A Share In Death - Deborah Crombie “I realized that if I didn’t wake the next morning, no one would miss me”

There are times when I search for a murder mystery, where the crime will take place in a small village; the suspect pool will be restricted to a certain number of people. The detection would be done by an amateur sleuth, with the local police made to look like bumbling fools. And, the plot shouldn’t be too filmsy, although far from being gory or violent, it must be strong with a nice dose of twist. In short something in the style of Agatha Christie or Margery Allingham.

Deborah Crombie’s first book, “A SHARE IN DEAH” featuring the duo of Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James, had all the above mentioned points, except the amateur detective solving the crime. But since Kincaid was a Scotland Yard man, and the murder fell outside his jurisdiction, he unofficially became the amateur sleuth in the plot. The murder took place in a hotel set in a Yorkshire village; the suspect pool was limited. The local police was led by a foul mouthed no-good inspector and the amount of blood and gore was nil. The plot was a typical whodunit. Highly enjoyable and satisfying. The length and the pace suited the book fine; and the psychological elements if present were mercifully negligible, and if present I failed to notice it.

Duncan Kincaid, is a gentleman detective. No cuss words, no losing temper, and being a bachelor he also had the tendency of being infatuated with the female characters he meets (a sense of déjà vu leading to Inspector Morse, maybe!!). He as an easy going charm and a sense of humor which makes him very difficult to not like. Sergeant Gemma James, a single mother, though being a sidekick and being introduced late into the book, has a personality of her own. She is not just a sidekick lingering in the shadows of the main protagonist, a fact supported by Kincaid, when he talks about and appreciates her ability as a policewoman. And, he is a bachelor, she is a single mother, so definitely something will brew in the next installments between these two.

A highly enjoyable mystery, recommended to any crime fiction reader who likes British style whodunits.