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by Deborah Crombie
Avon, November 2005
336 pages
ISBN: 0060789573

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Scotland Yard detectives Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sgt Gemma James are called to the small village of Holmbury to investigate the bludgeoning murder of Alastair Gilbert, a high-ranking police officer, in his home.

The first suspects are the people who found the body, Gilbert's wife and his stepdaughter. The police soon broaden their area of inquiry when they discover that Gilbert was widely disliked and soon many of the people living in the village are involved in the case. But the more the police delve into Gilbert's life they discover that he also had made enemies within the police department and that he might have been killed by a professional, for how else did the murderer escape unnoticed and leaving no evidence behind?

Through careful police work and interviews, as they investigate and get closer to the killer, Kincaid and James also try to get back to the close relationship of their recent past.

MOURN NOT YOUR DEAD is an exceptionally-written murder mystery. Not only is the dialogue first rate, but also the twists and turns of the case are involving and riveting. There's a weakness to the investigation, but that can be smoothed over by realizing that preconceived issues sway even policemen.

The people inhabiting the village of Holmbury are all written of such high quality that each could be the center of their own novel. I especially would like to read more about Madeleine Wade, an educated and down-to-earth psychic whose personality is so open and caring that she makes a believer out of straight-laced copper Kincaid.

MOURN NOT YOUR DEAD is the fourth in a series that has ten installments so far. This is the first I've read and I found it a fine standalone story. But the writing is so engaging that I am definitely going to start to read the others in the Kincaid and James series. MOURN NOT YOUR DEAD is in the best tradition of the Brit mystery.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, February 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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