Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)” as Want to Read:
Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dreaming of the Bones

(Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #5)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  7,003 ratings  ·  363 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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Avon (first published 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dreaming of the Bones, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,003 ratings  ·  363 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)
Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie is a 2007 Avon publication. ( Originally published in 1997)

This fifth installment in the 'Kincaid & James' series begins with the shocking phone call from Kincaid’s ex-wife, Vic, who had walked out on their marriage years ago. Vic is writing a biography of the poet Lydia Brooke, which has led her to the belief that the famed poet did not commit suicide, but was murdered instead.

Vic calls upon Duncan, asking him to do her a big favor, hoping he can
Alex is The Romance Fox
I struggled to get into the 5th book in the series, Dreaming of the Bones.

Victoria McClellan, Duncan's ex-wife, has remarried and has a son. Now living in Cambridge, she's writing a biography of Lydia Brooke, a Cambridge poet whose death five years earlier was ruled as suicide. But reading her poetry and letters, Victoria believes that she didn't kill herself but may have been murdered.

She asks Duncan Kincaid to look into the poet's death. At first he's not convinced about the allegations and
Mary Ronan Drew
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dreaming of the Bones is the fifth book in the Kincaid/James series. I have mixed thoughts about this addition to the series. The reason for that is the book is divided into part one and part two. Part one takes up a little over a third of the book. Part one was slow moving for me and somewhat confusing at times. The confusion came from the introductions and storyline about Lydia Brooke's friends and Vic McClellan's work mates. The storyline would be about a character and I would wonder who that ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars.

I was expecting to meet Duncan's ex-wife at some time during this series, but the twist was totally unexpected. Not a fan of the hedonistic lives of the Cambridge mob (past or present) though.
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
Dr. Victoria (Vic) McClelland is writing a biography of poet, Lydia Brooke, who committed suicide five years ago. Vic's research has led her to believe that conclusion might be false. Who better to call than your ex-husband, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, despite years of silence? Duncan runs off to see Vic rather eagerly, much to the chagrin of his love, Gemma. He determines there are a few inconsistencies and gaps in the investigation of Lydia's death, but nothing conclusive. When another ...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 07, 2017 marked it as to-read
I didn't read this, it was a Goodreads covfefe moment!
Terri Lynn
Sep 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-2018, read-2018
It is the call Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid never expected—and one he certainly doesn't want. Victoria, his ex-wife, who walked out without an explanation more than a decade ago, asks him to look into the suicide of local poet, Lydia Brooke—a case that's been officially closed for five years. The troubled young writer's death, Victoria claims, might well have been murder.
No one is more surprised than Kincaid himself when he agrees to investigate—not even his partner and lover,
Julie  Durnell
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
This was not the typical Duncan/Gemma cozy mystery, but a more in depth literary kind of mystery. I was very taken with the story right up until the end. (I would deduct a half star for this if I could.) Came away almost dissatisfied, it just didn't set well with me. Duncan and Gemma's relationship is progressing very well and I shall go on to number 6!
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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,
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.
Anne Hawn Smith
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: forensics, mystery
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
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
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

Mojo Shivers
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Barring the fact that all the suspects were a little too calm and collected in hindsight, this was an exemplary mystery. With the effective use of the sins of the past revisiting and causing the deaths of not one but two people, it got my attention as soon as I realized the plot hinged on not what one suspect may have done but what all the suspects did together. One body because he or she had a thought to come clean all the many decades later. The other body because he or she realized body ...more
Sue Dix
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the 5th book in the Kincaid/James mystery series and it is by far my favorite. It starts with a request for help that quickly becomes a personal quest. There are startling revelations and Duncan and Gemma make some rash decisions and a some parts were reminiscent of the collegial feeling of The Likeness by Tana French and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. This series has become more complex with each installment. I look forward to more.
3.5 stars

Took a bit to really sink into the mystery of the story, but it was worth it. It's a character-driven narrative, and a difficult murder to solve as it's run on very little evidence, gut instinct, and poetry. But I enjoyed the interwoven stories, the twists and turns, and subtle hints that directed us to a smashing end. I'd try the next book sometime for sure.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, mystery
Another winner in the Kincaid & James series. This book is set in Cambridge and Grantchester and features an academic setting which I love. Having been in Cambridge less than six months ago also made the setting more interesting.

There's a double murder investigation happening in this story and all kinds of believable suspects. Much turns on the poetry of Rupert Brooke and the determination of his fans to recreate his lifestyle after death at an early age.

Very much recommended
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Number #5 in the Kincaid/James series. It's been a while since I read the previous book. I found the first third of this book incredibly slow. I almost gave up on it. Then the story line kicked in and I found myself reading until the wee hours! I'm going to move on to #6 quickly to try to maintain momentum. Good read if you can make it through the beginning parts.
Laura Knaapen
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Still an interesting, enjoyable series.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
Working my way through this series. Another good installment.
Lexxi Kitty
My fifth book by this author, and fifth in this series (I haven’t actually checked to see if the author has anything outside this series).

I admit, upfront, that my ability to enjoy the book was adversely impacted by the reading format. This is, in its way, strange and or confusing. It’s not like that one time I tried a book by Patricia Briggs and decided to try audio books – and found a male narrator, who took an odd high-pitched voice every time a female came onto the scene; which was
Grace Of Liddle
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Read as audiobook. Definitely liked this one and will pursue more from this author. Also very well narrated.
Susan Anderson
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2012-reads, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Richard Jury, #2)
  • A Killing Kindness (Dalziel & Pascoe, #6)
  • A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
  • The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)
  • Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3)
  • The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh #5)
  • The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
  • Speaker of Mandarin (Inspector Wexford, #12)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
  • Shroud for a Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh #4)
  • Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn #10)
  • Murder in the Blood (The Doyle & Acton Murder #10)
  • Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14)
  • Scarlet Fever
  • The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, #1)
  • Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7)
  • The Torso in the Town (Fethering, #3)
  • Death on the Downs (Fethering, #2)
See similar books…
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)
  • 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)
“jutting bosom, and closer acquaintance had done nothing” 0 likes
“Men often substitute anger for grief, because anger is the only emotion they’re taught it’s acceptable to feel.” 0 likes
More quotes…