Thursday, June 7, 2007

Deborah Crombie's a Texan

I've listened to almost all of her books in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series and I still have to go to Ms. Crombie's website ( ) each time to convince myself that she's really from Texas. Setting is usually important to me as a reader and in these British mysteries the author's love of England and Scotland really shows. She creates such an authentic sense of place.
The murders are intricate and challenging to try to solve, and her characters are fully drawn, complicated and oh, so human. Duncan and Gemma have evolved over the life of the series, coming close, pulling apart, facing death, divorce and custody suits and still, in the final analysis, loving and respecting each other.

I've been doing a good deal of walking lately because of my MP3 player and am about two thirds of the way through Now May You Weep. Crombie takes us to the Scottish Highlands for this one and, since I've been watching the entire 5th season dvd of Monarch of the Glen, I have an even better appreciation for the beauty of those mountains, lakes and castles. Gemma and her friend Hazel are off on a getaway weekend to Innesfree, a B & B run by an old school friend of Hazel's. It's to be a "foodie" weekend with cooking lessons and plenty of the local Highland whiskey. All, of course, is not as it seems. The very married Hazel is being persued by Donald Brodie, owner of Benvulin castle and distillery, to whom she was once engaged. Various other local characters and relatives are also attending the cookery weekend run by John and Louise Innes, whose devotion to one another rings an uncomfortably false note. To Gemma it seems that one could cut the tension with a knife. Natually there's a murder - I won't tell you who gets it - and Duncan joins Gemma at Innesfree to help in an unofficial investigation.

This is a great series for those readers who enjoy a literary mystery with some depth and character development. Sometimes it doesn't matter but, in Crombie's series I recommend reading them in order. Enjoy!

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