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Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #11)
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Water Like a Stone

(Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #11)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  5,556 ratings  ·  315 reviews

Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner, Sergeant Gemma James, take their sons to picturesque Cheshire for their first family Christmas with Duncan's parents - a holiday both dreaded and anticipated. But not even the charming town of Nantwich and the dreaming canals can mask the tensions in Duncan's family, which are tragically heightened by the discovery

Hardcover, 407 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by William Morrow
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Jane I believe these are Annie’s ashes. She was intertwined with the Wain family, and the clues are in the last 2 paragraphs.

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Start your review of Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #11)
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Water Like Stone by Deborah Crombie is a 2007 William Morrow publication.

My first Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid installment of 2019! It has taken me three years to get this far in the series, as I am not much of a binge reader. But, barring some unforeseen circumstances, I will finish it this year!

I’m up to the eleventh chapter in the series, which finds Gemma and Duncan traveling to spend the Christmas holidays with Duncan’s parents. This will be Gemma’s first official visit and she is under
Julie  Durnell
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
This is my favorite in the series (so far!). The plot lines were very well constructed and it was great to finally meet Duncan's family. The information on the narrowboats and canals were so interesting. It was an unexpected bonus to read this in December as the book takes place over the Christmas holidays! ...more
L.A. Starks
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While the juggling of characters and subplots can be dizzying, Crombie tells a wonderful story with aplomb, research, and true feeling for both her characters and the setting. Her expertise takes this, like her other books, well past the simple "cozy" genre. My only quibble is that the villain was telegraphed so early in the book. Water Like a Stone is well worth reading. ...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Crombie is just getting better and better. With a minor exception or two, I've found every Kinkaid and James novel to be utterly captivating and engaging and Water Like a Stone doesn't disappoint.

Duncan, Gemma and their family go back to Duncan's birthplace where his family still lives to celebrate Christmas. It's particularly unnerving for Gemma because she'd never met most of Kinkaid's family. She meets Duncan's mother and father as well as his somewhat estranged sister, her stand offish husba
Terri Lynn
I was somewhat underwhelmed by this entry in Deborah Crombie's series about Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. They are spending Christmas with Duncan's parents out in the country where Duncan grew up. Just as they arrive, Duncan's sister, who they were to have Christmas Eve dinner with before attending a midnight mass, calls Duncan to come out to an old dairy barn she is renovating for clients because she has found a dead baby plastered in the wall.

This is not the only stone cold thing about Chri
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
As one of my friends said, a bit slow at the beginning, but quite enjoyable. I am really taking a lot of pleasure reading the whole series again.
On to Where Memories Lie
Mojo Shivers
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The more I read this series, the more I realize it’s not like other mysteries with partners who happen to be romantically involved with each other. This is more like an extended family who happened to luck into each other’s live that just happen to be homicide detectives that handle some pretty horrific murder cases.

I mean—it was hard to tell at first, what with the romantic leanings subtle in the first two books. But after eleven installments, I think it’s safe to say this was Crombie’s plan al
Mary Ronan Drew
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This 11th Deborah Crombie mystery featuring Gemma Jones and Duncan Kincaid takes place on the canals and canal boats of Cheshire. One of the things I like about Crombie’s books is that they introduce me to different parts of London and of England and they explore subjects like distilling, firefighting, or in this case canal boating.

Gemma and Duncan have taken a long weekend to visit his parents in the country where he grew up. Things grow tense as they realize his sister is in a deteriorating ma
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars.

I'm starting to think Duncan and Gemma are jinxed... bad things seem to happen around them...

I feel quite sad in the end on this one....
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This has all the ingredients I love in a mystery novel: good plot, great characters, no horror, not too dark and gritty but not too cosy either: Deborah Crombie gets just the right balance so one is never bored, nor climbing up the curtains with excrutiating suspense!

If I only give it 4 and a half stars, it is simply because it takes some time for the story to really get going, but it is wonderful when it does. Well written and totally recommendable!

Re-read: Even better the second time around! I
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I have to admit that the past couple books in this series have been good, but not quite up to par with the earlier books. Water Like a Stone changes that trend. Ms. Crombie is back with an excellent story line, likable characters, real villains, and an excellent narrator. All in all, an excellent book. Highly recommend. <>< ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Deborah Crombie has managed to create a series that effectively marries English travelogue, mystery and family drama. In this book, Crombie combines an interesting description of the narrowboat culture with mysteries involving several deaths. In addition, there is plenty of drama as Kincaid's sister and niece must make difficult choices in dangerous situations. ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This one had been worrying all the way through it, especially for all the children involved.

Kit has a lot of things to work through and I think maybe Lally will work through her own demons with him.

It was very interesting to see Kincaid's family. And I really want Kincaid and Gemma to quit being so cautious with each other and afraid to go one step further.

May 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book in parts. It starts well with a slightly spooky, dark, snowy night in the English countryside - a great setting for a murder mystery but then the atmosphere dwindles away. There are too many irritating kids, too much descriptive detail of the canal boat system, too many different story-lines, which all detracted from what should have been an intriguing read.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, mysteries, audio
This is an excellent series and I really enjoyed the audiobook. I'm going back to read the whole series now. ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent entry in a wonderful series. This time England's canals and those that traverse and live on them provide the frame, and factual snippets about the canals head each chapter. ...more
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction addicts.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mal Warwick
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Christmastime in Cheshire, and the Duncan Kincaid-Gemma James household is relocating from London to visit his parents and his younger sister. 13-year-old Kit (Duncan's son) and 5-year-old Toby (hers) and the boys' two dogs are off to the countryside. There, they'll meet Hugh and Rosemary Kincaid, their daughter Juliet Newcombe, her husband Caspar, and their two children, 14-year-old Lally and 10-year-old Sam. But if that sounds like an idyllic family Christmas, guess again.

As it turns out,
Vickie Buenger
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Not since I read Elizabeth George's This Body of Death, have a learned so much about a subject that I didn't even know existed until I began the book. In the case of George, it was the ponies of The New Forest. In Deborah Crombie's Water Like a Stone, I discovered the fascinating details of the narrow boats of the canals in England. This was a satisfying read. I started it as a gym read, but took it on vacation and couldn't leave it in the gym bag. ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duncan and Gemma take time off from their police jobs in London to go visit his parents in the country for the holidays. Unfortunately there is no escape from crime. Duncan's sister was rehabbing an old barn for new owners when she breaks down a wall and finds a mummified infant sealed in the concrete. Very well done story and the picturesque countryside sounds beautiful. ...more
Margo Brooks
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
As always, I just love how Crombie weaves in British history and culture, in this case the history and lifestyle of the men and women who traveled Britain's canalways, and brings Gemma and Duncan's relationship to life. Not quite as well written as some of the others, but still well and above most in the genre. ...more
This is nearly a 5-star book. Some rather shocking things happen for Kit and Duncan's sister Juliet, but with support from Duncan, Gemma, and Duncan's parents, some excellent decisions are made and old ghosts are laid. ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Somewhat predictable and laced with problematic relationships, this is light reading akin to romance without the romance. Just thinking about it, I want to yawn.
Who doesn't like a good British mystery?

I pretty much saw where this one was going, but the writing was good and I liked the characters. I'll be back, Crombie.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
An okay read; nothing special, but entertaining nonetheless. I found myself skipping ahead several times though.
Michele Bond
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is positively Crumbie's best book so far. Fascinating plot, great descriptions of Britain's waterways, as well as societal/moral issues exposed. ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my second time around for reading this book. It held up quite well, even though I knew who the shocking killer was.
The setting is Christmas in South Cheshire, an area we were enchanted by on our visit a few years ago, so I much enjoyed picturing the canal and environs. Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Inspector Gemma James with their sons, Kit and Toby, on a holiday visit to Duncan's parents, find themselves involved in a couple of murders ranging over at least a five ye
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WATER LIKE A STONE is Book #11 of Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series.
Duncan, Gemma, Toby, Kit and their two dogs travel to Duncan’s parents’ home in Cheshire for the Christmas holidays. Soon after arrival, Duncan takes a call from his sister, Juliet. She is at her work site and has shockingly uncovered an infant interred in a wall of an old dairy barn. Police inquiries bring Duncan together with childhood friend, Chief Inspector Ronnie Babcock of the local police force.
Laura Edwards
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Pace too slow for a good portion of the book. An exorbitant amount of information on canals which did not really interest me. If the English canals prove of interest to you, this book may be right up your alley. I think I prefer the Kincaid/James books when they are set in London.

I did like getting to know Duncan's family. I really like his parents, though the reader might get more insight into Juliet when she isn't so stressed out. Her kids were a bit obnoxious though. It would be nice to have
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NPL's Mystery-Sol...: Water like a Stone-Discussion Question #5 4 5 Sep 28, 2017 07:24AM  

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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)
  • 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)

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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