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A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

A Finer End

by Deborah Crombie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James (7)

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English (16)  French (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
After the comments about Glastonbary, then Wells and the anti-ley line comments and then the pro-ley line no electricity or running water folks, I'd had more than enough to send me into cringing flashback memories of Bath and the various festivals. No thanks. ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
A FINER END by Deborah Crombie is the 7th title in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series.
I quite liked this book and thought Ms. Crombie weaved the mythology, local lore, Arthurian legends, monastic life, and history into a very readable, tense, contemporary mystery.
I especially loved the map and the quotes which introduced each chapter.
The characters were interesting and the plot very intricate. The plot worked well with the location. The sense of place was very strong.
I especially liked the passage that describes the word enchantment. “The word enchantment is derived from ‘chant’. The ancients believed that music was the strongest magic, that it kept man in tune with the cosmos and in harmony with one another.”
And this note. “ Out of all the Grail mythology entwined with Glastonbury over the centuries, there is one legend that says the Grail is not an object - not a cup or a chalice - but a transcendent state of being, brought about by ritual and prayer.”
There is a certain feel or vibration in the Glastonbury air. I can understand why authors would try to weave local beliefs, local lore and history into a contemporary plot.
Duncan and Gemma have somewhat minor roles in this particular title. Duncan’s cousin (who lives in Glastonbury) asks for his help in sorting out a hit and run incident. A weekend ‘getaway’ turns into a full-blown murder inquiry for Duncan and Gemma.
Great title in a great series. ( )
  diana.hauser | Feb 11, 2019 |
Deborah Crombie gives us another spellbinding novel of mysteries--one contemporary, one ancient--an investigation that will challenge Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James personally and professionally. The story takes place in Glastonbury UK and we get lots of history about King Arthur who is buried there and the power in that area. There is a connection to the present day characters and the characters from the past. Crombie handles this layered plot along with the ongoing romance between the two main characters with ease. The theme of the story is redemption and hope. It also shows a bit of a struggle between good and evil. You have to suspend your disbelief somewhat in regards to the mythical and spiritual concepts in order to fully enjoy this book. I look forward to reading the next installment of this series and I highly recommend this book to those who love mystery with some history. ( )
1 vote EadieB | Mar 12, 2018 |
Rather than taking place in London, where both of our main characters usually solve their crimes, A Finer End takes place in Glastonbury, where Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid’s cousin Jack lives. It seems that Jack and a few of his friends are involved in some woo-woo. Jack is doing “automatic writing,” channeling a long-dead monk. But why?

Jack invites Duncan to come for a weekend visit – Jack needs his cousin’s logical detective brain to figure out what’s happening. Then an attempted murder, followed by a murder, and Kincaid is on his usual turf – assisting the local authorities with their investigations.

Of course, Duncan asks his lady love, also a Scotland Yard detective, Gemma James to accompany him on the trip. She’s been looking tired and a “restful” weekend will do her worlds of good. What Kincaid doesn’t know is that Gemma believes she’s pregnant, by Kincaid, and has not let him know yet.

I won’t say that Deborah Crombie writes by a formula, but there are patterns that seem to appear in her books. They do not appear in A Finer End. Not that it’s a bad thing … just different.

I’ve been reading this series out of order and A Finer End brings me to the end of the line, until the next book in the series comes out. I can say that the books are mostly page turners and they can be counted on for an entertaining read. What more can I say? ( )
  NewsieQ | Nov 22, 2017 |
there is a map of Glastonbury in the front of this book and, as you might guess, the action takes place in Glastonbury. If you don't know where Glastonbury is, as I didn't, it is in the west of England near Wales. It is one of those ancient places of which the British Isles have an abundance. It is reputed that King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were buried there and that Joseph of Arimathea journeyed there after the crucifixion of Jesus and established the first Christian church in England there. In ancient days Glastonbury was surrounded by water and the island was called the Isle of Avalon. If you would like to find out more about Glastonbury check out this site.

Jack Montfort is an architect living in Glastonbury in his family's ancestral home at the base of the Glastonbury Tor. Glastonbury attracts New Agers but Jack Montfort isn't of that ilk. Therefor, he is more than a little surprised when he starts writing messages in Latin seemingly from a former monk at the Glastonbury Abbey. He confides in a young man at the bookstore (Nick) and soon he has to tell his lady love, Winifred Catesby, who is an Anglican minister. He soon is at the centre of a small group of people who believe the monk is trying to communicate an important message. Winifred has a sort of vision but before she can tell Jack she is struck by a car and left for dead. Jack is less than impressed by the local police force's handling of the hit-and-run accident so he calls his cousin, Duncan Kincaid, who is with Scotland Yard. Duncan and his lady love, Gemma James, also a police detective, come to Glastonbury. Just after their arrival the police come knocking on Jack's door to tell him that Garnet Todd has been found dead in her van. Garnet was one of the people helping Jack communicate with the monk. She was the embodiment of New Age thinking to the extent of living in an ancient farmhouse with no electricity or running water. She had lately taken in a pregnant teenager (Faith) and has been coaching her in Goddess lore. Nick is smitten with Faith but Garnet did not appreciate his attention to Faith and Nick seems like the likely candidate to have murdered her. Of course, the likely candidate is never the actual murderer but the identity of the murderer is not revealed until the last few pages.

I didn't think that the "mystery" part of this book was all that great nor was I really taken with Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James. I did figure out the murderer before the end. The setting however was unique and the information about the early church was interesting. I'm certainly interested in seeing Glastonbury for myself now so that made the read worthwhile. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 24, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crombie, Deborahprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Books, RecordedPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crichton, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jäger, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Imagination is a great gift, a Divine power of the mind,
and may be trained and educated to create
and to receive only that which is true.
Frederick Bligh Bond,
from The Gate of Remembrance
For my mother, who has always believed in me.
First words
The shadows crept into Jack Montfort's small office, filling the corners with a comfortable dimness.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553579274, Mass Market Paperback)

Although P.D. James has made it to the top of American bestseller lists, she's not the only talented female writer of British mysteries who is popular here. Like James, Deborah Crombie is another exceptional stylist who uses every new book in a series as an opportunity to explore the emotional complexity of her central characters and further reveal the many dimensions of their personal and professional lives. Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James, are at a crossroads in their relationship. But far more compelling to both of them are their investigations in Glastonbury, the mythical burial place of King Arthur and Guinevere, where Kincaid's cousin Jack has discovered a thousand-year-old secret. Jack hasn't deciphered it yet--it's being transmitted to him by "automatic writing" in communiqués that seem to be coming (in church Latin, of course) from a monk who's been dead for centuries. Of course there's a murder involved--a couple of them, actually--but by the time Kincaid's involvement is officially sanctioned as an investigation rather than a favor for a relative, the reader has been drawn deeply into a much more ancient mystery.

As usual, Crombie creates secondary characters who are as interesting and carefully developed as Kincaid and James: a middle-aged vicar whose life is nearly snuffed out just as she's fallen in love for the first time; a pregnant teenager with apparently psychic abilities that are somehow linked to the ruins of Glastonbury's old abbey; a mendacious historian who understands the true value of the mysterious "letters" from Brother Edmund; and especially the Company of Watchers, the spirits who guard Britain's spiritual heart, who are said to watch over King Arthur until he rises again. There's more than a smidgen of New Age-iness about this somewhat atypical Crombie thriller, but perhaps that will help widen her appeal and bring her the attention her brilliant but largely unknown books deserve. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Duncan Kincaid has settled into his life as part-time father to Kit, the twelve-year-old son he only recently discovered. But life has more changes in store: Gemma has pursued a promotion that ends their partnership on the job and places their personal relationship on a new, more tentative footing. So when Duncan's cousin and childhood friend calls from Glastonbury to ask his help on a rather unusual matter, he welcomes the opportunity to get out of London--and to spend a relaxing weekend with Gemma. But relaxation isn't on the agenda...."--Jacket.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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