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Dorian B. (Bainbridge, NY)
No Mark Upon Her
This was the first of Deborah Crombie's books that I have read, and I found it to belong with many of the better contemporary mystery writers of today. Though part of a series, I did not feel that I had needed to read the previous books to appreciate the characters. I liked the idea of a husband and wife team and felt that Crombie developed the characters and the plot well. I would highly recommend the book.
Kathleen S. (St Louis, MO)
Excellent addition to the series
Crombie's writing never disappoints. "No Mark Upon Her" is the 14th book in the series featuring Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincade and his wife, Inspector Gemma James. Duncan and Gemma are yet again involved in another intriguing mystery. This one revolves around the murder of an Olympic hopeful trying to make a comeback, who also happens to be a Met detective. When someone tries to kill a search and rescue team member, the case becomes more complex, involving powerful political interests within the Met itself.
Leslie D. (Le Roy, NY)
A great mystery--if I may put my "oar" in
Right from the beginning, you are caught up in the action in the competitive world of rowing. The tale is solved bringing in the combined skills of the two detectives and their colleagues. As in any good mystery, the plot casts suspicions on multiple characters. You do not know "who did it" until near the end of the book. This book is a page turner. Once I started, I could barely put it down. I highly recommend this novel to all Crombie fans as it is an excellent addition to the series. One also sees Kincaid and James continue to evolve as their characters accept new challenges by the addition of a 3 year old adoptee to the blended family. Great read.
Author Deborah Crombie has the ability to choose a quintessentially English theme--the prestigious sport of rowing in this case--and then develop a complex mystery around it. The book is suspenseful, although the story takes time to develop the characters, to explore the rigors of rowing, and to look at the minutiae of the daily family life of a new, blended family. This makes for an excellent police procedural featuring the newly married Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Crombie's writing is so smooth that you only concentrate on the story, which is the latest installment in an outstanding series.
Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
Rowing and Murder
Deborah Crombie has written another winner in No Mark Upon Her. She has created a wonderful cast of characters. Not only the major characters and the ones who are not regular in the series, but also the canine characters in this novel are finely drawn. And once again she spins a well-crafted, suspenseful mystery while taking us into the home life of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James and their blended family of children. It is this aspect of Crombie's mysteries that I find so charming - the hominess and the police work. In addition, the reader is introduced to the world of competitive rowing, so intense that in this book it results in murder. I have been a great fan of Crombie, and I wait impatiently for the next in this series.
Jim S. (Austin, TX)
No Mark Upon Her
Another excellent book in the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid series.
Carolyn L. (Summerville, SC)
No Mark Upon Her
Detective Inspector Gemma James and Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid having lost their baby when Gemma miscarried have adopted 2 children and have Duncan's teenage son living with them. The story is set in the Christmas period and Gemma and Duncan are "off" from their work although Gemma is due to go back to work and Duncan is to care for the children for a short period.
Unfortunately a police inspector dies in an apparent sculling accident. Duncan is assigned by his superior office to work the accident that quickly is recognized as a homicide.
This is a good story of a couple's personal and professional lives and how they maintain respect for each other while under a stressful situation of investigating a homicide. The outcome is unexpected.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to mystery enthusiasts.
I enjoyed this book very much. British mysteries/suspense novels are among my favorite genres, and this one did not disappoint. It is well-written, with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. It involves championship-caliber rowing, which makes it out of the ordinary, and enabled me to learn something about a subject I knew virtually nothing about, in a most entertaining way.
Jenny P. (Cupertino, CA)
No Mark Upon Her
This book held my interest from start to finish. I have read all the previous books in this series and as always the character and plot development were riveting. She balances the personal lives of the police officers very well with the demands of their jobs. The plot is centred around a world class rower and Deborah Crombie does an amazing job of conjuring up the rowing world. her descriptions of rowing in the early evening were beautiful. I liked the quotations at the begining of every chapter: they set the scene for each chapter. I thought I had the plot figured out two thirds of the way through, but the twist in the plot kept me guessing until the end.
Deborah C. (Seattle, WA)
Five stars aren't enough!
If you are a lover of police procedurals, do not miss this one.
I am a big fan of Deborah Crombie, and I think this book, the latest in the Gemma James series, is the best yet. The book combines richly-drawn characters with a compelling mystery that takes place in the world of rowing, with the action centered in Henley-on-Thames. Crombie painted such a wonderful picture that I wanted to hop on the next plane to England!
Although you don't have to have read previous books in the series, it is fascinating to watch the evolution of Gemma and her family from the first book until now. I was reminded of Louise Penny, another favorite author, who writes mysteries that do much more than tell "whodunit."