Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Review of "No Mark Upon Her" [18]

No Mark Upon Her: A Novel by Deborah Crombie
William Morrow, ISBN 978-0061990618
February 7, 2012, 384 pages

"When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman's body tangled up with debris in the river, Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met—a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.

To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.

Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own."

If you like smart mysteries, if you like English mysteries, if you like police procedurals, if you like a book with great characters..I have a book for you!

Ok, I will warn you that yes, this is part of a series, the latest in a 14 book series. And yes,while this one can totally stand alone, you will be tempted to go back and read some more in the series. Partly because one of the attractions of this book is the now husband and wife duo of Detective Inspector Gemma James and Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. They have a long history leading up to this point, with their blended family of one son on his part, one son on her part and a newly fostered daughter from another case and a number of dogs and their story will interest you. While the author does a great job of giving us the abridged history, they are so likable that the reader can not help but want to learn more about how they got to this point. And there are a number of fascinating minor characters who pop up in their personal lives that we would like to know more about and which do, no doubt, make appearances in those other books.
But enough pinning...because there is a very good book right here to explore.

The setting in Henley on the Thames and the major role that rowing plays in this book is a big plus in my book. Many of the high schools around here having very competitive rowing teams (that have competed in Henley) and I have watched them practice on the back bays since I was a kid..and it is a beautiful thing to watch. But to see the love/hate relationship the competitors have with the sport is fascinating too. It may be beautiful watching from the shore as the sculls seem to glide along, the perfect synchronization of the rowers, but from their seat it is a grueling, almost too painful, undertaking.
Then we have perhaps my two favorite characters, two rescue dogs name Tosh, a German Shepherd and Finn, a black Lab. Smart, handsome, brave, obedient, I am in love. Woof!

Ms. Crombie has given us a very good, very smart, very well paced plot all set against a background of prestigious rowing clubs and old prep school friendships.  Just when you think you may have things figured out, Gemma's investigation opens a whole new avenue, a whole new cast of suspects, and the possibility that a high level police cover up may be afoot. A cover-up with serious consequences to her and her husband's career if they continue, as of course they must, to seek justice for the murdered victim. Lots of red herrings, lot of twists and turns until the very last page..and then all the thread very nicely tied up so we can happily await the next installment.

And as a small aside, let me just say that I loved the drawn map, along with illustrations, that make up the endpages. It was so charming that I spent way to much time studying it.

My thanks to William Morrow and Library Early Reviewers  for providing a copy of this book to me for review.

for your added pleasure, the author, with a few comments about her latest..


  1. Sheesh, you've received it, read it and reviewed it already. My "snagged" copy still has not arrived!!!!! Total bummer! Glad you got your copy, though.

  2. sorry you did not get it yet..but hope you get it soon, 'cause it's a good one.

  3. Everyone seems to love this one. I got it and saw it was number 14 in the series and I was rather dismayed. I'm glad to see it stands alone so well!

  4. I really enjoyed this one too, and really want to go back and start at the beginning of the series one of these days!

  5. You are the series Nazi I swear!!! i really hate to jump in after 14 books, but it's not like I haven't done it before...

  6. I'll second that "go ahead and jump in" at book 14. It does stand alone well, but don't be surprised if you find yourself obtaining copies of the other books in the series. This is one of my favorites!


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