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Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner, Sergeant Gemma James, take their sons to picturesque Cheshire for their first family Christmas with Duncan's parents—a holiday both dreaded and anticipated. But not even the charming town of Nantwich and the dreaming canals can mask the tensions in Duncan's family, which are tragically heightened by the discovery of an infant's body hidden in the wall of an old dairy. As Duncan and Gemma help the police investigate the infant's death, another murder strikes closer to home, revealing that far from being idyllic, Duncan's childhood paradise holds dark and deadly secrets . . . secrets that threaten everything and everyone Duncan and Gemma hold most dear.
When Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid takes Gemma, Kit, and Toby for a holiday visit to his family in Cheshire, Gemma is soon entranced with Nantwich's pretty buildings and the historic winding canal, and young Kit is instantly smitten with his cousin Lally. But their visit is marred by family tensions exacerbated by the unraveling of Duncan's sister Juliet's marriage. And tensions are brought to the breaking point on Christmas Eve with Juliet's discovery of a mummified infant's body interred in the wall of an old dairy barn—a tragedy hauntingly echoed by the recent drowning of Peter Llewellyn, a schoolmate of Lally's. Meanwhile, on her narrowboat, former social worker Annie Lebow is living a life of self-imposed isolation and preparing for a lonely Christmas, made more troubling by her meeting earlier in the day with the Wains, a traditional boating family whose case precipitated Annie's leaving her job. As the police make their inquiries into the infant's death, Kincaid discovers that life in the lovely market town of his childhood is far from idyllic and that the dreaming reaches of the Shropshire Union Canal hold dark and deadly secrets . . . secrets that may threaten everything and everyone he holds most dear.
Necessary As Blood is the latest entry in Deborah Crombie’s New York Times Notable, Edgar®, Agatha, and Macavity Awards-nominated mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A Texan frequently compared to the masters of British crime fiction—including P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Barbara Vine, and fellow American Elizabeth George—Crombie dazzles once more with Necessary As Blood—a relentlessly suspenseful tale of a vanished mother, a murdered father, and a helpless, endangered child.
A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised dramatically when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon who enjoys homicide a bit too much.
Scotland Yard's finest, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, return in this acclaimed "New York Times" Notable series, as they investigate an intense mystery involving marriage and murder.
Award-winning author Deborah Crombie has elevated the modern mystery novel to new heights of human drama and multilayered suspense with her critically acclaimed tales of intrigue featuring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James. In their latest outing, Kincaid and his former partner--and soon-to-be roommate--follow a twisting trail of rage and retribution whose buried roots are about to exact a deadly toll on the living. And Justice There is None Gemma James is adjusting to professional and personal changes that include her eagerly sought promotion to the rank of inspector--and a future now intricately entwined with Duncan Kincaid. But her new responsibilities are put to the test when she is placed in charge of a particularly brutal homicide: The lovely young wife of a wealthy antiques dealer has been found murdered on fashionable Notting Hill. Dawn Arrowood was six weeks pregnant. Her lover, Alex Dunn, a porcelain dealer in London’s bustling Portobello Market, appears absolutely devastated by her death, but Gemma’s the main focus of investigation is soon Karl Arrowood, who had the most powerful motive for killing his unfaithful wife. But this case sets off warning bells for Duncan: it’s far too similar to an unsolved murder in which an antiques dealer was killed in precisely the same way and when the escalating violence claims yet another victim, he and Gemma find themselves at increasing odds with each other--as two separate investigations become linked in the most startling of ways. Their hunt for a killer will traverse the teeming stalls of the city’s antiques markets to a decades-in-the-making vendetta of history and hatred that has been honed to a flawless, deadly point. To solve this case, Gemma and Duncan must walk a merciless razor’s edge through a place where true justice will be a long time coming. From the Hardcover edition.
It is the call Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid never expected -- and one he certainly doesn't want. Victoria, his ex-wife, who walked out without an explanation more than a decade ago, asks him to look into the suicide of local poet, Lydia Brooke -- a case that's been officially closed for five years. The troubled young writer's death, Victoria claims, might well have been murder. No one is more surprised than Kincaid himself when he agrees to investigate -- not even his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James. But it's a second death that raises the stakes and plunges Kincaid and James into a labyrinth of dark lies and lethal secrets that stretches all the way back through the twentieth century -- a death that most assuredly is murder, one that has altered Duncan Kincaid's world forever.

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