When Duncan brings Gemma and the boys home for Christmas, he steps into a bit of a mess. His sister’s marriage is imploding and she’s just discovered a body at her worksite. Before long there’s another body as well, this one found by Kit. Gemma and Duncan lend their expertise to the local police force, led by an old friend of Duncan’s, while trying to navigate family landmines.
This was a great outing. I loved getting to see more of Duncan’s family. His mom had showed up in a previous book but only briefly. It definitely helped explain some aspects of Duncan’s character. Kit also got to play a larger role in this book which was great, even if there were times I wanted to shake him. Then again thirteen year old boys don’t always have the best judgement, and he was not the teenager with the worst judgement in the story. I also liked the fact that this book dealt with some his trauma about his mother’s murder and how he’s healing from that. The mystery itself was interesting, though slightly predictable at times. It was neat to have the main investigator being an old friend of Duncan’s though.
Crombie’s storytelling really excels when she’s focusing on the relationships, and this book in particular showcased that both with Duncan and Gemma’s relationships with folks, but also with the relationships that come to light with the murder. Without giving too many spoilers, relationships are key to figuring out several of the mysteries in the book. This felt like a strong outing compared to the last few books in the series. Four out of five stars.