Mourn Not Your Dead – Deborah Crombie

This was my second Kincaid/Jones mystery fourth in the series), and I admit a good part of my interest was to see what would happen between the two of them after their relationship changed in Leave the Grave Green.

In truth, perhaps because I wasn’t an established fan of the series, the relationship and its hurdles served mainly as a distraction to me, as well as to the two of them. It was an almost classic situation of oh-for-heaven’s-sake-just-talk-to-each-other, with Gemma pretending so hard that everything was normal that she made it far more abnormal, and Kincaid alternating between clueless wounded bafflement and brisk professionalism.

The murder in question, though, was interesting. Kincaid and James are called in on the case of a brutal murder – the twist being that the victim is a Commander of the London Metropolitan Police. Obviously the murder of a cop is always going to galvanize the force – but this story sheds a little light on a motivation other than the obvious. Apart from “someone killed one of us and getting the killer is our top priority”, there is in this case another level of security and urgency about the situation: the deeper Kincaid and James have to look into this case, the more tarnished the victim’s image is going to become – he was not a nice person, to put it mildly.

His wife and step-daughter, who discovered the body, are implicated, of course, and so are several of the neighbors, and so for that matter are various colleagues and underlings who loathed him. The usual complement of affairs and quirks are uncovered, and it soon becomes clear that most of the neighborhood is united in protecting … someone. Or something.

The book in specific and the series in general don’t hold me. I own several which I’ve picked up here and there as the opportunity presented itself, and I’ll probably read them one day.

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