Monday, June 10, 2013

LEAVE THE GRAVE GREEN by Deborah Crombie








The Vicar told Kincaid--

     “Indeed. You will also have noticed the pattern of the fields and hedgerows in the valleys. Many can be traced back to pre-Roman times. It is ‘Immanuel’s Land’ of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, ‘…a most pleasant mountainous country, beautiful with woods, vineyards, fruits of all sorts; flowers also with springs and fountains; very delectable to behold.’ 
       
     “My point, Mr. Kincaid,” continued the vicar twinkling at him, “lest you grow impatient with me, is that although this is a lovely countryside, a veritable Eden, if you will, it is also a place where change occurs slowly and things are not easily forgotten.”  





Setting is a character in Deborah Crombie’s Leave the Grave Green. 

Police Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his assistant, Sergeant Gemma James, investigate a death that seems to be an accident.

A well-known artist’s estranged husband drowned in the Thames.

Because the woman’s parents are both famous musical artists, people with “titles,” they were able to insist that Scotland Yard investigate.

The story starts with a flashback. Years earlier, the young widow’s brother died in a similar accident. 

All this happens in the countryside outside of London.

Along the way, the divorced Superintendent Kincaid ends up involved with two different women.

Some stories don’t have happy endings. This is one of those. Kincaid and James identify the murderer. They prove the murder to be a murder, but a strange one. It is related to the nature of the place itself. And Kincaid ends up, in a sense, without either woman. 

Leave the Grave Green is the first Deborah Crombie novel I’ve ever read. Her realistic prose—things are not clear cut, and there is no happy ending—appeals to me.

I could say this book had a messy plot, especially for a traditional cozy novel. The author leaves loose ends. But that’s how life is too.

I am glad I read Deborah Crombie’s Leave the Grave Green.

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