Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A KILLING OF INNOCENTS--OUT IN PAPERBACK for Valentine's Day!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! And I have another good reason to celebrate--A KILLING OF INNOCENTS is out in paperback today!


I thought this was the perfect opportunity to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to my own favorite fictional detecting couple, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James.

I could never have imagined, nineteen (and counting) books ago, that my two single characters were starting a romantic journey together.

In that first book, A SHARE IN DEATH, we meet the newly minted professional partners. They were both divorced, Gemma juggling single motherhood with the demands of the job, Duncan dealing with the bitterness of a decade-long estrangement from his ex-wife. Neither of them was looking for a relationship.

But cupid had other plans (and who was I to argue?) Since then, over the course of the series, Duncan and Gemma have navigated love and loss, friendship, separations, and life-altering decisions. Now, in A KILLING OF INNOCENTS, we find them married, with a blended family, in a home they love. Partners, in every sense of the word. 

Readers, do you have a favorite detecting couple? I think my first must have been Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, and then, be still my heart, Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I was hooked on crime and romance! I hope my detectives have done their predecessors justice!

Here's more on A KILLING OF INNOCENTS: New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a “gripping police procedural” (Washington Post) featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they race to solve the shocking murder of a young woman before panic spreads across London.

On a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London's historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she's been stabbed. 

Kincaid immediately calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crimes. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the task force’s typical knife crime victim. Sasha had her secrets, though, and some of them lead the detectives uncomfortably close to home. Kincaid, Gemma, and their colleagues must put everything on the line to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.


Available in paperback wherever books are sold!


BUY NOW!



96 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day! Celebrating with "A Killing of Innocents" sounds like a good idea to me, Debs!
    I am quite fond of Gemma and Duncan; I also count Julia’s Clare and Russ among my favorite detecting couples . . . I’m also rather fond of Eve and Roarke in J. D. Robb’s In Death series . . . .

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  2. Happy Valentine's Day and congrats on the paperback release.

    Got to mention Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man. And I've recently been reminded just how much I like Odelia Grey and Greg Stephens in Sue Ann Jaffarian's series.

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    1. Yes, Nick and Nora, Mark! And, what Tommy and Tuppence from Agatha Christie? Elisabeth

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    2. Wrote my comment about Tommy and Tupence before reading all of Deborah’s opening words. I’ve fallen into the bad habit of reading the comments from the bottom first. Elisabeth

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    3. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any of the Nick and Nora books. Blush.

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  3. Roarke and Eve Dallas from the "In Death" series.

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    1. One of these days I'm going to get around to reading the In Death books! Can't believe I haven't!

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  4. We're talking about this same topic over at the Wicked Authors today, and Gemma and Duncan got my vote for favorite crime-fictional couple! I also love Clare and Russ, as well as Armand Gamache and his Reine-Marie.

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  5. I'm also a fan of Roarke and Eve. They have an unusual relationship due to their childhoods but it works for them.

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  6. Congratulations on the paperback release, and Happy Valentines Day to Gemma and Duncan. In the past, my favorite sleuth couple were Nick and Nora Charles. I don't have a current favorite, yet.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! Is Valentine's Day a thing in Portugal?

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  7. Happy Valentine's Day. And congratulations on your paperback release!

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  8. A Killing of Innocents is a nail-biting page-turner, Debs! I couldn't put it down.

    So many great sleuthing couples, including Gemma and Duncan, and others named. I'll add DCI Harry Nelson and Ruth Galloway.

    Happy Valentine's Day, dear Reds and Reddies!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! And another vote for Ruth and Harry!

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  9. Clare and Russ. Gemma and Duncan. And way back in my mystery reading life, V.I. Warshawski, perennially uncoupled though sometimes with a more or less suitable lover. V.I. is the character who needs best wishes on this Valentine's Day for being stoic in the face of love challenges!

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    1. V.I. plowed through her broken hearts in a way we can all admire, Amanda!

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  10. For the REDS: Gemma & Duncan as well as Clare & Russ are among my top detecting couples.

    I also enjoy Denise Swanson's Scumble River mysteries (23 books). School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd & police chief Wally Boyd have busy professional and personal lives. In recent books, they are now married, lost their home to a tornado, lived in temporary housing, and are exhausted parents to fraternal twin babies.

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    1. I haven't read these, Grace. Thanks for the tip!

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    2. I read the first of the Scumble River mysteries, but I'm way behind at this point, Grace. I love Denise Swanson's writing and how real she keeps things.

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  11. Happy Valentine's Day! Congratulations on the release of the paperback of A KILLING OF INNOCENTS. Gemma and Duncan are my favorite detective pair. Now I could list a dozen more fabulous pairings. Iona Whishaw's Lane Winslow and Inspector Frederick Darling. Jenn's Scarlet and Harrison. Julia's Clare and Russ. Rhys's Georgie and Darcy, Molly and Daniel. Lucy's Hayley and Nathan. Annette writes two series with irresistibly hot sleuthing couples. This is why I love to read series! I guess I love the one I'm with.

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    1. On board with all of those, Judy! Love all of our REDs sleuthing couples!

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    2. We do like our romances here, don't we? And I feel like "Love the Book You're With" should be on a tote bag or something!

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  12. Great news about the paperback, Debs, and what fun to think about mystery couples. Several I care about have already been mentioned: Lord Peter and Harriet, of course, plus Gemma and Duncan, Clare and Russ, and Reine-Marie and Armand (thanks for that reminder, Edith!) And let's not forget Guido Brunetti and his wife Paola (Donna Leon), Judge Deborah Knott and husband Deputy Dwight Bryant (Margaret Maron), Matthew Venn and his husband Jonathan (Ann Cleeves), and Galbraith's Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott (surely in the next book they'll FINALLY fall into bed together!) I'm sure the rest of you will come up with lots more loves. But first I'll add a true confession: I NEVER liked Spenser's love interest Susan--she was such a pill!

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    1. I also love Matthew and Jonathan, Kim.

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    2. LOL Susan Silverman IS annoying, and I also really hate how Robert B. Parker fetishized how little she ate. Bleagh.

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    3. Ditto on Matthew and Jonathan, Kim. Such a good couple. And Cormoran and Robin are way up at the top of my list. I would really like to see them evolve into an actual couple. I think she's worn out the will they/won't they, although she's done it very well.

      Oh, I never like Susan Silverman, either. We are a club today!

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    4. I didn't mind Susan Silverman when she first appeared in the Spenser books, but, ugh, yes, as time wore on--she made me tired.

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    5. I confess the whole Spenser crew made me tired as time wore on. Elisabeth

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    6. I'm going to return the compliment and suggest Kim's Giuliana Linder and Renzo Donatelli, who have a very messy, complicated, we're-all-adults-here relationship that hasn't quite tipped over into an affair. Yet. Bonus points for the fact that Renzo is the hunky younger man, and Giuliana is the experienced older detective!

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    7. Oh yes, I love Kim's Renzo and Giuliana! Talk about complicated!

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  13. Happy Day my friend. And thanks for reminding me that I need to revisit this book. Spending a few evenings with Gemma and Duncan is always a pleasure.
    And happy (?) Lent all. What are you giving up? Every year I decide to dispense with pride. Maybe this will be the year I’m successful.

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    1. Happy Lent Ann! My meditation word for this year is humility, so it seems like you and I are going in the same direction. I'm giving up playing solitaire on the computer and adding in an on-line class and my church's bi-lingual book group, as well as Lent Madness (similar to March Madness only with saints competing against each other for the Golden Halo)

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    2. I'm taking a break from ironing the last of the linens needed for today's services. My goal is patience this Lent. Multiple staffing changes just this week, so patience is most important right now.

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    3. I'm going to try to give up sloth. I'll let you know how that goes in a few weeks.

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    4. Like everything, sloth in balanced amounts is good for you, Karen. Elisabeth

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    5. Happy Lent, Ann. I think I'll go with a goal word here, like peristence. Karen, I can't imagine you are slothful!

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    6. Most of us are not Catholic. I would give up coffee, since I doit’t drink coffee.

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    7. Trying to think what I want to abstain from, and whether it counts if it's already one of my goals (like less time on the internet, or getting up earlier.)

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    8. I think I shall also give up murder. Just because it’s a reachable goal

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    9. I am so relieved to hear that, Ann! :-)

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  14. I am on a Deborah Crombie jag (when I find an author I like, I tend to read everything by that author, one after another). I had bought DC's THE LOVELY BONES back when it came out, because I was working on a biography and the story explores that. I had enjoyed it mightily but not realized it was part of a series. Now I am wiser and have listened to novels 1-4. I'm now reading THE LOVELY BONES again and then will happily wolf the next fourteen! Hooray for Duncan and Gemma! (Selden) p.s. I'm also a big fan of Clare and Russ.

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    1. Thank you, Selden! I'm so glad you got back to the books--and I think Dreaming of the Bones is better when you've read the first four books and know some of the characters' background.

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  15. Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson (though the Druid Cathbad is my favorite character) in the Elly Griffiths mysteries and Amelia Peabody and Emerson in the Elizabeth Peters 19th c. Egyptian archeology mysteries.

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    1. I've been condemned as anonymous. Margaret S. Hamilton

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    2. Oh, I love Ruth and Harry. I hope Elly Griffiths will bring them back.

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  16. Congratulations and Happy Valentine's Day!

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  17. Happy Valentine's day to all our lovely readers and friends!

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  18. Happy Valentine's Day to all! Congratulations, Debs for the paperback version of A Killing of Innocents. I loved it and it took me back in time! When I was in London studying back in the day, we stayed on Gower St, very close to Russell Square.
    I'm a big fan of Gemma and Duncan and also Clare and Russ. My favorite detecting couple used to be Tommy Lynley and Helen Clyde. Unfortunately that didn't last long enough. As a teen, I remember savoring the romance between Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey.

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    1. Were you at UCL, Gillian? I know that area well now, from writing and researching this book.
      As a teen, I thought Peter and Harriet were incredibly romantic. But I always wanted to see what happened after, what their life was like, married, with kids, so I suppose it's not surprising that I went in that direction.

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    2. No, our group was mostly working on our independent study projects during that 6 weeks. We took some group trips--to Hampton Court, Greenwich, Cambridge, Stone Henge. We had spent the first 3 months in Edinburgh and had taken classes at the University there, then a week on Orkney and a week of free travel before finishing up in London. I too would have loved to see what happened later with Harriet and Peter.

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    3. Deborah, Dorothy Sayers did write about Lord Peter and Harriet and their children (3 sons) in short stories. I can't find the title of the collection(s), but they are great reading!

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    4. Flora, thank you. I can’t remember the titles of those short stories either … but clearly remember Lord Peter’s approach to discipline of the boys…they had to reach a certain age to be whacked and seemed eager for that rite of passage. Elisabeth

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    5. One was "Tallboys." Not sure about the others, although I did read them. I still wish she'd written another novel...

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    6. Vague memory that there were a couple of Lord Peter and Harriet Vane novels written by some other than Dorothy Sayers about WWII. Peter was in the service of his country and Harriet and the boys evacuated to Tallboys. They were interesting, but not Dorothy Sayers’ good writing. Elisabeth

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  19. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Paperback Day! Congratulations to Gemma and Duncan for their 19 books together.

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  20. Hooray, hooray! I'm off to Copperfields. .... No, wait, it's still dark outside, not even 7am yet. Drat, I'll need be patient until later in the day. Happy reading everyone.

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  21. Oh, hooray! My hardback copy went on an extended vacation with a neighbor…neighbor came home alone. Deborah, which of the of novels has limoncello as a (potential) murder weapon? Limoncello is a clue in NYT crossword this morning…got the word, but now the brain will not find your book! ;) Elisabeth

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    1. The homemade limoncello is in Garden of Lamentations, Elizabeth--kudos to you for remembering!

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    2. From my gray haired brain, sincere thanks, Deborah. Elisabeth

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  22. Happy paperback edition birthday, Debs! Who are my favorite detective duo, in addition to Gemma and Duncan? Connor and Dan from Penny Warner's Gold Country mysteries (mid 1990s). Lady Georgie and Darcy. Lindsay and Sully. Brooklyn and Derek. Harriet and Lord Peter. Tuppence and Tommy. And there are many more wonderful detective duos.

    And Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate.

    Diana

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  23. Happy paperback book birthday! Gemma and Duncan are one of my favorite couples. So looking forward to book 20.

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  24. Congratulations on the paperback. Couples, there are so many. Gemma and Duncan, Russ and Clare, Ruth and Harry, Lady Georgie and Darcy, Molly and Daniel, Hayley and Nathan, and so many more.

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  25. From Celia: Happy Valentine's Day my friends, and always excited to hear any news from Debs, so the relaunch of one of your stories is to be celebrated. Now Loving couples of the detective variety, I will nominate Albert Campion and Amanda from Margery Allingham. Her story Traitors Purse is a fine illustration of how it feels when love hits you over the head. Or in this case Albert's head as he is suffering from memory loss in this story. Oldie but Great! Of course Lord Peter has had my heart (don't tell Victor) since I was a teenager and introduced to Sayers books. But unfortunately Harriet has his. Oh woe is me. What about LJ Ross's Ryan and Amanda, that's a great perils of Pauline relationship. Of course I love all the Reds couples so I'm not going to play favorites but a new one for me is Alice Boatwright with the vicar's American wife, Ellie, leading the chase and newly married to Graham, the vicar of a Cotswold village. A really interesting relationship spanning England and America.

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    1. I don't know this series, Celia, but am up for anything set in a Cotswold village. Looking up now!

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    2. Celia, I am going to check out this series too. I am up for anything set in a Cotswold village.

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    3. Hmm... sounds like I have a new book to borrow next time I go over to Celia's! :-D

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    4. I love that series too, Celia! I just read the third and latest book.

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  26. As Celia said, I can't pick a favorite from among the Reds' couples, but my first Reds were Duncan and Gemma and Russ and Clare. What I love the most is how they have evolved from book to book. The 'will they/won't they' is a great hook, but it gets tiresome after a few books. Other favorites: Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn pairing, and her Madoc Rhys and Janet couple. I'm a sucker for romance and mysteries together, always enjoy a budding romance between any two series' characters. But, Ruth Galloway and Harry were a couple I didn't like at all. He's married, with a wife he says he loves and children, including a new baby at one point, so move on already, Ruth!! Harry, keep your pants zipped--I hope both women dump you!!

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    1. I agree that the will they/won't they gets tiresome, Flora, but I will also admit that I worried that having Gemma and Duncan marry might damage the series with some readers. Happily, that doesn't seem to have been the case!

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    2. Flora, I just read a Charlotte MacLeod book, the one where Sarah and Max finally get to, ahem, a first-name basis. So fun!

      And you make a great point about Harry and Ruth.

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  27. Definitely Whimsey and Vane!!!! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! ♥️

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  28. I'm going to throw some different couples into the mix since so many of my favorites have been mentioned already. Stella and Lyndy from Clara McKenna's dollar princess series. Frances and George from the Countess of Harleigh series by Dianne Freeman. Stoker and Veronica from Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series. Andrea Penrose's Wrexford and Sloane. Emma Jameson's Lord and Lady Hetheridge. Tina Whittle's Tai and Trey. Anna Lee Huber has two series with sleuthing couples: Lady Darby and Sebastian Gage; Verity and Sidney Kent. Erica Ruth Neubauer's Redvers and Jane. And we can't forget Holmes and Russell!

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    1. So many of my favorites, too, Pat! I have the latest Andrea Penrose Wrexford and Sloane on my Kindle, and I 've just finished Laurie R. King's THE LANTERN'S DANCE, the new Russell and Holmes, and it's so good! Also, I loved Tina Whittle's Tai and Trey books. Sad that series doesn't seem to have continued.

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  29. My favorite couples include Jamie and Clare, Duncan and Gemma, Peter and Harriet (Sayers), Bill Smith and Lydia Chin (Rozan), and Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro (Lehane).

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    1. Ha! I meant Russ and Clare of course. I must have said Jamie because I saw Catriona Balfe in Belfast this week.

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    2. I read the new Bill Smith/Lydia Chin over Christmas, Jim. Really enjoyed that one, too.

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  30. I left this as a comment on Reds and Readers, however it seems apropos here as well.
    I spent the year before the release of A Killing of Innocents, re-reading the entire Kincaid/James series. Two things I noticed. One. My memory is just plain rotten. I will write things down with the intention of paying attention to them at some point in the not too distant future and a week later, I will see the note in tidying my work table and not remember anything about it. The only way I know that I wrote it down, is to affirm that it is in my handwriting. Two. My understanding of the human condition grows exponentially even with the passage of only a year or two, not to mention decades. So reading a book for the second time is not only like reading it the first time but my capacity to comprehend what makes the characters tick increases at an almost alarming rate. (With these two thoughts in mind, I heartily recommend Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons
    Joseph Cotton's character writes in a letter to the son of the woman he loves, that 40 wishes to communicate things to 20 that 20 can not understand until he reaches 40. And Major Amberson's final soliloquy at the end of the movie is about the most heartbreaking in the whole film canon.
    I loved this series of Deborah so much that I kept putting off reading A Killing of Innocents until almost July, not wanting it to end. I hope fervently for another episode in the saga.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, David! And I love the Orson Wells observation. All so true!

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  31. My favorite detecting couple is Jack and Melaine from The Tradd Street series by Karen White.

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  32. Two series that I like: first, a newer series, with early 20th century characters from India, Nev March's young couple Diana and Jim Agnihotri (Murder in Old Bombay is the first book.) And Marcia Muller's character Sharon McCone and her husband Hy Ripinksy -- if you like having a series that goes on and on, this is one to read! Though Hy is a later addition to Sharon's life. I won't mention all the others that so many people have commented on, other than to say that I am a huge fan of Spenser and Susan.

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  33. The top of my list for detective couples is Catherine Coulter's FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. Next on my list is Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan & Montreal Detective Andrew Ryan.

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  34. I would also suggest Peter and Ellie Pascoe from Reginald Hill series, might not quite fit though

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