Necessary As Blood is the latest entry in Deborah Crombie’s New York Times Notable, Edgar®, Agatha, and Macavity Awards-nominated mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A Texan frequently compared to the masters of British crime fiction—including P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Barbara Vine, and fellow American Elizabeth George—Crombie dazzles once more with Necessary As Blood—a relentlessly suspenseful tale of a vanished mother, a murdered father, and a helpless, endangered child.
Romance dominates Crombie's 13th contemporary procedural featuring Scotland Yarders Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid, who are on the verge of getting married (after 2008's Where Memories Lie). The how, where and when of their wedding proves a considerable source of stress to both, overshadowing the murder investigation of Naz Malik, a solicitor suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Sandra Gilles, an artist specializing in textile collage. Malik was found suffocated in Bethnal Green, with traces of an animal tranquilizer in his system. Meanwhile, James's mother is seriously ill, placing James in the impossible position of trying to fulfill both her familial and work responsibilities. In addition, James must fight to keep Malik's now parentless young daughter from falling into the custody of Sandra's unsavory relatives. Hopefully, Crombie will provide a better balance of police work and her characters' personal lives next time.
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London crime story written by an American who does her research. One of the most fun things about the book is following the characters around real locations in London. Pleasant but not too "cozy".