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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  5,465 Ratings  ·  295 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 prestigi

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2008)
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Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 03, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are caught up in a case involving Gemma's friend Erika Rosenthal and a broche made by her father that has long been lost but has turned up as an offering at and auction house. The tale advances on two fronts, Old history covering Erika's escape from Nazi Germany and her husbands murder in London and subsequent investigation and the present day investigation into he broche and several subsequent murders that appear to be connected. Another good author that I will be ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the 12th adventure of Duncan Kincaid, a Scotland Yard detective and Gemma James, a police sergeant in London. The two were initially work partners, but as the series progressed a romance blossomed, so they separated professionally and moved in together domestically – all the while solving murders. The author’s books follow a formula with multiple narrative threads loosely connecting characters, sub-plots (usually a crime from the distant past that ties to the current investigation), the ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
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
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
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
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.
Nancy Ellis
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the characters in this series and how the author is developing them. This one focuses on Gemma's friend Erika, who escaped to London from Nazi Germany with her husband. She has learned that a priceless brooch which was stolen from her at that time is now being put up for auction, and she asks Gemma to investigate. The theft led to the death of her husband at that time, and now its reappearance apparently has led to two more deaths. Gemma, Duncan, and their teams all pitch in to solve the ...more
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Read awhile ago and forgot to rate.
Ann Mcelligott
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
Terri Lynn
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Ronan Drew
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love this series by Deborah Crombie. However, I do recommend that you read them in order because of the wonderful character development. Which is not to say that you can't just pick one up and enjoy every juicy morsel. But in terms of plot and character, they do build on each other. Having said that, this British police procedural is a welcome addition to the series. It has everything--good characters, a cold case, Nazi intrigue that is unmasked all of these years later, and interesting charac ...more
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016, june-2016
Started this one a week or so ago, but just couldn't get into it. So, I restarted yesterday, and couldn't stop listening. This book was a bit unusual for Ms. Crombie, in that so many characters' stories just started up, and you really didn't have any idea who they were. But by the end, it's all clear, everything is tied up, and it all makes sense. Very well done. And, I have to admit, that I even liked Jenny Sterlin's narration didn't bug me like it did in the last book she narrated in this seri ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Actual rating 3.5 stars. What keeps me from giving this four stars is how Gemma was so focused on the case instead upon caring for her mother. She was actually on a short leave and used the time to investigate a mystery for her friend rather than visiting her mother in the hospital. That being said, the mystery was good and nicely tied up in the end, and I'm still enjoying Gemma and Duncan and their family.
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gemma's friend Erica escaped Nazi Germany but her father a renowned jewelry designer was left behind. When his most famous brooch shows up in an auction in London in current times Erica asks Gemma to investigate the provenance of the brooch that was stolen from her family. A bit of history of a dark time in this one.
Judie Holliday
Either this woman isn't as good as she used to be, or my tastes have changed. I found the plot implausible and the characters unlikeable. I wanted to find out who dunnit in the end, but otherwise, it was a bit of a slog to get through.
The Library Lady
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-mysteries
I can't give an objective review about these books. I just inhale them in one short sitting and wish they were longer.
Susan Wallace
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: overdrive, audio
Best of series so far, read by Jenny Sterlin, she did a great job on this one.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful series. Always intriguing!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Always a good read. I have read many of the books, not all of them in order, but it doesn't take away from the great story, characters and plot lines.

Gemma's neighbour and friend, Erika, calls Gemma late one night. Erika is obviously upset and Gemma, even though she is in the middle of hosting a dinner, immediately goes over to see Erika.

Erika has learnt, through a friend, that an expensive brooch, that once belonged to Erika, is going to be auctioned off at a local Auction House. This brooch w
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Of all the Duncan and Gemma stories, this one touched my heart the deepest. Another friend of Gemma's dear friend Erika finds a piece of jewelry for sale in an auction catalog that Erika had told him about - and which was taken from her many years ago. She calls Gemma for help and what unfolds is the incredible story of Erika's life, from her childhood in Germany, to her flight from the Naziz, and on to the deaths of those closest to her. Ms. Crombie weaves a spell here that draws you in. Specta ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-series
One thing I appreciate about Deborah Crombie's mysteries is the way she ties history in with the cases. This one goes back to WWII, bringing to light the story of Gemma's friend, Erika Rosenthal. A jewel has turned up at an auction house that was made by Erika's father before he was taken to a concentration camp, where he died. Then a young woman employed by the auction house is run down in front of her home, and new information comes to light about the death of Erika's husband, which had been r ...more
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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 17 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)