A Share in Death is the first of a series of detective novels featuring Superintendant Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James. Duncan Kincaid, from Scotland Yard, has just been offered a free week in a Yorkshire time-share cottage, which originally belonged to his cousin, whose wife is unable to travel due to the latter stages of pregnancy.

Instead of a well-deserved vacation, it is a murder investigation that will fill Duncan Kincaid’s days in Yorkshire. After briefly befriending Sebastian Wade, the assistant manager, who has a knack for introducing the other guests and their flaws with sharp wit and humor, he finds him dead in the Jacuzzi, electrocuted by an electrical device. Maybe his wit at the expense of the other guests was particularly resented by one of them, after all… The local police is ready to classify this death as suicide, but Kincaid finds hints that point to murder, and he soon risks angering Nash, the inspector in charge, in order to have the truth come out. When a second death occurs among the time-share residents, it becomes obvious that Kincaid is right…

A Share in Death is a pleasant cozy mystery, which reads as a blend between Agatha Christie and an early Elizabeth George. I enjoyed the setting, the characters and the atmosphere but was a bit disappointed by the straightforwardness of the motive and the lack of real surprise concerning the culprit. However, A Share in Death was Deborah Crombie’s first novel and she has written a lot more since this one, so I am willing to give her novels another try, hoping that she has learned, in the meanwhile, to make her plots more complex and to dig into the psychology of her characters. Promising, but ultimately fell a bit short of my expectations…

Rating: 3/5