Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

Published by MacMillan (first published September 19th 2011)

ISBN: 023075063X (ISBN13: 9780230750630)
edition language: English
setting: London, England(United Kingdom)

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 day's 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 possibly be homicide?

Detective Superintendent, 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 and 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 viable motive, but . . .

This doesn't set 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 what 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 personalities. All the red herrings  made this an exceptionally satisfying read and Crombie neatly ties up all the ends. Even the  peripheral characters were fascinating and had their own stories.  I'd liken Crombie's writing to that of  P.D. James, Elizabeth George or even  Louise Penny; 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.


  1. Oh! This sounds like my kind of cozy mystery. Will have add it to my ever growing TBR list, or pile.

  2. I'm trying to read these in order and am on #5 I think or that's what is next. It's really tempting to skip over and read this one though. Sigh. What to do, what to do? LOL

  3. I really enjoyed this too, but I loved the search and rescue team more than the main characters! I hope she uses them in future books!

  4. This sounds incredibly interesting, and like something that I would really like to read. The fact that it really satisfied you is a good indicator that I will enjoy it too! Great review today!

  5. I liked this book and hope to read others in the series! Great review!

  6. I think books in a well written series can stand alone. I'll have to look for this since I like P. D. James.

  7. This is a series that I certainly want to read, but there's no way that I could start with would drive me bat &^#$! Loved your review!

  8. I liked this one a lot too...and it can easily stand alone. Great characters, good plot ..a winner!

  9. I'm going to have to check this out. Glad to hear it can stand alone but yet there are 14 others if I really like this one!

  10. This one sounds really good Kaye -- thanks for letting us know about it.

  11. You are such an enabler! haha, you have no idea how many of the books you review I have to get. Let's just say a lot! and they all have been great. Now I'll have to add this one to my list (I just bought 4 others and will have to wait a week or so to get more)

  12. sounds like I have a new series to look into. Thanks for the review.


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