A Journey Through the Works of Deborah Crombie: Chronological Guide

In the realm of mystery and detective novels, Deborah Crombie has carved an indelible niche with her compelling storytelling and intricate character development. Crombie, an American author, is renowned for her Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series, set in modern-day England.

The duo, Scotland Yard detectives, navigate complex crime scenarios, personal tribulations, and the vibrant streets of London while serving readers a rich blend of suspense, drama, and authentic British charm. This blog post presents a comprehensive guide to Crombie’s novels in chronological order, ensuring you enjoy every twist and turn in the proper sequence.

Stay with us as we delve into the captivating world of Deborah Crombie’s novels.

Deborah Crombie Books In Order

Who is Deborah Crombie?

Who is Deborah Crombie?
Who is Deborah Crombie?

Deborah Crombie is a renowned American author of mystery novels, predominantly known for her Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James detective series.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Crombie developed a fascination for British culture that led her to set her stories against the backdrop of England, skillfully weaving the country’s history, culture, and contemporary issues into her work. The author’s adept narrative style coupled with complex, intriguing mysteries has earned her a spot among the top names in the crime fiction genre.

The Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series features Scotland Yard detectives, Kincaid, a superintendent, and James, a sergeant, later inspector. Their professional relationship deepens into a personal one as the series progresses, adding another layer to the already intricate narratives.

Here’s a list of Deborah Crombie’s books featuring Kincaid and James in chronological order:

  1. “A Share in Death” (1993)
  2. “All Shall Be Well” (1994)
  3. “Leave the Grave Green” (1995)
  4. “Mourn Not Your Dead” (1996)
  5. “Dreaming of the Bones” (1997)
  6. “Kissed a Sad Goodbye” (1999)
  7. “A Finer End” (2001)
  8. “And Justice There Is None” (2002)
  9. “Now May You Weep” (2003)
  10. “In a Dark House” (2004)
  11. “Water Like a Stone” (2007)
  12. “Where Memories Lie” (2008)
  13. “Necessary as Blood” (2009)
  14. “No Mark Upon Her” (2011)
  15. “The Sound of Broken Glass” (2013)
  16. “To Dwell in Darkness” (2014)
  17. “Garden of Lamentations” (2017)
  18. “A Bitter Feast” (2019)
  19. A Killing of Innocents (2023)

Expert Tip: For the latest books, you might want to check Deborah Crombie’s website or a reliable book retailer for the most up-to-date information. The series is best read in order to appreciate the development of the characters and their relationships. Happy reading!

Summary for every book

A Share in Death (1993)

A Share in Death (1993)
A Share in Death (1993)

Vacation turns into a working holiday for Scotland Yard’s Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. While staying at a Yorkshire timeshare, a fatal accident occurs, but Kincaid suspects foul play.

When another guest is killed, he teams up with his capable sergeant, Gemma James, to delve into the complicated relationships between guests and staff, finding that beneath the pleasant façade, dark secrets lurk. As they peel back the layers of deception and betrayal, they must also grapple with their burgeoning partnership.

All Shall Be Well (1994)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James face a puzzling case when a terminally ill woman in Kincaid’s neighborhood is found dead. Initially assumed an assisted suicide, questions arise about the nature of her death. Is it a mercy killing, or is there a more sinister truth hidden beneath?

As they traverse the delicate landscape of ethical dilemmas and emotional complexities, Kincaid and James are drawn into a world where secrets flourish, and the line between right and wrong is blurred.

Leave the Grave Green (1995)

Leave the Grave Green (1995)
Leave the Grave Green (1995)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are confronted with a disturbing case involving the apparent drowning of a young man and the discovery of a baby’s skeleton in an old cottage. Family secrets, jealousy, and betrayal tangle together, leading them through lies and half-truths.

They find themselves navigating the intricate dynamics of a deeply troubled family, where every member has something to hide, and the line between victim and perpetrator becomes increasingly blurred.

Mourn Not Your Dead (1996)

Mourn Not Your Dead (1996)
Mourn Not Your Dead (1996)

A high-ranking police officer’s brutal murder in a quiet suburban town brings Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James to investigate. As they delve into the intricate layers of the victim’s personal and professional life, they encounter a host of potential suspects.

Could it be a colleague bearing a grudge, a jilted lover, or perhaps a criminal from an old case seeking revenge? As the duo uncovers a wealth of hidden resentments and unrequited passions, they must also navigate their evolving relationship.

Dreaming of the Bones (1997)

Dreaming of the Bones (1997)
Dreaming of the Bones (1997)

The discovery of a poet’s body near a prehistoric henge in Cambridge reopens a five-year-old murder case. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James find themselves at the crossroads of contemporary forensics and historical secrets. The victim’s life, steeped in academia, poetry, and the history of the henge, presents a complex puzzle.

As they navigate the murky waters of past relationships, academic rivalries, and deeply held grudges, they must also grapple with the personal implications of the case.

Kissed a Sad Goodbye (1999)

When a beautiful young woman is found murdered, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are drawn to London’s Docklands. This area, rich in history and the backdrop for Dickensian squalor and hardship, is now a booming hub of business and development. As they delve into the victim’s life, they uncover a complex web of relationships, secrets, and lies.

Amid the modern-day ruthlessness of big business and the lingering shadows of wartime tragedies, they must solve the murder that has shaken the Docklands community.

A Finer End (2001)

A Finer End (2001)
A Finer End (2001)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James find themselves in the ancient town of Glastonbury, known for its mysteries and Arthurian legends. After a tragic car accident, the victim starts receiving cryptic messages from an ancient monk who once sought refuge in Glastonbury.

As they navigate the spiritual and mystical landscape of the town, they find themselves confronting a tapestry of interwoven relationships, historical intrigues, and deadly intentions.

And Justice There Is None (2002)

In this installment, Kincaid and James are plunged into the world of London’s antique trade. A well-known dealer is found murdered, and her unborn child is also a victim. As they delve into the glamorous yet ruthless world of antiques, they uncover a web of secrets, betrayal, and unrequited love.

Amidst the turmoil, their personal lives take a dramatic turn, further complicating the investigation.

Now May You Weep (2003)

Now May You Weep (2003)
Now May You Weep (2003)

Gemma James takes center stage when she travels to the Scottish Highlands with her old friend Hazel. What was meant to be a cooking holiday turns into a deadly affair when Hazel’s partner is found dead.

Gemma, stuck in the middle of a feud that spans decades, must unravel the secrets of the past to solve a murder in the present, all while Duncan Kincaid, back in London, deals with a crisis that hits close to home.

In a Dark House (2004)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are thrust into a convoluted case when a fire reveals a shocking discovery: the body of a woman, dead long before the fire. As they investigate, they uncover an intricate maze of secrets and lies within a London children’s home.

The mystery grows more complex with the involvement of a young child, a silent witness to the crime, pushing Kincaid and James to their limits, both professionally and personally.

Water Like a Stone (2007)

Water Like a Stone (2007)
Water Like a Stone (2007)

When Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James head to the Cheshire countryside for a holiday, they are soon drawn into a local investigation. A child’s skeleton is discovered beneath the site of a destroyed barn, revealing decades-old secrets.

As they navigate the seemingly tranquil waterways and canals, they uncover a web of family secrets, old grudges, and hidden passions that culminate in a shocking climax.

Where Memories Lie (2008)

The peaceful world of auction houses is disrupted when a piece of potentially scandalous war-era jewelry surfaces, followed by a series of deadly events. Gemma James’ investigation into the piece’s history reveals a story of war, greed, and betrayal.

Meanwhile, Duncan Kincaid grapples with troubling revelations from his past, adding a personal layer to this complex narrative.

Necessary as Blood (2009)

Necessary as Blood (2009)
Necessary as Blood (2009)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are drawn into the vibrant world of East London’s Brick Lane, where tradition meets contemporary culture. The disappearance of a young mother, artist, and wife leads them into a labyrinth of secrets, passions, and criminal activities.

As they trace the woman’s last movements, they uncover a world where nothing is as it seems, all the while navigating the complexities of their evolving personal relationship.

No Mark Upon Her (2011)

This installment plunges Kincaid and James into the competitive realm of elite rowing after a highly-skilled, ambitious woman is found dead. A mix of sport, politics, and high-stakes ambition, the case quickly becomes personal when one of their own is put in grave danger.

Amidst the rush of the investigation, they must juggle their family life and the dangerous waters of a case that hits too close to home.

The Sound of Broken Glass (2013)

The Sound of Broken Glass (2013)
The Sound of Broken Glass (2013)

In the heat of a London heatwave, Detective Inspector Gemma James is called to investigate a shocking murder in Crystal Palace. The victim is a well-respected barrister found trussed in a peculiar way and left in a hotel room. As Gemma digs deeper into the victim’s life, she uncovers a story of ambition, redemption, and revenge.

Meanwhile, Duncan Kincaid is dealing with a mysterious personal issue that could shake their family to the core.

To Dwell in Darkness (2014)

To Dwell in Darkness (2014)
To Dwell in Darkness (2014)

Duncan Kincaid has been transferred to Scotland Yard’s Camden CID, and he finds his new environment unsettling. When a peaceful protest at St. Pancras Station turns deadly, Kincaid is drawn into a case that involves political corruption, terrorism, and a dangerous conspiracy.

At the same time, Gemma is investigating a case that strangely intersects with Duncan’s, leading to a climax that threatens everything they hold dear.

Garden of Lamentations (2017)

After a series of professional changes, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are asked to solve seemingly separate cases. While Gemma investigates a murder at a private garden in Notting Hill, Kincaid is grappling with a case that involves members of the police force.

As they dig deeper, they uncover dangerous secrets that, once revealed, will change everything they thought they knew about their world.

A Bitter Feast (2019)

A Bitter Feast (2019)
A Bitter Feast (2019)

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, along with their children, are invited to the Cotswolds for a relaxing weekend. However, an unfortunate accident followed by a deadly crime pulls them into a complex web of secrets, resentments, and murder.

As they navigate the tranquil but deceptive countryside, they must solve a mystery that has far-reaching consequences for their own lives.

These summaries should give you a good idea about each book’s main plot. However, part of the charm of Crombie’s writing lies in the nuanced character development and evocative descriptions, so I’d highly recommend reading the books to appreciate these elements fully. Happy reading!

Deborah Crombie has written 19 books in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series. These mystery novels, beginning with “A Share in Death” in 1993 and the most recent being “A Killing Of Innocents” in 2023, have garnered her an extensive international readership.

The series is known for its intricate plots, well-developed characters, and the richly detailed setting of England. Crombie’s ability to weave complex mysteries while capturing the essence of contemporary British life has set her work apart in the realm of crime fiction.

It’s recommended to check Crombie’s official website or trustworthy book retailers for the most up-to-date information on her publications.

Should Deborah Crombie’s books be read in order?

While each of Deborah Crombie’s books features a self-contained mystery, it is highly recommended to read them in order. The reason for this is the significant character development that takes place over the series.

The relationship between the main characters, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James evolves significantly from book to book, and there are ongoing personal narratives and subplots that span multiple volumes.

Expert Tip: Reading the books in sequence allows you to follow the progression of these personal stories, which can greatly enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the series.

What is Deborah Crombie’s last book?

The most recent book by Deborah Crombie is “A Killing of Innocents,” published in 2023.

What is ‘Dreaming of the Bones’ about?

“Dreaming of the Bones” is the fifth book in Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series. The story kicks off with the discovery of a poet’s body near a prehistoric henge in Cambridge, which leads to the reopening of a five-year-old murder case.

As Duncan and Gemma investigate, they find themselves at the crossroads of modern forensics and historical secrets. The narrative intricately weaves the victim’s life, steeped in academia, poetry, and the history of the henge, creating a complex puzzle for the detectives.

As they unravel the entangled threads of past relationships, academic rivalries, and deeply held grudges, they must also grapple with the personal implications of the case. This novel is lauded for its skillful blend of suspense, character development, and evocative descriptions of the Cambridge setting.

What sets Deborah Crombie’s books apart in the genre of mystery and detective fiction?

Deborah Crombie’s books stand out in the mystery genre due to their rich character development and meticulous portrayal of contemporary British life.

While the series revolves around the investigative duo Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, the books delve deep into their personal lives, creating a comprehensive narrative that goes beyond the typical detective story.

Crombie’s books are known for their intricate plotting, where every detail often plays a role in the resolution of the mystery. Moreover, Crombie’s portrayal of England, from the bustling streets of London to the tranquil countryside, adds a layer of authenticity and vividness to her narratives.

What are the central themes in Deborah Crombie’s books?

Crombie’s novels explore various themes such as the pursuit of justice, the complexities of human relationships, and the impact of the past on the present. Throughout the series, there’s a strong emphasis on moral ambiguity, exploring the grey areas of law and ethics.

Additionally, the books delve into personal and professional conflicts, making the narrative relatable and engaging.

How does Deborah Crombie develop her characters throughout the series?

Character development is a significant aspect of Crombie’s writing. The relationship between Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James evolves significantly over the course of the series. From colleagues to friends to lovers, their relationship forms the emotional core of the series.

Furthermore, their individual growth, dealing with personal dilemmas, family issues, and professional challenges, adds depth to their characters. Crombie also provides detailed backstories for many supporting characters, making the narrative rich and multi-dimensional.

Are there any recurring characters in Deborah Crombie’s books?

Yes, apart from the central duo, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, several characters recur throughout the series. These include their Scotland Yard colleagues, family members, and friends. These recurring characters add depth to the series, providing continuity, and enhancing the personal narratives that run parallel to the central mysteries.

What inspired Deborah Crombie to write the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series?

Crombie has cited her love for British culture and literature as a primary influence. Although she is an American, Crombie chose to set her series in the UK, as she was inspired by British crime writers and her personal experiences living in the UK.

The diverse landscape, rich history, and societal intricacies of Britain offer a compelling backdrop for her complex mysteries and character explorations.

In conclusion, Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series offers a unique blend of intricate mysteries, well-developed characters, and vivid portrayals of contemporary Britain. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of detective fiction or a newcomer to the genre, Crombie’s work offers an engaging and immersive reading experience.

As we follow Kincaid and James through their professional challenges and personal journeys, we’re not only intrigued by the mysteries they solve but also deeply invested in their evolving relationship. So, dive into the world of Crombie’s detective series, you’re in for a literary treat!

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About Ben Hudd

Hi, my name is Ben, and I am part of the writing crew for TheWritersHQ!

I have a roaring passion for books and writing, and have written 2 books throughout my life! I am now excited to share my writing and book knowledge with the world!