A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie @deborahcrombie @WmMorrowBooks

Posted February 3, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 6 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie @deborahcrombie  @WmMorrowBooks A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #19
Published by William Morrow on February 7, 2023
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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On a rainy November evening, a young woman hurries through the crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her, then brushes past. A moment later, she stumbles, collapsing against a tree. When a young mother finds her body and alerts the police, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene. The victim, Sasha Johnson, is a trainee doctor at a nearby hospital, and she’s been stabbed.

Kincaid immediately calls his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crime. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma joins the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, daughter of a black professional family, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. She had her secrets, though, and Kincaid uncovers an awkward connection to his Notting Hill friends Wesley and Betty Howard.

As the detectives unravel Sasha’s tangled relationships, another stabbing puts London in a panic, and Kincaid’s team needs all their resources to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.

I’ve enjoyed every book in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series. I’ve read all 19 books and love the development of the characters including their families, friends and co-workers.  The mysteries, usually murder, are also a bit complex. It’s just such a pleasure and comfort I feel as I read.

The Kincaid family is a busy and loving one.  Kit is getting older. He often cooks for the family and also works at a friend’s cafe.  He helps to care for his younger “siblings.”  Toby is 7 and showing talent in ballet.  Charlotte is just 4 and adjusting to her new family after her family’s deaths last year.  Gemma is working at more of a desk job so she can be more available for the family as Duncan’s cases have him out all hours, all days.

We see Melody who had a breakup with Andy recently. She works with Gemma.  There’s also Doug who works with Duncan.  Duncan has a new DI, Jasmine, and he isn’t sure about her.    We see bits of their work and personal lives.

Duncan and Doug meet at a bar to discuss some things.  There is a woman who is waiting, as Duncan waits for Doug.  She leaves after she appears to give up waiting for someone.  Shortly afterward, they get the call and the woman is the dead body.  She turns out to have been a junior doctor at a nearby hospital.

The case gets more complex as they find more dead bodies.  The first woman is a close friend of one of their friends.  Her brother has disappeared and the family is worried he is in trouble.   It is fascinating to watch as different people follow various odd pieces of information to get to the truths.

I loved the investigations running along with the backdrop of their personal lives and issues.  The case was solved along with some other police matters, very satisfactorily.  There were, however, some personal storylines which were just open, as the book ended shortly after the end of the case.  I wouldn’t have minded a bit more on those, particularly since it was Christmas holidays, a few additional pages of personal activities wouldn’t have been amiss.


About Deborah Crombie

Deborah Crombie was born in Dallas and grew up in Richardson, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas, second child of Charlie and Mary Darden. Her maternal grandmother, Lillian Dozier, a retired teacher, taught her to read at the tender age of four. After a rather checkered educational career, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a degree in biology.

She then worked in advertising and newspapers, and attended the Rice University Publishing Program. A post-university trip to England, however, cemented a life-long passion for Britain, and she later immigrated to the UK with her first husband, Peter Crombie, a Scot, living first in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then in Chester, England.

After returning to live in Dallas, a trip to Yorkshire inspired her first Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid/Sergeant Gemma James novel. A Share in Death [Scribner, 1993], was subsequently given Agatha and Macavity nominations for Best First Novel of 1993. The fifth novel, Dreaming of the Bones (Scribner 1997), a New York Times Notable Book for 1997, was short-listed by Mystery Writers of America for the 1997 Edgar Award for Best Novel, won the Macavity award for Best Novel, and was voted by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of the hundred best mysteries of the century. Her subsequent novels have been received with critical acclaim and are widely read internationally, particularly in Germany. In 2009, Where Memories Lie won the Macacity Award for Best Novel. In 2010, Necessary as Blood received a Macavity nomination for Best Novel.

Crombie’s novels are published in North America, Japan, Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Romania, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and numerous other countries.

Although she travels to England several times a year, Crombie lives in McKinney, Texas, an historic town north of Dallas, sharing a circa 1905 Texas Craftsman bungalow with her husband, Rick Wilson, two German shepherds (Dax and Jasmine), and three cats. She is an afficionado of tea and cocktails, enjoys cooking and admiring her garden, reading, birdwatching, and playing with her dogs.

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Posted February 3, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 6 Comments

6 responses to “A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie