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New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie makes her mark with this absorbing, finely hued tale of suspense—a deeply atmospheric and twisting mystery full of deadly secrets, salacious lies, and unexpected betrayals involving the mysterious drowning of a Met detective—an accomplished rower—on the Thames.

When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman's body tangled up with debris in the river, Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met—a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.

To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.

Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own.

Topics: Scotland Yard, Series, Murder, London, England, Sexual Abuse, Women Detectives, and Rowing

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062100696
List price: $9.99
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Deborah Crombie has a unique writing skill, the ability to blend a police procedural with a realistic domestic drama. Over the years, Crombie has taken Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James from police partners to married couple, facing the difficulties of coping with three children and rising careers in the London Met. While I read her books (this is her 14th) as a mystery fan, I’ve always been impressed how authentic the large recurring “supporting cast” and principal characters resemble real, flesh-and-blood people, not the one-dimensional walk-ons that so many authors employ. The tensions and conflicts that Gemma and Kincaid face as a two-career couple, with their bosses, with their work partners and with their parents, seem real and human too. But, as I say, I’m a mystery fan, and while Crombie introduces the culprit into the story a little later than is fair to the reader, it’s a good story, set amidst the Thames rowing community. Again, the cast of suspects and witnesses is well developed with unique three-dimensional personalities. The culprit, unfortunately, is a little less believable, but to say why would be a definite spoiler, so you’ll have to decide for yourself. It’s a satisfying read nonetheless.more
Written with the excellence and compexity of a P. D. James or a Ngaio Marsh, "No Mark Upon Her" is an engrossing read from start to finish. The details were exact, the characters rang true, and the mystery kept one reading long after midnight. I loved it and would read any book written by Deborah Crombie.more
First title by this author that I have read. It was a bit slow at the start, but patience paid off. At times, I had a hard time keeping characters straight as Ms. Crombie introduces MANY and with some character development for each. It wasn't until I started reading this book, that I discovered the story is #14(!) in a series. In my opinion, the story doesn't necessitate reading #1-13 first, but it would add depth to the characterizations.more
I have read a number of enjoyable mysteries of late, but this one . . . Oh, how I love thee, Deborah Crombie! Where have you been all my life and why haven't I read anything by you before? No Mark Upon Her is the 14th book in the series, I believe, but my first one by the author. It didn't matter that I didn't know the history of the characters (although, I am infinitely curious now and must know all!). 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.What is the book about, you ask? A detective who is a skilled rower is found dead on the Thames. Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is called back from vacation to investigate the matter. It's a particularly sensitive case, one in which people in high placed hope it will get resolved quickly, even if that means swept under the carpet. Duncan Kincaid, however, is not the kind of man to take the easy way out. He wants to find justice for the victim even if it means his job. His wife, a detective herself, helps on the sidelines while juggling the care of their three children.Rowing isn't a particularly favorite sport of mine--I have nothing against it, mind you, just very little exposure to it--but I am not one to let something like that stand in my way of reading a book. I like learning about new things. That's part of what reading is all about, right?I liked the way Crombie weaved the characters' personal stories in with the murder investigation. Seeing them at home, so to speak, made them all the more relatable. There was just enough of their personal life to give the reader a good idea of what kind of people the characters are and to understand their way of thinking.I was quite taken with Duncan Kincaid. He is intelligent and open minded. He is also a good father. I especially liked how much he respects and loves his wife. Gemma James is just as strong a character as her husband, and I could appreciate her inner conflict--looking forward to getting back to work but at the same time not wanting to leave the children.Two characters I wish I could get to know better but doubt I will see in future books are the K-9 rescue team, Keiran and Tavie and their dogs. Both seem like formidable people and it was impossible for me not to fall in love with a couple of rescue dogs. Keiran in particular won me over. He was a sad sort of character, dealing with a broken heart as well as quite a few health problems due to injuries incurred in war.As for the investigation, the detectives did not have a lot to go on, and with pressures from above, they were faced with even more challenges. While I am not sure "sitting on the edge of my seat" is an apt description of the pacing of the book, I certainly had a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to get back to it. The weekend everyone in the house was sick and I'd left the book at work was torture. I kept thinking of Becca and wondering what had happened to her.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 one novel and is sure to become among my favorite mystery authors.more
This is the only book in the series that I've read, so I didn't have any "history" of the main characters, but was able to pick up their relationships pretty quickly. The mystery was fast-paced with several twists; I loved the bits of information about rowing, and the Cambridge and Oxford rivalry. Guess I'll be going back to check out previous books in the series.more
I always love Deborah Crombie's books, but this one was a particular gem. All of the characters were well-drawn, and the racing setting was interesting. I thought that "Kieran" was particularly compelling, and could easily be the primary character in a non-series book. Those who enjoy the romance/family setting of these books will be particularly pleased, as the details in this book are so realistic, and heart-warming.more
I have read Deborah Crombie since A Share in Death, and watched the evolution of Kincaid and James as a couple. I was worried that once they married, the series might not work as well. That is definitely not an issue. In No Mark Upon Her, Kincaid is involved in the death of one of their own, a detective named Rebecca Meredith. Rebecca had been in training for an possible berth on the Olympic rowing team and her death in the Thames at first seems a tragic accident but quickly it is apparent that the answer is not that simple. The investigation brings Kincaid into the elite world of British rowing and into possible wrongdoing at Scotland Yard. There are suspects including her ex and within the force. James is working on her own case that may intersect with this one. Ms. Crombie weaves a complicated tale that looks at two somewhat closed groups-the Police force and British Rowing- both of whom would like to see this case wrapped up quickly and go away.i enjoyed seeing the family life that Duncan and Gemma have cobbled together. The addition of Charlotte has added to the stress of blending a family together but the couple seems up to the challenge despite family disapproval. Some readers don't like to see any deviation in a mystery from the murder but I think seeing the off time of the two detective add to the plot and gives insight into their thought processes. The eventual outcome of the investigation was realistic and possibly worrisome for the two detectives we have come to know and love.more
Another excellent book from Deborah Crombie. Deborah Crombie expertly writes a suspense novel with such skill that all of the twists and turns come as surprises. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are two of my all-time favourite characters. They are portrayed with such realism it wouldn't be a stretch to encounter them in the local shops. Their daily lives and challenges ring true and their investigative skill is epic. I heartily recommend this book and this series.more
Deborah Crombie is a favorite of mine. I look forward to each new episode in the life of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. This latest has the same wonderful feeling of being invited into their home, with the very real sense of people living as honorably as they can and coping with the development of children who have grown up in lives that have not been a fairy tale.Also, there is something to learn here: the world of competitive rowing and its place in English life. And the heroic work of search and rescue dogs and their people.On the whole, I was happy to read this book. I don't think the plot is the best in the series, but still a satisfying diversion.more
Another excellent book in this series. What amazes me is the number of plot lines that Crombie can juggle in a book. Duncan Kincaid becomes the investigator in the murder of a high-ranking female police officer who is training to row in the Olympics. Her ex-husband becomes a suspect, as does another man with whom she’s had a relationship, an army vet with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Kincaid eventually finds, with the help of his wife, Gemma, that a serial rapist may also be a suspect. A high level cover-up at Scotland Yard is unveiled by Duncan and Gemma. We also learn about the world of competitive rowing, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and search and rescue dogs. As always, Duncan and Gemma’s family life plays a large part, as they are juggling work schedules to care for their two children and the child they are fostering. Though their domestic situation continues to evolve in each book, this one can be enjoyed without having read any of the previous books in the series.more
DCI Rebecca Meredith, 12 year veteran in the London Met Police, is contemplating taking a leave from the force to pursue her passion for rowing not just as an off duty activity but for potential Olympic qualification. If she does take this leave, she will also leave unfinished business at the Met; a fact that leaves her very angry and undecided. She does not want to be just fobbed off with no justice done. The way Crombie set up her frame of mind almost gave me goosebumps at the suspense. I was hooked immediately wondering what it was all about.We last see "Becca" at days end, taking out her boat. The next time we see her,a search and rescue team has just found her dead body in the river. And so the fun begins! Is it just an unfortunate accident or could it be homicide?Detective Superintendant, Duncan Kincaid, is called in on the case. He is just about to take paternity leave in a few days so that his wife, Gemma, can come back to work at the Met. But still, this case intrigues him as Becca is an elite rower, an Olympic contender as well as a senior officer in the Met. The press will have a field day as the case is sure to attract a lot of attention. When the investigation turns up some nasty skeletons in the Met's closet, Kincaid is told by his boss that it would be "convenient" that the ex-husband is the murderer. He certainly has a credible motive.This doesn't sit well with Kincaide as he is an honorable and ethical man, not one to take the easy way out. He wants to see justice done no matter the fallout. I loved the way Crombie imbued Kincaid with so many admirable and strong characteristics.Even though Gemma is on family leave, she is helping a Met co-worker sift through information on another matter that may have ties to Duncan's case. This was one of the most exciting plot lines for me. I couldn't wait to see how it all panned out. Although No Mark Upon Her is the 14th in the series, it can easily stand-alone. There are enough inferences in the story for the reader to have a feel for the history of Duncan's and Gemma's relationship. I loved the whole package, the perfectly paced plotting, the way Crombie filled in bits and pieces of the characters' lives to give the reader a complete picture of their pasts as well as their personalitys. All the red herrings made this an exceptionally satisfying read and Crombie neatly ties up all the ends. Even the most peripheral characters were fascinating and had their own stories. I'd liken Crombie's writing to that of P.D. James or Elizabeth George; all master storytellers that really know how to captivate their audience. 4.5****Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided byMacMillan /LT in exchange for my honest opinion.more
I have read several of Deborah Crombie's books and they all have been terrific. The police work used to discover the murderer is done well without having somebody become the 'hero' and working alone like in some books. Crombie combines the police work with the family dymnamics and it works well. Both Duncan and Gemma, finally married in three separate ceremonies, are struggling to do their jobs and also raise a family which now includes a three year old Charlotte (from a previous book which I haven't read yet, but will). Gemma has just finished several months of leave and now it is Duncan's turn, but two days before he is to begin his 'paternity' leave, he is assigned a high profile case of a police woman who drowns while out on her scull training for the Olympic trials. Will Duncan finish in time? Is the information that Gemma uncovers going to help Duncan? It all wraps up neatly in the end and I'm looking forward to the next book where either Duncan will be on leave or just ending it.more
I have say: well done. I'm new to this series and one of the things that I liked most about this book was that there was very little sense that we were at Book #14: protagonists feeling a bit tired and formulaic, the author assuming that the reader already knew their characters so well that he/she didn't have to flesh them out fully. It felt more like Book #2. There was just enough sense that there was some backstory that you could go back and discover if you chose, but not enough to make you feel lost.This is definitely one of those mystery/thrillers that you don't really read for the mystery or the thrills: the former isn't particularly puzzling and there is little of the latter. Instead, you read it because it has a nice cast of characters with whom you immediately feel comfortable. As Duncan and Gemma try to juggle their new marriage, the demands of police work, the mingling of their existing children plus the fostering of a third, it all feels quite real. Even the, presumably, regular supporting characters and those just-for-this-book feel lifelike. I also enjoy it when an author adds color to a story by mixing in a peek into uncommon area of life: in this case, the world of competitive rowing. During my university days, I spent an (agonizing) afternoon in a men's eight, which gave this choice a particular savor for me, but Crombie balanced well without tipping into either superficiality or pedantry, and any reader will enjoy this glimpse.My only real complaint with this book is that one of my favorite characters, Kieran, the war veteran-cum-boat builder, seems likely to be a one-off who doesn't appear in future stories. Other than that, it was a very pleasant diversion.more
Although this is the 14th in the Kincaid/James police procedural series by this author, I had not read any of the previous books. The author does a nice job of providing background on the series, as well as on setting her stories in Britain (in spite of being an American), with the married protagonists both having jobs in Scotland Yard.Duncan Kincaid, a Detective Superintendent, and Detective Inspector Gemma James are married, and trying to juggle the responsibilities of their jobs with raising two young children (each had a son from a previous relationship) along with an adopted third child. Fortunately they have a good support system, and in between story times and quick dinners and birthday parties, they are both investigating the death of a young woman rower whose body washed up on the Thames. The woman, Becca Meredith, was not only a rower of Olympic caliber, but was a police detective with the Met herself. This calls for a lot of political finesse, and Kincaid chafes at the implications of a cover-up.The police are aided in their efforts by a search-and-rescue team which includes highly trained dogs. The author spends almost as much time on the characterization of the loveable Finn (a lab) and Tosh (a German shephard) as on the human characters. Finn, in fact, could justifiably be named a major protagonist.As the investigation heats up, the red herrings come hot and heavy, and the suspense picks up as well. The ending, concerning the side characters, was so charming I found myself hoping to see more of them as well as the detectives in future books.Evaluation: Not having read any of the preceding books in the series won’t hurt you a bit, except in the sense of triggering feelings of obsessive/compulsive regret that you didn’t start at the beginning. The characters are charming, and while the mystery isn’t all that much of an enigma, it doesn’t really feel like the main point of the book. Rather, it seemed, we were there to spend more time with people we like.more
Another engaging police procedural from Deborah Crombie! In No Mark upon Her we are invited into three specialized worlds: police work in modern Britain, competitive rowing, and canine search and rescue work. Each one is peopled by characters who feel genuinely real and whom recreational readers can care about immediately.This is the first time that we see DCI Gemma James and superintendent Duncan Kincaid officially married (in three ceremonies no less!), and their relationship and their mixed family are at the center of the novel. Just before Duncan is prepared to start a stint of house-husbanding, he is on the scene of the drowning of an Olympic level sculler, also a police officer. Evidence of murder quickly ensues followed by an attack on one of the search and rescue volunteers. Gemma's sergeant, who has been working on a special project with rape victims, is drawn into the picture - and it's an ugly picture suggesting cover-ups among the higher ranks.Crombie pulls the reader along so fast that only one determined not to have a good time will balk. I hope that she is hard at work on the next volume right this very minute. I can hardly wait!more
I've enjoyed all of Deborah Crombie's books but she just seems to get better and better. No Mark Upon Her, the latest in her Kincaid/James series, takes a very interesting subject, the Oxford/Cambridge boat races, and gives it full personalities to flesh it out. The family story keeps getting fuller and richer in its character development. Like Elizabeth George, Crombie gives no hint of her American background, but seems to have complete mastery of the British culture. I, for one, will continue reading her novels with great satisfaction as long as she produces them.more
I've waited eagerly for this newest book by Deborah Crombie. It was worth the wait. As always, Crombie did her homework. In addition to the fine mystery she introduces the reader to the highly competitive sport of rowing in British universities and on the River Thames.The many layers of the investigation of a murder reveals many complex layers of ethical and political issues in Scotland Yard and the divisions throughout the force. Many lives have been affected and the newly formed and growing family of Duncan and Gemma is threatened.The sometimes difficult job of both adults in a family having stressful and at times demanding jobs is realistically dealt with as they treat each other with respect and consideration.The character development is excellent, proving once again that crime fiction can be well written. The ending is unexpected but artfully crafted. This is one of Crombie's best. I highly recommend it. My only suggestion, write faster Deborah, we want more!more
This was my first Deborah Crombie book. I was enjoying it so much, I finished it in less than 24 hours. Now I have to go back and start her books from the beginning. I am really looking forward to them.more
This book, like all of Deborah Crombie's books, was a joy to read. She does such good research and pays such attention to detail that I can hardly wait for her to come out with another one. I love the characters and learning about their history as well as the mystery itself. Deborah Crombie is in an elite group of authors that go the extra mile to make their books a cut above the normal. I hope she continues to write this series for many, many years to come.more
This is one of my favorite series and No Mark Upon Her is every bit as deloightful as I had hoped. I have yet to be disappointed in any of the Deborah Crombie novels. I love following the personal lives of Duncan and Gemma, and find their stories to be a perfect counter-point to the police procedural which Ms. Crombie does so well. I was a bit hesitant about this one as I know nothing about rowing. No matter. This aspect of the novel was written with enough info to be exceptionally interesting, but never so much as to lose me. Highly recommended.more
I was surprised to discover that Deborah Crombie, author of No Mark Upon Her, the 14th in her Duncan Kinkaid/Gemma James Scotland Yard detective series, lives in Texas. This is the first of her books I have read, I would have bet my bottom dollar that the author was as British as Queen Elizabeth and scones with clotted cream. I would have lost that bet.How could any author who peppers her novel with such phrases as "taking the mickey" out of someone, which means to tease, and "dab hand in the kitchen", meaning someone who knows her way around the kitchen, not be British? I enjoy learning new words and phrases, and I got a lot of new vocabulary from this book. (Maybe they'll use some of the words in the next season of Downton Abbey.)I do have to admit being a little lost in the beginning of this book. A female police detective is found dead after she goes out rowing one evening. Becca Meredith is secretly training for the upcoming Olympics, and it was unlikely that she accidentally drowned.I know nothing about rowing, and it would helped immensely to have been somewhat familiar with the sport, as many of the characters, including police detectives, were. It also would have helped to have read some of the other books in the series, as there is a lot of backstory and relationships among characters that I didn't know about.That being said, I'm glad I stuck with the book. There are a lot of characters here, and after awhile I was able to sort them all out and enjoy the author's ride. I like Duncan and Gemma and their patchwork family: Kit (Duncan's son), Toby (Gemma's son) and Charlotte (their foster child). They are newly married, and their efforts to work out the logistics of marriage, family, child care and work issues rang true to me.Becca's death peels back some unsavory layers, like an onion. Her ex-husband had some shady financial dealings and would profit from her death via an insurance policy. Becca was secretly dating an Iraq war vet who worked on boats at the rowing club she belonged to. Was the women's crew coach upset because Becca could possibly take the spot of one of his rowers on the Olympic team? And what about the deputy police commissioner whom Becca accused of rape last year? Someone Becca arrested? The list of suspects is lengthy.Duncan Kincaid is an ethical man, and he puts his all into finding out who murdered Becca. Although his wife Gemma is still on family leave, she and her colleague Melody uncover some evidence that help point Duncan's investigation in a dangerous direction.With the plethora of suspects, the author successfully keeps the identity of the killer, as well as the motive under wraps until the end. I admire Crombie's skill as a mystery writer, as I dislike being able to guess the killer halfway through the story. She kept me interested in the mystery and the story of Duncan and Gemma and their lovely family.My favorite character though was Kieran, the Iraq war vet and rescue searcher. He seemed like a lost soul, but his relationship with his dog, and with Tavie, another rescue searcher, was touching. It's obvious that the author had a special affinity for this quiet hero.I will keep my eye out for more of Crombie's Kincaid/James series, especially when I'm in the mood for a little Brit lit mystery.more
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program, although since it did not arrive until a month after publication date, I was not able to do an early review of it.This is another excellent entry in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series and shows us more insight into the family dynamics while also providing a look at some internal workings of the Metropolitan Police. It also introduces us to two members of the canine search and rescue team which can be called into play when a person is reported missing. I became very interested in all of the relationships and especially liked the scenes featuring the dogs doing their jobs. I did have a suspicion as to who the culprit was, but I wasn't absolutely positive until the end when it was confirmed. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes well-written mysteries.more
Duncan Kincaid Superintendent at Scotland Yard and his now thrice married wife Detective Inspector Gemma James have sustained many changes lately personal as well as professional. Along with his son Kit and her son Toby they’ve recently taken a foster daughter Charlotte whom they hope soon to adopt, but she needs special care because of the circumstance of her becoming orphaned so Gemma and Duncan agree to each take family leave to care for her, Gemma’s is just about over and Duncan’s is just about to start when Duncan receives a summons by his boss to look into a female detective’s suspicious death while rowing. It seems unknown to most Becca Meredith has been training for the Olympics when one evening she goes out on the Thames not to return alive. Although there are suspects aplenty this complex and much disturbing now murder case is taking a direction that Duncan is very uncomfortable with and could have grave consequences for the Police department and always finding solace in her thoughts, goes to Gemma. Soon Gemma and Duncan along with their assistants Melody and Doug are going at the case from two directions and hoping to meet in the middle with the suspect in hand and no further harm done but that seems an impossible task at the moment and the presumed guilty party seems out of their reach and even worse there’s a chance that they have it all wrong.Deborah Crombie is a brilliant Brit-Lit writer who amazingly makes her home right here in the good old US of A however her extensive research across the pond is invaluable and that is obvious when you open the pages and imagine yourself in London, or Notting Hill or any of the other wonderful places this author has taken me to in her Kincaid/James series which this is the 14th installment. Her dialogue is Queen’s English all the way and her narrative with her vivid descriptions will have you wiping the imaginary rain off your face and trying to see through the fog on the Thames as she spins her tale of murder, mystery and mayhem. Her characters, if you’ve read them from the beginning have evolved from single cops working as partners to partners in life, love and home and you as readers have the exclusive front row seating to have watched them mature first into the couple and finally the family they’ve become and the series has matured right with them with personal and professional concerns finding face right along side the serious crime fighting this duo does.If this is your first taste of Deborah Crombie and her Kincaid/James series that’s fine it does well alone, but my suggestion is to go back to the beginning and find out how they got where they are now and who they’ve become along the way. If you like British crime fiction you’ll find this a little less bloody than most and more tasteful because of it.If you’re looking for that perfect gift for that someone special on your list treat them to a murder.more
Before reading this book I have to say that I had no interest in rowing, rowing teams and clubs or shells, but I think that is one of Crombie's strengths. She can take a subject, create a mystery around it and make the whole thing come out to the readers satisfaction. Also appreciate the glimpses into Gemma and Kinkaids blended family, just love the addition of little Charlotte.more
I knew Deborah Crombie's name and was aware that she wrote a British based detective series, but she was an author I hadn't experienced - until I raced my way through her latest book - No Mark Upon Her. And I'm kicking myself - I truly wish I had picked her up earlier - I really, really enjoyed this book. It's the 14th book to feature her recurring characters Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, both who work for Scotland Yard.I did feel slightly lost in the first few opening chapters as there are many characters in this established series, all with their own stories. It took a bit to keep them all straight, but I was soon on top of who was who.Rebecca Meredith, a Met detective and talented sculler has taken to practicing on off hours when there aren't many others about. Someone is though - and that someone takes her life. As Kincaid looks into the case, he finds that Rebecca was a dedicated copper, but had made some enemies along the way. Gemma is looking into some cold cases and as she digs further, those past cases may be relevant to Kincaid's case. And those higher up would seem to prefer Duncan and Gemma keep their investigations low key and protect the reputation of the Met.Crombie's plotting was intricate and believable. The secondary plot is seamlessly woven in. The list of suspects kept me guessing. Crombie's exploration of the elitist rowing world, search and rescue and PTSD added much to an already multi layered tale. But what will have me adding this author to my must read list are the characters. They're all quite 'real'. Although others may complain that the domestic details of the characters may detract from a good mystery, I found that they gave the story much more depth and made the characters 'real'. I became invested in their lives and want to see where Crombie takes them from here.No Mark Upon Her was a satisfying read on so many levels - one I would definitely recommend. Fans of Louise Penny and Susan Hill would enjoy this series.more
If you like smart mysteries, if you like English mysteries, if you like police procedurals, if you like a book with great characters..I have a book for you!Ok, I will warn you that yes, this is part of a series, the latest in a 14 book series. And yes,while this one can totally stand alone, you will be tempted to go back and read some more in the series. Partly because one of the attractions of this book is the now husband and wife duo of Detective Inspector Gemma James and Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. They have a long history leading up to this point, with their blended family of one son on his part, one son on her part and a newly fostered daughter from another case and their story will interest you. While the author does a great job of giving us the abridged history, they are so likable that the reader can not help but want to learn more about how they got to this point. And there are a number of fascinating minor characters who pop up in their personal lives that we would like to know more about and which do, no doubt, make appearances in those other books.But enough pinning...because there is a very good book right here to explore.The setting in Henley on the Thames and the major role that rowing plays in this book is a big plus in my book. Many of the high schools around here having very competitive rowing teams (that have competed in Henley) and I have watched them practice on the back bays since I was a kid..and it is a beautiful thing to watch. But to see the love/hate relationship the competitors have with the sport is fascinating too. It may be beautiful watching from the shore as the sculls seem to glide along, the perfect synchronization of the rowers, but from their seat it is a grueling, almost too painful, undertaking.Then we have perhaps my two favorite characters, two rescue dogs name Tosh, a German Shepherd and Finn, a black Lab. Smart, handsome, brave, obedient dogs..wow, I am in love. Woof!Ms. Crombie has given us a very good, very smart, very well paced plot all set against a background of prestigious rowing clubs and old prep school friendships. Just when you think you may have things figured out, Gemma's investigation opens a whole new avenue, a whole new cast of suspects, and the possibility that a high level police cover up may be afoot. A cover-up with serious consequences to her and her husband's career if they continue, as of course they must, to seek justice for the murdered victim. Lots of red herrings, lot of twists and turns until the very last page..and then all the thread very nicely tied up so we can happily await the next installment.And as a small aside, let me just say that I loved the drawn map, along with illustrations, that make up the endpages. It was so charming that I spent way to much time studying it.more
I have now remembered why it seems so long between Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James books. Ms. Crombie takes great care in crafting the best novel possible and that takes some time. Yes, these books are mystery novels, but they really are so much more than that. The characterizations are excellently done, the plot is always intricate and the mystery is always complex. This results in a small masterpiece every time and with each new book in this wonderful series. This one delves into the world of championship rowing, and many interesting tidbits come out about this competitive sport. And I truly like Duncan Kincaid. He's a smart, intelligent copper who is not afraid to show his human side to his nearest and dearest. And Gemma is a treasure. Gemma and Duncan are now married and they are trying to maintain their high pressure jobs while trying to raise a truly blended family. All the challenges in this monumental undertaking are covered in this book. Both are trying to find the proof to convict a truly reprehensible and evil man, and both put everything on the line to do so, which in turn puts them in danger again and again. The secondary characters in this book are extremely appealing. There is first the ex-husband of the murdered rower, there are the male and female members of the search and rescue team that found the body of the victim, and there is Chief Superintendent Childs, Duncan's superior officer. Ms. Crombie is a wonderful writer, and these books are truly classics in the British police procedural genre.more
Rebecca ‘Becca’ Meredith is a high-ranking detective with the Met in London. She is also an Olympic caliber rower who has decided to follow her dreams for a gold medal. So when her body is discovered in the Thames by two canine search and rescue teams, it is hard to imagine who would have wanted to do her harm. When one of the canine teams – Kieran Connolly and his black lab, Finn – come under attack, the mystery deepens. Duncan Kincaid is assigned the case and he immediately finds himself embroiled in much more than a murder investigation. Although Becca’s ex-husband, Freddie, appears to be the most obvious suspect, the evidence begins to suggest that the real killer may be closer to the investigation than originally thought.Deborah Crombie has crafted an intriguing and twisty suspense-thriller set in England. Filled with interesting characters, including canine handler Tavie and her German Shepherd, Tosh, as well as Kincaid’s feisty wife, Gemma, the novel is well paced and offers a mystery which keeps the reader guessing until the end. Crombie lives in Texas, but she deftly weaves a believable story set firmly in London and its surrounding countryside.Although it is the mystery of Becca’s death which drives the narrative, Crombie complicates the story with underlying secrets and the prestigious world of rowing clubs and posh schools.I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller, and not just because it involved search and rescue dogs and their handlers. Crombie writes well with a good command of her story and a knack for maintaining the mystery up until the last pages. The novel is absorbing and suspenseful – the perfect book to read on a wintery day.Readers should know that Crombie has written thirteen previous books in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, although it is not necessary to have read the first books to appreciate this one which stood alone just fine for me. That said, I think I may need to go back and catch up on Crombie’s earlier works.No Mark Upon Her is highly recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers, mysteries, or anything with an English flavor.more
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Reviews

Deborah Crombie has a unique writing skill, the ability to blend a police procedural with a realistic domestic drama. Over the years, Crombie has taken Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James from police partners to married couple, facing the difficulties of coping with three children and rising careers in the London Met. While I read her books (this is her 14th) as a mystery fan, I’ve always been impressed how authentic the large recurring “supporting cast” and principal characters resemble real, flesh-and-blood people, not the one-dimensional walk-ons that so many authors employ. The tensions and conflicts that Gemma and Kincaid face as a two-career couple, with their bosses, with their work partners and with their parents, seem real and human too. But, as I say, I’m a mystery fan, and while Crombie introduces the culprit into the story a little later than is fair to the reader, it’s a good story, set amidst the Thames rowing community. Again, the cast of suspects and witnesses is well developed with unique three-dimensional personalities. The culprit, unfortunately, is a little less believable, but to say why would be a definite spoiler, so you’ll have to decide for yourself. It’s a satisfying read nonetheless.more
Written with the excellence and compexity of a P. D. James or a Ngaio Marsh, "No Mark Upon Her" is an engrossing read from start to finish. The details were exact, the characters rang true, and the mystery kept one reading long after midnight. I loved it and would read any book written by Deborah Crombie.more
First title by this author that I have read. It was a bit slow at the start, but patience paid off. At times, I had a hard time keeping characters straight as Ms. Crombie introduces MANY and with some character development for each. It wasn't until I started reading this book, that I discovered the story is #14(!) in a series. In my opinion, the story doesn't necessitate reading #1-13 first, but it would add depth to the characterizations.more
I have read a number of enjoyable mysteries of late, but this one . . . Oh, how I love thee, Deborah Crombie! Where have you been all my life and why haven't I read anything by you before? No Mark Upon Her is the 14th book in the series, I believe, but my first one by the author. It didn't matter that I didn't know the history of the characters (although, I am infinitely curious now and must know all!). 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.What is the book about, you ask? A detective who is a skilled rower is found dead on the Thames. Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is called back from vacation to investigate the matter. It's a particularly sensitive case, one in which people in high placed hope it will get resolved quickly, even if that means swept under the carpet. Duncan Kincaid, however, is not the kind of man to take the easy way out. He wants to find justice for the victim even if it means his job. His wife, a detective herself, helps on the sidelines while juggling the care of their three children.Rowing isn't a particularly favorite sport of mine--I have nothing against it, mind you, just very little exposure to it--but I am not one to let something like that stand in my way of reading a book. I like learning about new things. That's part of what reading is all about, right?I liked the way Crombie weaved the characters' personal stories in with the murder investigation. Seeing them at home, so to speak, made them all the more relatable. There was just enough of their personal life to give the reader a good idea of what kind of people the characters are and to understand their way of thinking.I was quite taken with Duncan Kincaid. He is intelligent and open minded. He is also a good father. I especially liked how much he respects and loves his wife. Gemma James is just as strong a character as her husband, and I could appreciate her inner conflict--looking forward to getting back to work but at the same time not wanting to leave the children.Two characters I wish I could get to know better but doubt I will see in future books are the K-9 rescue team, Keiran and Tavie and their dogs. Both seem like formidable people and it was impossible for me not to fall in love with a couple of rescue dogs. Keiran in particular won me over. He was a sad sort of character, dealing with a broken heart as well as quite a few health problems due to injuries incurred in war.As for the investigation, the detectives did not have a lot to go on, and with pressures from above, they were faced with even more challenges. While I am not sure "sitting on the edge of my seat" is an apt description of the pacing of the book, I certainly had a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to get back to it. The weekend everyone in the house was sick and I'd left the book at work was torture. I kept thinking of Becca and wondering what had happened to her.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 one novel and is sure to become among my favorite mystery authors.more
This is the only book in the series that I've read, so I didn't have any "history" of the main characters, but was able to pick up their relationships pretty quickly. The mystery was fast-paced with several twists; I loved the bits of information about rowing, and the Cambridge and Oxford rivalry. Guess I'll be going back to check out previous books in the series.more
I always love Deborah Crombie's books, but this one was a particular gem. All of the characters were well-drawn, and the racing setting was interesting. I thought that "Kieran" was particularly compelling, and could easily be the primary character in a non-series book. Those who enjoy the romance/family setting of these books will be particularly pleased, as the details in this book are so realistic, and heart-warming.more
I have read Deborah Crombie since A Share in Death, and watched the evolution of Kincaid and James as a couple. I was worried that once they married, the series might not work as well. That is definitely not an issue. In No Mark Upon Her, Kincaid is involved in the death of one of their own, a detective named Rebecca Meredith. Rebecca had been in training for an possible berth on the Olympic rowing team and her death in the Thames at first seems a tragic accident but quickly it is apparent that the answer is not that simple. The investigation brings Kincaid into the elite world of British rowing and into possible wrongdoing at Scotland Yard. There are suspects including her ex and within the force. James is working on her own case that may intersect with this one. Ms. Crombie weaves a complicated tale that looks at two somewhat closed groups-the Police force and British Rowing- both of whom would like to see this case wrapped up quickly and go away.i enjoyed seeing the family life that Duncan and Gemma have cobbled together. The addition of Charlotte has added to the stress of blending a family together but the couple seems up to the challenge despite family disapproval. Some readers don't like to see any deviation in a mystery from the murder but I think seeing the off time of the two detective add to the plot and gives insight into their thought processes. The eventual outcome of the investigation was realistic and possibly worrisome for the two detectives we have come to know and love.more
Another excellent book from Deborah Crombie. Deborah Crombie expertly writes a suspense novel with such skill that all of the twists and turns come as surprises. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are two of my all-time favourite characters. They are portrayed with such realism it wouldn't be a stretch to encounter them in the local shops. Their daily lives and challenges ring true and their investigative skill is epic. I heartily recommend this book and this series.more
Deborah Crombie is a favorite of mine. I look forward to each new episode in the life of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. This latest has the same wonderful feeling of being invited into their home, with the very real sense of people living as honorably as they can and coping with the development of children who have grown up in lives that have not been a fairy tale.Also, there is something to learn here: the world of competitive rowing and its place in English life. And the heroic work of search and rescue dogs and their people.On the whole, I was happy to read this book. I don't think the plot is the best in the series, but still a satisfying diversion.more
Another excellent book in this series. What amazes me is the number of plot lines that Crombie can juggle in a book. Duncan Kincaid becomes the investigator in the murder of a high-ranking female police officer who is training to row in the Olympics. Her ex-husband becomes a suspect, as does another man with whom she’s had a relationship, an army vet with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Kincaid eventually finds, with the help of his wife, Gemma, that a serial rapist may also be a suspect. A high level cover-up at Scotland Yard is unveiled by Duncan and Gemma. We also learn about the world of competitive rowing, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and search and rescue dogs. As always, Duncan and Gemma’s family life plays a large part, as they are juggling work schedules to care for their two children and the child they are fostering. Though their domestic situation continues to evolve in each book, this one can be enjoyed without having read any of the previous books in the series.more
DCI Rebecca Meredith, 12 year veteran in the London Met Police, is contemplating taking a leave from the force to pursue her passion for rowing not just as an off duty activity but for potential Olympic qualification. If she does take this leave, she will also leave unfinished business at the Met; a fact that leaves her very angry and undecided. She does not want to be just fobbed off with no justice done. The way Crombie set up her frame of mind almost gave me goosebumps at the suspense. I was hooked immediately wondering what it was all about.We last see "Becca" at days end, taking out her boat. The next time we see her,a search and rescue team has just found her dead body in the river. And so the fun begins! Is it just an unfortunate accident or could it be homicide?Detective Superintendant, Duncan Kincaid, is called in on the case. He is just about to take paternity leave in a few days so that his wife, Gemma, can come back to work at the Met. But still, this case intrigues him as Becca is an elite rower, an Olympic contender as well as a senior officer in the Met. The press will have a field day as the case is sure to attract a lot of attention. When the investigation turns up some nasty skeletons in the Met's closet, Kincaid is told by his boss that it would be "convenient" that the ex-husband is the murderer. He certainly has a credible motive.This doesn't sit well with Kincaide as he is an honorable and ethical man, not one to take the easy way out. He wants to see justice done no matter the fallout. I loved the way Crombie imbued Kincaid with so many admirable and strong characteristics.Even though Gemma is on family leave, she is helping a Met co-worker sift through information on another matter that may have ties to Duncan's case. This was one of the most exciting plot lines for me. I couldn't wait to see how it all panned out. Although No Mark Upon Her is the 14th in the series, it can easily stand-alone. There are enough inferences in the story for the reader to have a feel for the history of Duncan's and Gemma's relationship. I loved the whole package, the perfectly paced plotting, the way Crombie filled in bits and pieces of the characters' lives to give the reader a complete picture of their pasts as well as their personalitys. All the red herrings made this an exceptionally satisfying read and Crombie neatly ties up all the ends. Even the most peripheral characters were fascinating and had their own stories. I'd liken Crombie's writing to that of P.D. James or Elizabeth George; all master storytellers that really know how to captivate their audience. 4.5****Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided byMacMillan /LT in exchange for my honest opinion.more
I have read several of Deborah Crombie's books and they all have been terrific. The police work used to discover the murderer is done well without having somebody become the 'hero' and working alone like in some books. Crombie combines the police work with the family dymnamics and it works well. Both Duncan and Gemma, finally married in three separate ceremonies, are struggling to do their jobs and also raise a family which now includes a three year old Charlotte (from a previous book which I haven't read yet, but will). Gemma has just finished several months of leave and now it is Duncan's turn, but two days before he is to begin his 'paternity' leave, he is assigned a high profile case of a police woman who drowns while out on her scull training for the Olympic trials. Will Duncan finish in time? Is the information that Gemma uncovers going to help Duncan? It all wraps up neatly in the end and I'm looking forward to the next book where either Duncan will be on leave or just ending it.more
I have say: well done. I'm new to this series and one of the things that I liked most about this book was that there was very little sense that we were at Book #14: protagonists feeling a bit tired and formulaic, the author assuming that the reader already knew their characters so well that he/she didn't have to flesh them out fully. It felt more like Book #2. There was just enough sense that there was some backstory that you could go back and discover if you chose, but not enough to make you feel lost.This is definitely one of those mystery/thrillers that you don't really read for the mystery or the thrills: the former isn't particularly puzzling and there is little of the latter. Instead, you read it because it has a nice cast of characters with whom you immediately feel comfortable. As Duncan and Gemma try to juggle their new marriage, the demands of police work, the mingling of their existing children plus the fostering of a third, it all feels quite real. Even the, presumably, regular supporting characters and those just-for-this-book feel lifelike. I also enjoy it when an author adds color to a story by mixing in a peek into uncommon area of life: in this case, the world of competitive rowing. During my university days, I spent an (agonizing) afternoon in a men's eight, which gave this choice a particular savor for me, but Crombie balanced well without tipping into either superficiality or pedantry, and any reader will enjoy this glimpse.My only real complaint with this book is that one of my favorite characters, Kieran, the war veteran-cum-boat builder, seems likely to be a one-off who doesn't appear in future stories. Other than that, it was a very pleasant diversion.more
Although this is the 14th in the Kincaid/James police procedural series by this author, I had not read any of the previous books. The author does a nice job of providing background on the series, as well as on setting her stories in Britain (in spite of being an American), with the married protagonists both having jobs in Scotland Yard.Duncan Kincaid, a Detective Superintendent, and Detective Inspector Gemma James are married, and trying to juggle the responsibilities of their jobs with raising two young children (each had a son from a previous relationship) along with an adopted third child. Fortunately they have a good support system, and in between story times and quick dinners and birthday parties, they are both investigating the death of a young woman rower whose body washed up on the Thames. The woman, Becca Meredith, was not only a rower of Olympic caliber, but was a police detective with the Met herself. This calls for a lot of political finesse, and Kincaid chafes at the implications of a cover-up.The police are aided in their efforts by a search-and-rescue team which includes highly trained dogs. The author spends almost as much time on the characterization of the loveable Finn (a lab) and Tosh (a German shephard) as on the human characters. Finn, in fact, could justifiably be named a major protagonist.As the investigation heats up, the red herrings come hot and heavy, and the suspense picks up as well. The ending, concerning the side characters, was so charming I found myself hoping to see more of them as well as the detectives in future books.Evaluation: Not having read any of the preceding books in the series won’t hurt you a bit, except in the sense of triggering feelings of obsessive/compulsive regret that you didn’t start at the beginning. The characters are charming, and while the mystery isn’t all that much of an enigma, it doesn’t really feel like the main point of the book. Rather, it seemed, we were there to spend more time with people we like.more
Another engaging police procedural from Deborah Crombie! In No Mark upon Her we are invited into three specialized worlds: police work in modern Britain, competitive rowing, and canine search and rescue work. Each one is peopled by characters who feel genuinely real and whom recreational readers can care about immediately.This is the first time that we see DCI Gemma James and superintendent Duncan Kincaid officially married (in three ceremonies no less!), and their relationship and their mixed family are at the center of the novel. Just before Duncan is prepared to start a stint of house-husbanding, he is on the scene of the drowning of an Olympic level sculler, also a police officer. Evidence of murder quickly ensues followed by an attack on one of the search and rescue volunteers. Gemma's sergeant, who has been working on a special project with rape victims, is drawn into the picture - and it's an ugly picture suggesting cover-ups among the higher ranks.Crombie pulls the reader along so fast that only one determined not to have a good time will balk. I hope that she is hard at work on the next volume right this very minute. I can hardly wait!more
I've enjoyed all of Deborah Crombie's books but she just seems to get better and better. No Mark Upon Her, the latest in her Kincaid/James series, takes a very interesting subject, the Oxford/Cambridge boat races, and gives it full personalities to flesh it out. The family story keeps getting fuller and richer in its character development. Like Elizabeth George, Crombie gives no hint of her American background, but seems to have complete mastery of the British culture. I, for one, will continue reading her novels with great satisfaction as long as she produces them.more
I've waited eagerly for this newest book by Deborah Crombie. It was worth the wait. As always, Crombie did her homework. In addition to the fine mystery she introduces the reader to the highly competitive sport of rowing in British universities and on the River Thames.The many layers of the investigation of a murder reveals many complex layers of ethical and political issues in Scotland Yard and the divisions throughout the force. Many lives have been affected and the newly formed and growing family of Duncan and Gemma is threatened.The sometimes difficult job of both adults in a family having stressful and at times demanding jobs is realistically dealt with as they treat each other with respect and consideration.The character development is excellent, proving once again that crime fiction can be well written. The ending is unexpected but artfully crafted. This is one of Crombie's best. I highly recommend it. My only suggestion, write faster Deborah, we want more!more
This was my first Deborah Crombie book. I was enjoying it so much, I finished it in less than 24 hours. Now I have to go back and start her books from the beginning. I am really looking forward to them.more
This book, like all of Deborah Crombie's books, was a joy to read. She does such good research and pays such attention to detail that I can hardly wait for her to come out with another one. I love the characters and learning about their history as well as the mystery itself. Deborah Crombie is in an elite group of authors that go the extra mile to make their books a cut above the normal. I hope she continues to write this series for many, many years to come.more
This is one of my favorite series and No Mark Upon Her is every bit as deloightful as I had hoped. I have yet to be disappointed in any of the Deborah Crombie novels. I love following the personal lives of Duncan and Gemma, and find their stories to be a perfect counter-point to the police procedural which Ms. Crombie does so well. I was a bit hesitant about this one as I know nothing about rowing. No matter. This aspect of the novel was written with enough info to be exceptionally interesting, but never so much as to lose me. Highly recommended.more
I was surprised to discover that Deborah Crombie, author of No Mark Upon Her, the 14th in her Duncan Kinkaid/Gemma James Scotland Yard detective series, lives in Texas. This is the first of her books I have read, I would have bet my bottom dollar that the author was as British as Queen Elizabeth and scones with clotted cream. I would have lost that bet.How could any author who peppers her novel with such phrases as "taking the mickey" out of someone, which means to tease, and "dab hand in the kitchen", meaning someone who knows her way around the kitchen, not be British? I enjoy learning new words and phrases, and I got a lot of new vocabulary from this book. (Maybe they'll use some of the words in the next season of Downton Abbey.)I do have to admit being a little lost in the beginning of this book. A female police detective is found dead after she goes out rowing one evening. Becca Meredith is secretly training for the upcoming Olympics, and it was unlikely that she accidentally drowned.I know nothing about rowing, and it would helped immensely to have been somewhat familiar with the sport, as many of the characters, including police detectives, were. It also would have helped to have read some of the other books in the series, as there is a lot of backstory and relationships among characters that I didn't know about.That being said, I'm glad I stuck with the book. There are a lot of characters here, and after awhile I was able to sort them all out and enjoy the author's ride. I like Duncan and Gemma and their patchwork family: Kit (Duncan's son), Toby (Gemma's son) and Charlotte (their foster child). They are newly married, and their efforts to work out the logistics of marriage, family, child care and work issues rang true to me.Becca's death peels back some unsavory layers, like an onion. Her ex-husband had some shady financial dealings and would profit from her death via an insurance policy. Becca was secretly dating an Iraq war vet who worked on boats at the rowing club she belonged to. Was the women's crew coach upset because Becca could possibly take the spot of one of his rowers on the Olympic team? And what about the deputy police commissioner whom Becca accused of rape last year? Someone Becca arrested? The list of suspects is lengthy.Duncan Kincaid is an ethical man, and he puts his all into finding out who murdered Becca. Although his wife Gemma is still on family leave, she and her colleague Melody uncover some evidence that help point Duncan's investigation in a dangerous direction.With the plethora of suspects, the author successfully keeps the identity of the killer, as well as the motive under wraps until the end. I admire Crombie's skill as a mystery writer, as I dislike being able to guess the killer halfway through the story. She kept me interested in the mystery and the story of Duncan and Gemma and their lovely family.My favorite character though was Kieran, the Iraq war vet and rescue searcher. He seemed like a lost soul, but his relationship with his dog, and with Tavie, another rescue searcher, was touching. It's obvious that the author had a special affinity for this quiet hero.I will keep my eye out for more of Crombie's Kincaid/James series, especially when I'm in the mood for a little Brit lit mystery.more
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program, although since it did not arrive until a month after publication date, I was not able to do an early review of it.This is another excellent entry in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series and shows us more insight into the family dynamics while also providing a look at some internal workings of the Metropolitan Police. It also introduces us to two members of the canine search and rescue team which can be called into play when a person is reported missing. I became very interested in all of the relationships and especially liked the scenes featuring the dogs doing their jobs. I did have a suspicion as to who the culprit was, but I wasn't absolutely positive until the end when it was confirmed. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes well-written mysteries.more
Duncan Kincaid Superintendent at Scotland Yard and his now thrice married wife Detective Inspector Gemma James have sustained many changes lately personal as well as professional. Along with his son Kit and her son Toby they’ve recently taken a foster daughter Charlotte whom they hope soon to adopt, but she needs special care because of the circumstance of her becoming orphaned so Gemma and Duncan agree to each take family leave to care for her, Gemma’s is just about over and Duncan’s is just about to start when Duncan receives a summons by his boss to look into a female detective’s suspicious death while rowing. It seems unknown to most Becca Meredith has been training for the Olympics when one evening she goes out on the Thames not to return alive. Although there are suspects aplenty this complex and much disturbing now murder case is taking a direction that Duncan is very uncomfortable with and could have grave consequences for the Police department and always finding solace in her thoughts, goes to Gemma. Soon Gemma and Duncan along with their assistants Melody and Doug are going at the case from two directions and hoping to meet in the middle with the suspect in hand and no further harm done but that seems an impossible task at the moment and the presumed guilty party seems out of their reach and even worse there’s a chance that they have it all wrong.Deborah Crombie is a brilliant Brit-Lit writer who amazingly makes her home right here in the good old US of A however her extensive research across the pond is invaluable and that is obvious when you open the pages and imagine yourself in London, or Notting Hill or any of the other wonderful places this author has taken me to in her Kincaid/James series which this is the 14th installment. Her dialogue is Queen’s English all the way and her narrative with her vivid descriptions will have you wiping the imaginary rain off your face and trying to see through the fog on the Thames as she spins her tale of murder, mystery and mayhem. Her characters, if you’ve read them from the beginning have evolved from single cops working as partners to partners in life, love and home and you as readers have the exclusive front row seating to have watched them mature first into the couple and finally the family they’ve become and the series has matured right with them with personal and professional concerns finding face right along side the serious crime fighting this duo does.If this is your first taste of Deborah Crombie and her Kincaid/James series that’s fine it does well alone, but my suggestion is to go back to the beginning and find out how they got where they are now and who they’ve become along the way. If you like British crime fiction you’ll find this a little less bloody than most and more tasteful because of it.If you’re looking for that perfect gift for that someone special on your list treat them to a murder.more
Before reading this book I have to say that I had no interest in rowing, rowing teams and clubs or shells, but I think that is one of Crombie's strengths. She can take a subject, create a mystery around it and make the whole thing come out to the readers satisfaction. Also appreciate the glimpses into Gemma and Kinkaids blended family, just love the addition of little Charlotte.more
I knew Deborah Crombie's name and was aware that she wrote a British based detective series, but she was an author I hadn't experienced - until I raced my way through her latest book - No Mark Upon Her. And I'm kicking myself - I truly wish I had picked her up earlier - I really, really enjoyed this book. It's the 14th book to feature her recurring characters Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, both who work for Scotland Yard.I did feel slightly lost in the first few opening chapters as there are many characters in this established series, all with their own stories. It took a bit to keep them all straight, but I was soon on top of who was who.Rebecca Meredith, a Met detective and talented sculler has taken to practicing on off hours when there aren't many others about. Someone is though - and that someone takes her life. As Kincaid looks into the case, he finds that Rebecca was a dedicated copper, but had made some enemies along the way. Gemma is looking into some cold cases and as she digs further, those past cases may be relevant to Kincaid's case. And those higher up would seem to prefer Duncan and Gemma keep their investigations low key and protect the reputation of the Met.Crombie's plotting was intricate and believable. The secondary plot is seamlessly woven in. The list of suspects kept me guessing. Crombie's exploration of the elitist rowing world, search and rescue and PTSD added much to an already multi layered tale. But what will have me adding this author to my must read list are the characters. They're all quite 'real'. Although others may complain that the domestic details of the characters may detract from a good mystery, I found that they gave the story much more depth and made the characters 'real'. I became invested in their lives and want to see where Crombie takes them from here.No Mark Upon Her was a satisfying read on so many levels - one I would definitely recommend. Fans of Louise Penny and Susan Hill would enjoy this series.more
If you like smart mysteries, if you like English mysteries, if you like police procedurals, if you like a book with great characters..I have a book for you!Ok, I will warn you that yes, this is part of a series, the latest in a 14 book series. And yes,while this one can totally stand alone, you will be tempted to go back and read some more in the series. Partly because one of the attractions of this book is the now husband and wife duo of Detective Inspector Gemma James and Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. They have a long history leading up to this point, with their blended family of one son on his part, one son on her part and a newly fostered daughter from another case and their story will interest you. While the author does a great job of giving us the abridged history, they are so likable that the reader can not help but want to learn more about how they got to this point. And there are a number of fascinating minor characters who pop up in their personal lives that we would like to know more about and which do, no doubt, make appearances in those other books.But enough pinning...because there is a very good book right here to explore.The setting in Henley on the Thames and the major role that rowing plays in this book is a big plus in my book. Many of the high schools around here having very competitive rowing teams (that have competed in Henley) and I have watched them practice on the back bays since I was a kid..and it is a beautiful thing to watch. But to see the love/hate relationship the competitors have with the sport is fascinating too. It may be beautiful watching from the shore as the sculls seem to glide along, the perfect synchronization of the rowers, but from their seat it is a grueling, almost too painful, undertaking.Then we have perhaps my two favorite characters, two rescue dogs name Tosh, a German Shepherd and Finn, a black Lab. Smart, handsome, brave, obedient dogs..wow, I am in love. Woof!Ms. Crombie has given us a very good, very smart, very well paced plot all set against a background of prestigious rowing clubs and old prep school friendships. Just when you think you may have things figured out, Gemma's investigation opens a whole new avenue, a whole new cast of suspects, and the possibility that a high level police cover up may be afoot. A cover-up with serious consequences to her and her husband's career if they continue, as of course they must, to seek justice for the murdered victim. Lots of red herrings, lot of twists and turns until the very last page..and then all the thread very nicely tied up so we can happily await the next installment.And as a small aside, let me just say that I loved the drawn map, along with illustrations, that make up the endpages. It was so charming that I spent way to much time studying it.more
I have now remembered why it seems so long between Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James books. Ms. Crombie takes great care in crafting the best novel possible and that takes some time. Yes, these books are mystery novels, but they really are so much more than that. The characterizations are excellently done, the plot is always intricate and the mystery is always complex. This results in a small masterpiece every time and with each new book in this wonderful series. This one delves into the world of championship rowing, and many interesting tidbits come out about this competitive sport. And I truly like Duncan Kincaid. He's a smart, intelligent copper who is not afraid to show his human side to his nearest and dearest. And Gemma is a treasure. Gemma and Duncan are now married and they are trying to maintain their high pressure jobs while trying to raise a truly blended family. All the challenges in this monumental undertaking are covered in this book. Both are trying to find the proof to convict a truly reprehensible and evil man, and both put everything on the line to do so, which in turn puts them in danger again and again. The secondary characters in this book are extremely appealing. There is first the ex-husband of the murdered rower, there are the male and female members of the search and rescue team that found the body of the victim, and there is Chief Superintendent Childs, Duncan's superior officer. Ms. Crombie is a wonderful writer, and these books are truly classics in the British police procedural genre.more
Rebecca ‘Becca’ Meredith is a high-ranking detective with the Met in London. She is also an Olympic caliber rower who has decided to follow her dreams for a gold medal. So when her body is discovered in the Thames by two canine search and rescue teams, it is hard to imagine who would have wanted to do her harm. When one of the canine teams – Kieran Connolly and his black lab, Finn – come under attack, the mystery deepens. Duncan Kincaid is assigned the case and he immediately finds himself embroiled in much more than a murder investigation. Although Becca’s ex-husband, Freddie, appears to be the most obvious suspect, the evidence begins to suggest that the real killer may be closer to the investigation than originally thought.Deborah Crombie has crafted an intriguing and twisty suspense-thriller set in England. Filled with interesting characters, including canine handler Tavie and her German Shepherd, Tosh, as well as Kincaid’s feisty wife, Gemma, the novel is well paced and offers a mystery which keeps the reader guessing until the end. Crombie lives in Texas, but she deftly weaves a believable story set firmly in London and its surrounding countryside.Although it is the mystery of Becca’s death which drives the narrative, Crombie complicates the story with underlying secrets and the prestigious world of rowing clubs and posh schools.I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller, and not just because it involved search and rescue dogs and their handlers. Crombie writes well with a good command of her story and a knack for maintaining the mystery up until the last pages. The novel is absorbing and suspenseful – the perfect book to read on a wintery day.Readers should know that Crombie has written thirteen previous books in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, although it is not necessary to have read the first books to appreciate this one which stood alone just fine for me. That said, I think I may need to go back and catch up on Crombie’s earlier works.No Mark Upon Her is highly recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers, mysteries, or anything with an English flavor.more
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