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Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie

Water Like a Stone

by Deborah Crombie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James (11)

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6822721,656 (3.95)60
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.… (more)



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English (25)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (27)
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WATER LIKE A STONE is Book #11 of Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series.
Duncan, Gemma, Toby, Kit and their two dogs travel to Duncan’s parents’ home in Cheshire for the Christmas holidays. Soon after arrival, Duncan takes a call from his sister, Juliet. She is at her work site and has shockingly uncovered an infant interred in a wall of an old dairy barn. Police inquiries bring Duncan together with childhood friend, Chief Inspector Ronnie Babcock of the local police force. And Duncan must face the unraveling of sister Juliet’s marriage and troubled daughter; a local drowning; a retired social worker’s isolation on her narrowboat and the ever complicated relationship with his partner Gemma and son Kit.
I quite liked the many-layered plots of this title which included - family dynamics; interred bodies; murder; wayward teenagers; resentment; lies and manipulation; arson; corruption and greed; British Social Services; a truly psychopathic young boy and interpersonal relationships. Whew! Quite a list!
This series intrigues me as it is part mystery; part crime drama; part police procedural; and part local lore and history (read travelogue).
The information about the waterway/canal system; the canal boats and the ‘boat life’ was very interesting.
I was a bit disappointed about the lack of a map. (I love the maps.)
I liked Chief Inspector Ronnie Babcock and his assistant Shelia Larkin and would like to meet up with them again.
I would heartily recommend this book and this series. ( )
  diana.hauser | Feb 25, 2019 |
This story takes place at Christmas when Duncan, Gemma, Kit and Toby visit Duncan's parents for the holidays. Their family intricacies mean Kit finds it hard to accept Duncan's parents as his grandparents, while Toby, not blood-related, comfortably settles in as a grandchild. The story involves the people who live on narrowboats and travel the canal system as employment opportunities demand. Naturally - this is a crime novel, after all - there are some nasty characters around. In fact Christmas isn't so cosy at all. It is an excellent story, written with Crombie's typical flair and knowledge, but I'm just glad my holidays are not spent with the Kincaids. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 7, 2016 |
The latest installment of the Kincaid/James series - as much a character study as mystery. Well plotted and the location is great fun to read about. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Another strong entry in the Kincaid/James series. This time around, Duncan and Gemma take the boys and the dogs and travel north to Cheshire to spend Christmas with Duncan's parents. Of course they get mixed up in some local murders while they are there. One of the most striking things about this series is how strong both the character elements and the mystery elements are. Most mystery series authors tend to be good at one or the other, but Crombie manages to write appealing characters and believable mysteries as well. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
An excellent series! ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Crombieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deehy, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jäger, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Warren Norwood
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Late November
Mist rose in swirls from the still surface of the canal.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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