨Susan✨
Hmmmm? 3 or 4 stars. Narrative was a 5. I am on the fence with this first book in a cozy detective series. I liked the main character and the fact that a case can be investigated without gunfights and brutality. A bit of a throw back to Agatha Christi and maybe even Louise Penny’s, Three Pines series, but, I felt the story just plodded along. I would have liked more of a back story of DC Smith and a faster pace. That being said I would not pass up another book in the series should it be on sale.
Becky Almon
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great read, if you like Touch of Frost you will like this

I got this on my Prime monthly loan after reading the sample for book three of this series. I was interested in the characters and decided to read the series from the start. I intend to buy the rest as a result of reading this first DS Smith story - not something I can afford to do often on my limited budget !
I like a lot of British police procedurals, but have found some recent ones on Amazon's list to be disappointing in view of what se
...more
Kathy Via
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I got this as a free book for the Kindle. I wasn't familiar with the author but I like detective stories. It was free so I wasn't expecting anything from it. It was very interesting! I liked his characters and the plot was well thought out. I guess the highest praise that I can offer is that I would like to read the other two books in the series! I had just finished watching the Inspector Morse series and it reminded me of Morse. ...more
Nancy
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
First book in the D.C. Smith series and it read like a first novel. I had planned on reading the second and am excited to have found a new series.
Eric_W
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A young man on an outing with friends dives into the river to follow a canoe. He goes around the bend and his body is located the next day along the shore. At first glance it appears to be an accidental drowning, but a couple of things bother the pathologist and DS Smith (ex-DCI Smith who to confuse things more, is called by his first initials DC.) There was a bruise on the boy's head that suspiciously seemed to match the engraving on paddles rented by a canoe rental agency that had had a canoe ...more
Book Him Danno
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A quirky but very interesting British Police detective story. The main character, DC Smith, is an older man of many hidden talents of which most are unknown to his colleagues. He is not afraid to use unorthodox methods to achieve successful results. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books in the series.

I have rated this book 4.25 stars.

I obtained this book from Amazon in Kindle format.
Annette
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Detective Sergeant Smith is no longer a young policeman. He is no longer a Detective Chief inspector. With some people in the police department in Kings Lake, he is also no longer a friend. But, the upper officers in the department are well aware of Smith's abilities and the intend to use him whenever they can.

When a 16 year old young man drowns in a river, Smith is given the paperwork and told to check on things.

At the same time, he is given Waters. Waters is the son of an old friend and new
...more
Jim
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not really a cozy mystery, but there isn't any gore or even much violence for all that it's a murder investigation. An excellent start to a series new to me. Set in England, DC Smith is an old hand at investigating crimes & even took a demotion rather than get stuck behind a desk. He's not too old as he proves by following a very twisty trail. A real bonus is there is obviously a lot of backstory that is only slowly & partially filled in. He's an interesting, likable guy & really I'm intere ...more
Brenda
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
I thought this was a very great book. I figured it was like the third or fourth book in the series and I was going to look up the earlier ones. But this was the first one with DC Smith. I found the characters were very real to me and so was the story. I liked the fact that as the story progressed so did my understanding of Smith and Waters. I will be reading more of DC Smith's Investigations. Peter Grainger will be going on my To Look For List.

I got the book for free off of Amazon but I don't re
...more
Jason Parent
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Straightforward and enjoyable police procedural with likable protagonists
Deanna
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A waffly 3 stars. A writer of some skill and potential. A story alternately tepid and readable, predictable and insightful. Interesting enough to finish it. Unsatisfactory enough to be relieved to reach the end.
Lou Harper
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A very enjoyable police procedural in the British style.
Laura
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you, whoever read this book and posted a review. It’s such a happy feeling to find a good police procedural and know the author is off to a great start on a series. Good characters, good plot, good entertainment.
Judy
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A promising new series for me. Detective Sergeant Smith is a shrewd policeman with years of experience. I immediately took to him as he solves a case while he mentors a new police recruit. I will read more of this series.
Ralph
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2017
4.0 out of 5.0 - Splendid British police procedural. Great characters, smart, and witty (without going over the top).

A refreshing change of pace from the high adrenaline. thriller, An Accidental Death is a smartly crafted mystery with fully formed characters. The pacing is slower, giving the author time to focus on the environment and character development. Somewhat in the style of Colin Dexter's Morse.

I really liked this book and the characters of D.C. (David Conrad) Smith and his protege, D.C
...more
Mike Finn

"An Accidental Death", published in 2013, is one of the best British police crime novels I've read in a long time.





The first thing in its favour is that the whole novel is character driven. DC Smith is a wonderful invention: cliché-free and deeply imagined. In this first novel, he constantly surprised me, yet each new thing that I learned about him added to a picture that was as credible as it was intriguing. I liked his quietly unconventional, more than slightly subversive way of dealing with po

...more
Clare
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
An Accidental Death is my bookclubs December 2016 read.

I luckily purchased this book as a freebie on Amazon sometime ago. However after reading some freebie books in the past I was a little worried about the quality of this book.

There was no need to worry. I found Smith, the star of the book very complex and Mr Grainger has merely.scratched the surface of this character. Smith was a former DCI but was demoted to DS after an enquiry. Prior to joining the police he worked for the security service
...more
Jilrene
I was bored. Very bored. The entire story is from one DC Smith's POV. He solved the mystery. In his head. Like a math problem. ;) I figured it out too. Except, it really wasn't a mystery. Then there was this side plot thread that added nothing to the story. Well, it added pages. It did not add suspense. Or anything interesting to the story. It took me 20 days to read 200 pages.

At least it was free.
...more
Kim
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Along an English stream a trio of teens are swimming and call out teasingly to boaters as they drift downstream. One, a well-known sixth form* athlete, jumps in to swim toward a canoe as it is about to go around a bend. He laughs and yells that he's going to catch the boat. Hours later his body is found next to the stream.

The autopsy is generally straightforward, declaring it an accidental drowning. But there are a few confusing notes in the file. Detective Constable (DC) Smith has returned to w
...more
Barbara
This wasn’t a bad book by any means. It was capably written, and by the end it was easy to have become engaged with the principle characters. But my overall sense was that there was nothing exceptional about it. I’m always disappointed when the explanation of the mystery doesn’t emerge organically, when a character has to explain all the details.

I was probably influenced in my opinions by a couple of other books I’ve read this year. Elly Griffiths did a more effective job of describing Norfolk,
...more
P.R.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some books are written in such a way that you know you will come back to them when all else fails - and this is one of them.

Peter Grainger - a new author to me - gently and subtly takes the reader's hand and guides the way like an old friend, with beautifully crafted prose. Add to this some unusual and truly likeable characters, an excellent plot, and reading doesn't get much better.

I loved this, and have immediately started to read the next one in the series.
Five stars, and a definite 'will rea
...more
Kathy
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Searching through available books available from Kindle Unlimited I found this series featuring DC Smith and decided to try it out. The author has won me over for now, so I shall proceed to book two. I guess I am a series glutton.
This book starts very slowly and somewhat wobbly, causing the reader to wonder if something is ever going to happen - or at least some clues provided as to what this dude's story is. It is dribbled out in a path of sparse breadcrumbs that Smith was formerly of higher r
...more
Jillian
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an unexpected find. While police procedurals tend to fit into the do-it-by-the-book-and -it-will-be-solved-by-superior-deduction category or that of the maverick-cop-who-cuts-to-the-chase, this one assumes the reader can follow a narrative that includes nuance. We are treated as intelligent readers who can , without elaboration, pick up the signals -often ambiguous- that alert an experienced detective that, for example, political forces are at play. This is a rare writing skill.

The devic
...more
Blair Hodgkinson
This was a competent mystery to be sure, and there were some interesting tie-ins between an apparently accidental death and seemingly unrelated events in Eastern Europe years before. I was not bored with the story at all, but I found it a little too full of "lonely, maverick detective" tropes and it all felt a little too familiar. ...more
Jeff
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Investigation into an accidental death unveils a greater mystery. This story is filled with good characters and great character development. The plot develops steadily by slowly revealing new clues at each step.
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