BookBrowse Reviews No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

No Mark Upon Her

A Novel

by Deborah Crombie

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie X
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2012, 384 pages
    Feb 2013, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book



Another case for the Kincaid/James duo, when the body of an Olympic rowing hopeful is found dead in the Thames

Deborah Crombie's 14th book in the Kincaid/James British crime series, No Mark Upon Her, is a favorite among BookBrowse readers; 22 out of 23 people rate it 4 or 5 stars! Here's what they have to say:

Oh, how I love thee, Deborah Crombie! Where have you been all my life and why haven't I read anything by you before? The author offers enough background story to give the reader a good feel for the characters and their situations while at the same time not introducing irrelevant information. No Mark Upon Her has it all: characters who get under your skin, an idyllic English setting, betrayal, ethical issues, family, suspense, and an itch to read more. Deborah Crombie has won me over with this novel and is sure to become one of my favorite mystery authors (Wendy R).

This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. The writing is scintillating, the complex criminal investigation is mesmerizing - filled with surprising twists and palpable tension - and the three-dimensional characters are captivating. I loved the English setting, the sculling, which connected with the theme of power and control, and the K9 search-and-rescue team. The juxtaposition of the investigation with the family life of the Detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, married with children, made them more relatable (Amy M). 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 through now (Deborah C).

Some readers were intrigued by the topic of sculling:
Author Deborah Crombie has the ability to choose a quintessentially English theme - in this case, the prestigious sport of rowing - and then develop a complex mystery around it (Leslie D). Her research on sculling is impressive, with chapter notes for the reader's enlightenment (Therese X), and the story enabled me to learn something about a subject I knew virtually nothing about in a most entertaining way (Carolyn L). Her descriptions of rowing in the early evening are beautiful (Jenny P).

While many enjoyed Crombie's vivid depictions of England:
The author is so adept at describing characters and locales that you are instantly transported to the English countryside village and the Thames River (Carrol Ann S). She writes about English village/small-town life as if she were a native; I've visited some of the places she describes in this book and she was spot-on in her depictions. This novel is definitely a keeper (Anne M). Crombie painted such a wonderful picture that I wanted to hop on the next plane to England (Deborah C)!

And nearly all BookBrowse readers were taken with Crombie's incredible characters:
Though part of a series, I do not feel that I needed to have read the previous books to appreciate the characters. I like the idea of a husband-and-wife team and feel that Crombie develops the characters and the plot well. I highly recommend the book (Dorian B). Once I started, I could barely put it down. One sees Kincaid and James continue to evolve as they accept new challenges with the addition of a 3-year-old adoptee to their blended family (Kathleen S).

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. Crombie balances the personal lives of the police officers very well with the demands of their jobs (Jenny P). Even the canine characters in this novel are finely drawn (Patricia S)! While the plot develops, we learn about some interesting officers who work in the Met and in Scotland Yard. Just as in real life, some we enjoy knowing and some we do not. A subplot that involves the search teams and their dogs make for unusual characters. The characters have grown as the series has developed. Learning about the new Kincaid/James family and their children was one of my favorite parts (Dorothy M).

We consider women who are top ranking members of the British police force and how they cope with the pressures of sexism and police hierarchy as well as deal with their private lives (Kathleen D). One of Crombie's strengths has always been presenting well-developed characters; she also takes the time to add dimensions to secondary characters who reappear in the series, and she gives us a sense of the ethnic diversity among them. I like Crombie because there is an over-riding sense of rightness and goodness in her books despite the presence of real evil, moral ambiguity, and compromise (Nona F).

Who should read this book?
I thought I had the plot figured out two thirds of the way through, but the twist in the story kept me guessing until the end. If you are a lover of police procedurals, do not miss this one (Jenny P). This is a good story of a couple's personal and professional lives and how they maintain respect for each other while under the stress of investigating a homicide. The outcome is unexpected. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to mystery enthusiasts (Jim S). This book is for anyone who enjoys a riveting police investigation, intriguing, memorable characters, and learning about British culture and society (Amy M).

This review was originally published in February 2012, and has been updated for the February 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Kincaid/James Series

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Wolf Season
    by Helen Benedict
    Rin Drummond's nicknames include "Pit Bull" and "Dragon." She's a tough-as-nails Iraq War ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...
  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Dry by Jane Harper

Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

A J O A Thousand M B W O S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.