Dreaming of the Bones

Deborah Crombie
Scribner, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-80141-8

review by Harriet Klausner

Five years ago, the talented Cambridge poet Lydia Brooks apparently committed suicide. Now Victoria McClellan, is writing a biography about the renowned Lydia. However as she digs deeply into the background of the deceased poet, Vic begins to question whether Lydia actually killed herself or was murdered. She turns to her estranged former spouse, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid for help.

Duncan wants nothing to do with the feminist who dumped him over a decade ago. However, her evidence is compelling, so, along with his current lover and partner, Gemma James, he looks at the local police report, which he finds shoddy and its conclusion very shaky. As the two law enforcement officials begin to dig, Vic is murdered. A stunned Duncan and his partner start investigating one current murder and one potentially five year old murder in an effort to uncover a killer, who will do anything to keep a four decade old secret quiet.

Deborah Crombie has a well deserved reputation for her Kincaid series. However, her latest entry, Dreaming of the Bones, clearly tops her already superior work because the reader has an incredible glimpse into what makes Duncan what he is. His relationships with Gemma and Vic are thoroughly explored, turning the Superintendent into a human being. The story line is exciting, especially the ultimate clue to the killer's identity. Fans of this series will be elated with this book, but will wonder whether Ms. Crombie can top this outstanding novel, let alone match its excellence.

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