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Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #5)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  5,643 Ratings  ·  290 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 nua ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Avon (first published 1997)
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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 a
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 We
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
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
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 07, 2017 marked it as to-read
I didn't read this, it was a Goodreads covfefe moment!
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 fro
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, die
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. Dun
Anne Hawn Smith
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, forensics
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 d
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.
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.
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

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.
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 unfortuna
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback, read-2017
Die ersten 100-150 Seiten lasen sich leider ziemlich schleppend und ich konnte mich einfach nicht für die Charaktere interessieren. (liegt wahrscheinlich daran, dass es der fünfte Teil ist und ich noch keinen vorher gelesen habe)
Der Fall wurde dann doch noch ganz spannend, trotzdem gibt's nur drei Sterne.
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
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: mystery, z2012-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read Deborah Crombie before. She has some superficial similarities to Elizabeth George, being an American author writing British mysteries with an upper-class Scotland Yard detective (Kincaid) and his lower class sergeant (Jones). But while the genre is the same, the execution is different. Elizabeth George serves up heavy tomes full of lots of details; Crombie (on the basis of this story) serves up much simpler fare, though equally enjoyable. We do of course have the requisite detecti ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This next book in the Kincaid/Jones saga was not available from my local library service so I had to purchase a copy, which turned out to be an American publication, so I don't know if copyright problems affect its availability in the UK. I did try it as an audiobook, but iTunes turned it into an out-of-sequence jumble which was quite surreal to experience.

This time Duncan Kincaid is consulted by his ex-wife, Victoria Potts Kincaid McLellan, because she feels the poetess she is writing a biograp
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't often give a book five stars. However, this fifth book in Deborah Crombie's Kinkaid/James mystery series is far and away the best to date. The very complicated plot spans three generations and is a complex network of personal and professional relationships. Taking place in present-day academic Cambridge, but reaching back in time as far as pre-World War I, there is poetry here - both literal and figurative. Ms. Crombie does a spectacular job of weaving it all together and keeping it all ...more
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A first-rate story on two different levels. Firstly the murder mystery is finely unfurled: Kinkaid and James flounder between London and Cambridge, trying to put together well-hidden clues that will eventually allow them to solve an old crime and a new one. Secondly, this novel stirs up a lot of emotion in Kincaid, who is personally affected by one of the crimes, and in Gemma who is now his partner in both a private and professional capacity.

I love the way Deborah Crombie develops these charact
Erin L
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a slow start for me as I couldn't get into Vic's and Lydia's story. Once I did though, it became a bit of a wild ride.

Having read this series out of order by mistake (I honestly thought book 10 was book 5, oops), I knew where things were going before the author got us there, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. It was just nice to fill in the blanks.

Overall, I'm enjoying this series. Love the characters, the stories are well written and fairly complex mysteries. The setting is
Susan Johnson
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this addition to the Kincaid-James series. As each book comes along, the plots get a little more complex. This one involves Kincaid's ex-wife who asks him to invesitgate a death that occurred five years ago. The death involved a poet who's biography the ex-wife is now writing. There are lots of twists and turns and events happen that change the two protagnoist's lives forever. An excellent edition to this entertaining series.
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's no wonder this one received so many awards. Multi-layered suspense throughout. Am reading the entire series in order and am captivated. Visit "Stop, You're Killing Me! website for complete lists of mysteries and authors.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent Kincaid and James. If it were not for a lengthy beginning that seemed to lead nowhere, I would have given it five stars.

I just loved this second reading. Found it more interesting than the first one, including the lengthy beginning LOL
I AM giving it five stars!
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading Crombie's books. As the series develop so do Crombie's wrting skills. Great summer read.
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A book of poetry written by a murdered poet gives clues to the disappearance of a teen 40 years earlier
Janet Mahlum
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a book I listened to, read by Jenny Sterlin. It's hard for me to get past her horrible interpretation of the book to give a fair evaluation. I think if I had read it for myself, I would probably have given it 4 stars. I should have read it for myself. I had trouble at first getting all the characters sorted out and straight. The book bounces back and forth between then and now with so many characters in both times. Ms. Sterlin's reading was horrible! When she read narration or female cha ...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)
  • 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)

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