Crombie, Deborah. Leave the Grave Green.

NY: Scribner, 1995.

Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid kind of grows on you. He’s a rising star at Scotland Yard but he takes the tube to work and hasn’t forgotten his rural Cheshire roots. His assistant, Sgt. Gemma James, is even more appealing as a character — a bright, tenacious redhead who struggles to combine ambition with single motherhood on an inadequate salary, and who has growing feelings about her boss that she doesn’t know how to deal with.

This time, Kincaid is called in to investigate the death by drowning of the son-in-law of a noted couple that includes one of Britain’s leading musical conductors and one of its leading opera stars. The couple’s only son also drowned, though that was many years ago, and their prickly daughter became a painter rather than a musician, a defection they’ve never quite adjusted to. The question is, of course, did the deceased have help getting into the Thames up at Henley? He and his artistic wife were separated, though he was still close to her parents, and there are several other important players by way of the English National Opera, which allows the author to poke around a bit in that very foreign world. Kincaid finds himself ensnared by the daughter and behaves in a very unprofessional way, to his own embarrassment — but it’s the slightly startling and very nicely done closing pages of the book concerning Duncan and Gemma that will have me quickly hunting up the next in the series.

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Published in: on 25 October 2012 at 5:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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