Title: Kissed a Sad Goodbye
Publisher: Bantam, 1999
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Very Good
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
Hard Cover. Very Good/Fine in Mylar DJ Cover. First Edition, First Printing. Signed by the Author on the Title Page. Bookseller Inventory # 001864
Synopsis: Deborah Crombie has won rave reviews for her British mysteries featuring Scotland Yard's Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner Sergeant Gemma James. Now the talented author of Dreaming of the Bones returns with another darkly irresistible tale, this one leading Kincaid and James into their most haunting inquiry ever.
The call from Scotland Yard couldn't have come at a worse time for Duncan Kincaid. He has promised the weekend to Kit, the eleven-year-old son of his ex-wife. The son he never knew he fathered--who doesn't yet know Kincaid's true identity. But Duncan's best intentions are shattered by a case that draws him in and consumes his interest.
A young woman's body has been found in the tall grass of East London's Mudchute Park, her jacket and short skirt carefully arranged to preserve her modesty. It seems too odd a detail for a simple case of robbery or assault gone awry. And indeed the case becomes more complex when the dead woman is identified as Annabelle Hammond, bold and brilliant head of a family-owned tea company. For the victim was a mystery even to those who knew her best.
Alluring, headstrong, and ambitious, with looks no man could forget, Annabelle was the sort of woman who inspired the strongest of emotions...passion certainly, jealousy, anger, even obsession. And when Duncan and Gemma fan out to question anyone connected to her, it doesn't take long to discover that the lady was also adept at keeping secrets...especially from those she loved.
As the detectives try to penetrate Annabelle's tangled affairs to glean the motive of her killer, their list of suspects grows to include her suave, upper-class fiancé; the handsome street musician who may have been the last person to see her alive; her sister's vengeful ex-husband; even her own father. But what they don't know is that this case has long roots that reach far back into the past, and that resentments that should have been long buried still have the power to hurt, and maybe even the capacity to kill.
Review: Nominated for an Edgar, Deborah Crombie's 1997 Dreaming of the Bones was such a triumph in all respects that it's a hard act to follow. Kissed a Sad Goodbye, Crombie's sixth book about Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, isn't quite as spectacular as her previous rendition. Still, the author who creates her very British world from a town in North Texas has managed to come up with an entirely respectable and highly enjoyable effort. Her story offers a fascinating setting in place of the poignant, personal drama that invigorated Dreaming of the Bones.
The body of a lovely young woman is found in London's fashionable Docklands area. She turns out to be Annabelle Hammond, the director of an old family firm of tea merchants. She was a woman of tremendous talent and sexual appetite, but also the kind of harsh and abrasive personality that provides plenty of motives for murder. The Hammond family is also historically linked to the self-made property developer Lewis Finch and his son, an activist dropout and street musician. The other suspects include a spineless boyfriend who works at the tea firm, a secretary too loyal to be true, and herrings of various shades of crimson. Kincaid and James have to solve it all, even as their own personal problems threaten to intrude. Thanks to Crombie's enviable ability to bring people and places to life with a single phrase, the story zips along like the new Docklands electric railroad.
Previous Kincaid-James books in paperback include Dreaming of the Bones, All Shall Be Well, Leave the Grave Green, and Mourn Not Your Dead. --Dick Adler
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