Dreaming of the Bones

Dreaming of the Bones

"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...

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Title:Dreaming of the Bones
Author:Deborah Crombie
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dreaming of the Bones Reviews

  • Margaret

    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.

  • Mary Ronan Drew

    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

    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 Weekly’s review of this fifth book in the series:

    Crombie's English procedural series featuring Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James (Mourn Not Your Dead, 1996, etc.) takes a giant leap forward with this haunting mystery set among Cambridge literary types. Vic McClellan, Duncan's ex-wife and a member of the English faculty at Cambridge, is writing a biography of Lydia Brooke, a Cambridge poet whose death five years earlier was attributed to suicide. Convinced that Lydia didn't kill herself, Vic asks Duncan to look into the poet's death. Estranged from Vic since she left him 12 years ago, Duncan is at first unwilling to help. But Vic's literary evidence and a brief look at the local police records soon convince him and Gemma, who's his lover as well as his partner, that there's something fishy about Lydia's demise. Having reconciled with Vic and been charmed by her son, Kit, Duncan is devastated when she is murdered. Assisted by Gemma, he sets out on a personal crusade to find the killer. Their investigation leads to Lydia's circle of Cambridge friends in the 1960s: Nathan, now on the botany faculty; Darcy, a colleague of Vic's on the English faculty; Daphne, headmistress of a girls' school; and Adam, an Anglican priest. It's Gemma, through close reading of a long-lost poem by Lydia, who uncovers the crucial secret. As Crombie continues to explore Duncan and Gemma's complicated relationship, she adds a deeper resonance in the form of Duncan's feelings for Vic and Kit. This is the best book in an already accomplished series. Crombie excels at investing her mysteries with rich characterization and a sophisticated wash of illuminating feminism.

  • Eadie

    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, Ser

    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, Sergeant Gemma James. But it's a second death that raises the stakes and plunges Kincaid and James into a labyrinth of dark lies and lethal secrets that stretches all the way back through the twentieth century—a death that most assuredly is murder, one that has altered Duncan Kincaid's world forever.

    I enjoyed book 5 very much and another visit to another small English village. Cambridgeshire this time. I also liked the excepts from Rupert Brookes' poetry at the start of each chapter. Once again, great writing from Deborah Crombie, unique characters that were well-drawn and another super plot. I look forward to the next installment and I would highly recommend this series to those who love mystery in small English villages.

  • Lynn

    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

    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 person was and how did it relate to the story. The author was setting the background and it did all come together later as the story progressed. By the book's end, I found I did not care much for Lydia. Vic was writing her biography five years after Lydia's death. Lydia was not alive at the beginning of the book and the reader was given Lydia's letters to her mother to read.

    Now Part Two was different. The scene was set. A murder occurred and Duncan and Gemma become involved even though it is out of Duncan's territory. The solution to the mystery involved unfolding secrets. The reader might have an idea who committed the crimes but would not have guessed the full story or the why of the recent crimes. Duncan and Gemma lives are going to change in the future due to some new information that Duncan found out about. This is a good police procedural series and I look forward to the next book. I should also add that it was very well written.

  • Julie

    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 he

    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 help her discover the truth. Her call, which comes as a complete surprise, throws Kincaid into a tailspin, as he tries to assess his feelings for Vic, while Gemma quietly fumes with jealousy.

    The investigation into Lydia’s death stirs longs buried feelings and emotions among those who knew her, but one of them has become so unnerved it leads to them to commit murder. This stunning death, turns a possible cold case into a full- fledged murder investigation, and will impact Gemma and Duncan’s lives forever.

    I love how Crombie takes the case the detectives are working on and creates parallels between their professional lives and their personal lives. At times the symbolism appears lost on them, but at other times they seem more than aware of how the case mirrors their own predicament, which leads to some personal epiphanies along the way.

    Once again, this is a well-crafted murder mystery, very absorbing, and thought provoking. I felt as though this one was a bit more profound and maybe darker than previous installments. As I move deeper into this series, I am more and more impressed with Crombie and continue to admire her skills as an author.

    I am determined to get caught up on this series during the coming year, and I find myself feeling more and more excited about all the future installment awaiting me.

  • Julie  Durnell

    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!

  • Paraphrodite

    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.

  • Bev

    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

    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 perfect. Added to that, we fed my academic mystery obsession making for a near-perfect reading experience. My only quibble....I knew WAY early "whodunnit" and she didn't really provide enough clues to know why until the wrap-up. But then, she's a police procedural kind of author...not a writer following the rules of the Golden Age...so I guess I'll cut her some slack.

    And, come to think of it, there's an oddity...I never expected to describe a police procedural as lyrical. Three and 1/2 stars.

    This review was first posted on my blog

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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

    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 also Gemma, his partner both professionally and personally is not too happy about his involvement with his ex-wife, who had treated him rather shabbily 12 years ago.

    But Victoria's findings seem to have some cause for him to look into the case. And when Victoria is murdered in her home, he's not only devastated but determined to bringing her killer to justice.

    The investigation leads to the Cambridge literary world of the 60's and Lydia's circle of friends then. These were the characters I just couldn't engage with. They were so fickle and vacant, so self-absorbed. I couldn't find anything about them that could redeem them. In fact, they could have all been bumped off and I wouldn't give a toss...

    I just wanted to get to the end to find out who the killer/s were and turn the last page.

    The only redeeming factor in this story as seeing the growing relationship between Kincaid and Gemma and her son Toby. I am also keen to discovering more about Victoria's son, Kit.

  • Montzalee Wittmann

    I didn't read this, it was a Goodreads covfefe moment!

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