• Water Like a Stone

  • The Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Mystery Series, Book 11
  • By: Deborah Crombie
  • Narrated by: Michael Deehy
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (797 ratings)

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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

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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.

3 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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Really enjoyed this story.

Anyone who is from this part of the world would most likely enjoy it too. It gives a richly detailed description of the countryside around Chester and it’s surrounds. I especially loved the details of canal boat life. Finally, it is a really good mystery with great character development.

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The saga continues

This is book 11 of the series. Besides growing understanding of the characters the author’s writing abilities have grown. Complex storylines are presented smoothly and Deborah Crombie becomes an ever better storyteller.

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Another good one!

Sometimes hard to follow but that is what the 'go back' button is for! I listen whenever I'm in the car and often have to remind myself who all the characters are

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Too many characters too many plot lines

This is a very difficult story to get into. Way too many characters to keep track of. And more to be introduced. Not enjoyable, frustrating more like. Actual characters themselves were hard to like. Like one huge downward spiral. And this is long and slow.

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The best!

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