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Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)
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Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #6)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,112 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Crombie weaves a tale of two boys who become allies, then friends, in a story of trust and betrayal whose repercussions echo across six decades.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 6th 1999 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1999)
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Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie is a 2001 Bantam publication.

In this sixth installment of the Kincaid & James series, Duncan and Gemma look into the murder of a beautiful young woman and the connection between two families that dates back decades and harbors many painful secrets- but are they worth killing for?

When I added this book to my ‘currently reading’ status, I noticed how many four and five star ratings it had. In fact, it was a rare, near unanimous verdict. This had me so
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The frustrating thing about this Kinkaid and James series is that once I've got about 70% through, I just can't seem to put them down: my household chores are pushed aside, my family give me funny looks, my timetable is rearranged, but I just have to find out what happens in the end! And I agree with Claude, "Kissed a Sad Goodbye" was my favourite so far!

2nd Reading: I'm upping this to the full 5 stars! After listening to the audio version, I can truthfully say that this is a wonderfully written
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is exceptional! The plot centers around of the murder of a very beautiful and successful woman. Soon the detectives discover that she has many secrets in her life, and the plot is very complicated and lives of the characters in the story are very intertwined. Once again, Deborah Crombie kept me entertained from cover to cover. This is book #6 in the English murder mystery series of Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James of Scotland Yard. I am looking forward to book #7!
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
In her previous novel, "Dreaming of the Bones" Deborah Crombie explored a new structure intertwining two story lines--past and present. And IMO she was not particularly successful in that first attempt.

In "Kissed A Sad Goodbye" she uses the same technique but with much better effect. The modern murder mystery was plotted with the precision and attention to characterization and setting that have become a hallmark of her books, while the back story forms such a poignant and historically significan
Don't trust me; absolutely don't rely on this review.

This book is number 6 in a 12-part series (or more). I read it out-of-order for reasons. Quite possibly when I read the books in order I'll change my rating and my impressions.

First off, the book was well-written, and I thought the characterizations were very fine. Unfortunately, I didn't really like any of the characters and was confused by who was who. I did, however, like all the dogs. People were awfully dreary and seemed unsure of who the
Mary Ronan Drew
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deborah Crombie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Usually when I find an author I like (Donna Leon, say, or Charles Todd) I read the books very slowly, waiting six months or longer between them. I just don’t have the self-discipline to do that with Deborah Crombie’s Gemma James and Duncan Kinkaid series. I’m gobbling them up at a rate of one a week.

Kissed a Sad Goodbye was as usual very well plotted. The characters, including of course James and Kinkaid, are complex. And the setting is ter
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Kincaid / James episode. Maybe my favourite so far. I liked the flashbacks into WWII with evacuee children, although usually, I don't like too many flashbacks. And I loved the encounter with one of the recurrent secondary character in the series, the clarinet playing busker.
Looking forward to more of the series.
Terri Lynn
I just love Deborah Crombie's series about Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James!!!

Duncan and Gemma work for Scotland yard. He is her superintendent and she is his sergeant. Gemma is a single mom of 3 year old Toby. Her husband abandoned them when Toby was born and then later disappeared so he is not even paying child support. Duncan had been divorced for 12 years from Victoria who had just run off on him and then married Ian, an academic. She was murdered in the last book and Duncan discovered that
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I confess. Instead of reading the books "I'm currently reading," I read this one. So many books. So little time. Another one in the Kincaid/James series. The body of a beautiful woman is found in a park on the Isle of Dogs. She been laid out in a manner suggesting she was killed by someone she knew. Who might it be? The fiance she with which she just had a quarrel? A jilted lover? A member of her family? Somehow this is all linked to events during World War II and the evacuation of children to t ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in the series. I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks to WWII-era England through the eyes of a young evacuee from London.

Note: I could not find an audio version of this at any library, so I read the ebook version in order to continue on with the series. This is not a series where you can skip a book; each one advances the interpersonal plot between Duncan and Gemma, as well as adding to their individual character development.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Annabelle Hammond, the beautiful head of an well known tea company is found dead, her body lovingly laid out on the grass, family secrets come tumbling out. The book goes back and forth between WW2 in Surrey and the present day (1999) in London, specifically the Isle of Dogs not far from Greenwich. The area had been a busy shipping area, but changing economics have left the old warehouses empty and lots of people unemployed. Now things have been rebounding. Lewis Finch a developer who wants ...more
Nancy Ellis
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The body of a beautiful young woman is discovered in an East London park. Duncan is called in to investigate, and his planned weekend with his recently discovered 11-year-old son is ruined. The mystery deepens to include elements from as far back as World War II. The characters in this book are extremely interesting, and I love the way she inserts extended detailed flashbacks into the story, giving us the background of the time when children were evacuated from wartime London. As always, there a ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A decent installment. Solid writing.

After the great character development and momentum of the last book, this one was disappointing. Not much happened to move the characters' story forward. I don't know if that's to allow us to catch our breath and adjust to the turn of events of the last book or what.

On a positive note, the mystery was good. I had no clue who the murderer was until the final pages.

I will continue with the series. The previous book was just too good for me to give up cuz this on
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Kissed a Sad Goodbye’ by Deborah Crombie was a really good book but also a slightly frustrating book. By intertwining a historical story into the current crime story it was frustrating, as the reader, to not understand what was going on. I knew, because I occasionally employ common sense that the two stories would meet up somewhere, but that didn’t make it less frustrating to try and remember what was happening in each separate storyline during the breakaways. The other thing I struggled with h ...more
BOTTOM LINE: #6 Duncan and Gemma, Isle of Dogs, London, Surrey; cosy police procedural. The death of a beautiful young executive in 1999 and her family’s history during WW2 in Surrey and the East End and The Isle of Dogs, gets interwoven with Duncan and Gemma’s relationship, the rebuilding of London, friendship and power, lust and love, into a densely plotted mystery.

The pacing is so very good that despite an initial confusion (difficult to keep all the times and people straight at first) I was
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is a very interesting series, but the last couple have been so depressing that I haven't wanted to get started on the next right away. Detective Superindendent Duncan Kincaid and his Seageant, and girlfriend, Gemma James have been assigned to solve the murder of a beautiful girl who is the owner and manager of a tea business called Hammonds. This case is a strain on Duncan and Gemma's relationship and to solve this case they have to go back in time to the war to find the motives for ...more
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: World War II fans, London buffs
This is hands down my favorite Crombie so far. Fascinating settings - the East London Docklands area and the Surrey countryside during World War II, where three children from London are sent for their own safety. Conflicts and strong attractions develop in both places, and the conflicts of the past turn out to be the motivating force behind a murder in the present. Uncommonly well plotted and not confusing at all, despite its complexity, since the characters are all so memorable. Brava, Crombie!
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I have been working my way through this series and have enjoyed all of the books so far. This one perhaps a little less than the others--I think the murderer in this case is a lot harder to accept, perhaps a motive that is much less believable than in the other books. I also did not feel the flirtation with a suspect made a lot of sense, given the weak premise on which is was based. But I did enjoy reading the older story woven in, with the impact on the children of WWII. Overall, a good book, b ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a total sucker for mysteries where a past event informs a current crime, and this one's a fine example. The ongoing plotlines and eminent plausibility of the action keeps the series lively. And I totally wish Hazel was my neighbor.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story continues the relationship of Kincaid and James. I like the progression and look forward to the rest of the series.
Christine Mac
ove this series, should be reading in order...oh well
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duncan and Gemma investigating the death of a young woman who was an owner and manager of a large tea company. She Lea es her sister's dinner party with her fiancee and then argues with him and she tells him she will meet at a pub layer but never makes it. Lots of tension in the victim's family and with her colleagues.
She is not the perfect daughter her father thought she was. She had an affair with her brother-in-law, a man he father had some history with and his son. Duncan and Gemma help a n
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, audio-2018
Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James face their most haunting case yet when the past devastatingly intersects with the present....
Book 6 is a very good installment to the Kincaid/James police procedural series. I liked the way the author wove the WWII past into the present day murder case. I enjoyed reading about Kincaid's relationship with his new found son, Kit, and Gemma's reaction to his fathering skills. There were lots of interesting new characters who became suspects on my list
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy this series a great deal. Crombie weaves past and present together to good effect. Her characters are interesting and engaging. The sense of place (including a detailed map inside the cover) is excellent. Many characters are introduced very quickly at the beginning and I found it a bit difficult to keep track of who was who. But, if you just keep reading, they all fall into place with time. The intertwining stories kept me quickly turning pages and the mystery was satisfying. The relatio ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
Interesting setting: the Isle of Dogs in east London, and compelling characters: Annabelle Hammond, the murder victim, and Lewis Finch, the millionaire developer she was having an affair with even while engaged to be married to someone else. It appears that Annabelle was seeking information about the Finch family, but the reason appears to lie in the past, when Lewis' and Annabelle's fathers were evacuated together, as children, during the Blitz. Meanwhile, Kit's father Ian returns and wants Kit ...more
Margo Brooks
As always, Crombie's writing is brilliant, and when you add information about the London Blitz, and historic preservation efforts in the East End, it just becomes that more interesting. The mystery is still the focus, but the history and relationships between characters is what keeps me coming back to this series over and over. One thing that I didn't quite get about this novel is how these detectives could talk to the same people so many times without major reprocussions for their careers.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more of a 3.5*. I really enjoy Deborah Crombie's writing and have enjoyed all of the books that I have read so far in this series. There were two problems for me: Firstly, there's wasn't enough explanation of 'why' the murderer killed Annabelle. I found the explanation weak to say the least and not even plausible. Secondly, Gemma's attraction to one of the suspects was a bit annoying. Perhaps this is because I prefer Kincaid to her. Nevertheless I look forward to book 7.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Crombie’s written style shines in this installment even if her plotting is a bit lacking. The attempt to tie a present-day murder to events from World War II England spreads the mystery too thin. Some characters appear for no good reason, while others are almost caricatures. A great deal of promise that doesn’t pan out.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am truly enjoying my re-read of this series to catch up on the books that I missed the first go round! Hard t believe that Ms. Crombie does not live in Great Britain currently...her books are so vivid and detailed that you feel like you are there!
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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)
  • A Finer End (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #7)
  • And Justice There Is None (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #8)
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“Friends come and go, Lewis, but the things you learn will always be yours, to use as you will.” 0 likes
“You can only do things one day at a time, sport. Sometimes life is so bloody that's the only way you can get through it. But the good bit about living one day at a time is that when nice things happen, you enjoy them more than people who are always thinking about the past or the future.” 0 likes
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