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Publisher's Summary

When Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid takes Gemma, Kit, and Toby for a holiday visit to his family in Cheshire, Gemma is soon entranced with Nantwich's pretty buildings and the historic winding canal, and young Kit is instantly smitten with his cousin Lally.

But their visit is marred by family tensions exacerbated by the unraveling of Duncan's sister Juliet's marriage. And tensions are brought to the breaking point on Christmas Eve with Juliet's discovery of a mummified infant's body interred in the wall of an old dairy barn - a tragedy hauntingly echoed by the recent drowning of Peter Llewellyn, a schoolmate of Lally's.

Meanwhile, on her narrowboat, former social worker Annie Lebow is living a life of self-imposed isolation and preparing for a lonely Christmas, made more troubling by her meeting earlier in the day with the Wains, a traditional boating family whose case precipitated Annie's leaving her job.

As the police make their inquiries into the infant's death, Kincaid discovers that life in the lovely market town of his childhood is far from idyllic and that the dreaming reaches of the Shropshire Union Canal hold dark and deadly secrets...secrets that may threaten everything and everyone he holds most dear.

A 2008 Macavity Award Finalist for Best Mystery Novel.

©2007 Deborah Crombie (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Water Like a Stone

Average Customer Ratings
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Best of the Best

Mystery, family drama, and unmatched scenic location brought together by one of the best writers going make for a Christmas adventure set in England both exciting and moving.

6 people found this helpful

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Winner

I really enjoyed this mystery plus. It had interesting family dynamics woven throughout. Very interesting addition in the story of long boats and canals in England. Wound up researching much about them. If you have no ideas about them, look them up first,will add to your enjoyment of the book. My only problem with the story is we are introduced to waaay too many characters in the first 1-2 chapters. You have brother,sister, their spouses,ex-spouses, their kids, step kids,each set of grandparents all who haven’t seen each other in long time. Brother lives in London, going to visit sis for the holidays so they are all together.....yes all these ppl and places in 20 min. I had to go back a few times to get straight who belonged to whom. So just a warning listen closely or make a list. Figured out the killer pretty quick but a couple things were thrown in to make me wonder. Great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Might actually be a my favorite of this series. The addition of more character development was great.

2 people found this helpful

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Good series, one caveat

I like this series, for the most part, but in this book and the one previous, I find the parenting going on pretty sad. In this book, it’s worst with Juliette - I would be more understanding if she’d just missed say, one thing going on with her daughter, but she missed mountains. And, the kids are left on their own a lot in this series. I wish the author would rely less on preoccupied parents to drive the story - especially when the poor parenting isn’t even recognized.

2 people found this helpful

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Overloaded w/ miserable & bad people

I've read several Crombie mysteries - good plots, quality writing, really good description - but these were early in the Kincaid/Gemma series. This one, Water Like a Stone, is light on plot, most of the story spent in relentless describings of miserable people heading relentlessly toward a whole lot of different disasters. Crombie wades us slowly through all this with finally, some plot movement thrown in . . . for HEAVEN'S SAKE. This is not fun! Obviously we need good/bad dynamics and tension in a good mystery or detective book but this one is waaay too much dark misery for me. Detective and mystery novels are for entertainmant. When I'm into reflection on the deep painful side of being human and alive - I read books that are actually art like Dostoevsky, Steinbeck and so many others. I hope all of her more recent novels aren't like this because I enjoyed her earlier ones that had, to my mind, a better balance.

1 person found this helpful

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The best!

Love the Duncan Kincaid books, and this was my favorite in the series so far.

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too many characters, too many plot lines

and astoundingly bad parenting make this a difficult book to really enjoy. The more I read of this series, the less I like the main characters. Very near the end, the two youngest children (maybe 5 y.o.) are left totally alone in the family home as everyone, including both sets of parents and the 13 and 14 y.o. cousins left in charge, rush off to do their own things. Despite the grandparents being nearby visiting, NOBODY even thinks of calling them home to watch the 2 young ones. There was no further mention of them, so I have to wonder if the author simply forgot about this "loose end" and decided nobody would notice. Regardless, this story was centered once again on the serious problems within CPS and the foster care system and still presents us with the "good guy cops" who clearly have no business being parents. I'm not sure I would trust them with a goldfish. It's difficult to like such self centered, immature people. If the bad guys hadn't been so very, very bad it would be hard to decide who to cheer for. This is clearly pulp fiction and with so many truly talented authors out there I would put this series at the end of my reading list.

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Shame

I just could not finish this book. The story was intriguing, the language was unnecessary. I stopped listening when the author felt she could pair the name of Jesus Christ with the “f” word. There is no excuse for that. You have lost me and any other follower of Jesus. Would you do that with allah? How offensive .

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Another engrossing character-driven story in a fascinating venue

Crombie is the perfect mystery writer for a reader who craves interesting characters in a story with as much history and local color as it has an intriguing plot. She has made me want to visit every location she has presented to me without my losing the excitement of the story or my devotion to Duncan Kincaid at the center of it all. Again, Michael Deehy’s voice has the necessary sensuality to enhance the whole experience. My crush on Kincaid endures.
And surprisingly, I have enjoyed the dated tech equipment being used. Rather a nostalgic moment when a fax machine was mentioned. Readers who enjoy Charles Todd and Peter Grainger will find another writer to follow with excitement.

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A Well Done Series

Another addition to the ongoing series. Well developed characters and plot. Fun to meet Kincaid's family. I'll skip the next two in the series as the other narrator (J Sterlin) ruins the books. So I'll be skipping ahead to the next one narrated by Michael Deehy.