KISSED A SAD GOODBYE by Deborah Crombie


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Scotland Yard’s Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid (Mourn Not Your Dead, 1996, etc.), whose London turf includes the Past Docklands, is called back to work from a weekend with the 11-year-old Kit, his dead ex-wife’s son, supposedly by her second husband, though Kincaid is sure he himself is the boy’s father. A young woman has been found strangled in Mudchute Park. Soon identified as the victim is Annabelle Hammond—the clever, beautiful daughter of William Hammond, head of Hammond Fine Teas, which occupies a warehouse on the docks much coveted by builder Lewis Finch. Annabelle practically ran the business, with help from secretary Teresa Robbins, but it’s in her promiscuous love life that Kincaid is looking for clues to her killer. Annabelle’s affair with her sister Jo’s husband, Martin Cowell, had killed that marriage; her liaison with Lewis Finch is no secret; neither is her affair with Lewis’s son Gordon, an impoverished street musician. Not only that, but her death was preceded by a quarrel with Reg Mortimer, Annabelle’s official fiancÇ of several years and a prime suspect—at least until Kincaid begins to explore the wartime experience shared by Lewis Finch and William Hammond. The bizarre happenings of those long- ago days, when Finch and Hammond were evacuated from bombed London to the country house of Edwina Bourne-Jones, a patrician but loving benefactress, hold the key to Annabelle’s murder and to the suicide that followed. The plotlines and cast are a bit overelaborate, but the story is compelling from start to finish. Another winner from a dependable and gifted pro.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1999
ISBN: 0-553-10943-X
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999


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