Now May You Weep (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #9)

Now May You Weep (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #9)

by Deborah Crombie


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A lethal crime of passion darkens the mists of Scotland's legendary Highlands

Newly appointed Detective Inspector Gemma James has never questioned her friend Hazel Cavendish about her past. So it is quite a shock when Gemma learns that their holiday retreat to the Scottish Highlands is, in fact, Hazel's homecoming—and that fellow hotel guest Donald Brodie was once Hazel's lover, despite a vicious, long-standing feud between their rival fine-whiskey-distilling families. And the fires of a fierce and passionate affair may not have burned out completely—on Brodie's part, at least, since he's prepared to destroy Hazel's marriage to win her back.

But when a sudden, brutal murder unleashes a slew of dark secrets and long- seething hatreds, putting Hazel's life in peril, Gemma knows she will need help unraveling this very bloody knot—and calls on the one man she trusts more than any other, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, to join her far from home . . . and in harm's way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062308337
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/21/2014
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #9
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 264,130
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Deborah Crombie is a New York Times bestselling author and a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, two cats, and two German shepherds.

Read an Excerpt

Now May You Weep
A Novel

Chapter One

If there's a sword-like sang
That can cut Scotland clear
O a' the warld beside
Rax me the hilt o't here.

-- Hugh Macdiarmid,
"To Circumjack Cencrastus"

Carnmore, November 1898

Wrapped in her warmest cloak and shawl, Livvy Urquhart paced the worn kitchen flags. The red-walled room looked a cozy sanctuary with its warm stove and open shelves filled with crockery, but outside the wind whipped and moaned round the house and distillery with an eerily human voice, and the chill penetrated even the thick stone walls of the old house.

It was worry for her husband, Charles, that had kept Livvy up into the wee hours of the night. He would have been traveling back from Edinburgh when the blizzard struck, unexpectedly early in the season, unexpectedly fierce for late autumn.

And the road from Cock Bridge to Tomintoul, the route Charles must take to reach Carnmore, was always the first in Scotland to be completely blocked by snow. Had his carriage run off the track, both horse and driver blinded by the stinging wall of white fury that met them as they came up the pass? Was her husband even now lying in a ditch, or a snowbank, slowly succumbing to the numbing cold?

Her fear kept her pacing, long after she'd sent her son, sixteen-year-old Will, to bed, and as the hours wore on, the knowledge of her situation brought her near desperation. Trapped in the snug, white-harled house, she was as helpless as poor Charles, and useless to him. Soon she would not even be able to reach the distillery outbuildings, much less the track that led to the tiny village of Chapeltown.

Livvy sank into the rocker by the stove, fighting back tears she refused to acknowledge. She was a Grant by birth, after all, and Grants were no strangers to danger and harsh circumstances. They had not only survived in this land for generations but had also flourished, and if she had grown up in the relative comfort of the town, she had now lived long enough in the Braes to take hardship and isolation for granted.

And Charles ... Charles was a sensible man -- too sensible, she had thought often enough in the seventeen years of their marriage. He would have taken shelter at the first signs of the storm in some roadside inn or croft. He was safe, of course he was safe, and so she would hold him in her mind, as if her very concentration could protect him.

She stood again and went to the window. Wiping at the thick pane of glass with the hem of her cloak, she saw nothing but a swirl of white. What would she tell Will in the morning, if there was no sign of his father? A new fear clutched at her. Although a quiet boy, Will had a stubborn and impulsive streak. It would be like him to decide to strike off into the snow in search of Charles.

Hurriedly, she lit a candle and left the kitchen for the dark chill of the house, her heart racing. But when she reached her son's first-floor bedroom, she found him sleeping soundly, one arm free of his quilts, his much-read copy of Kidnapped open on his chest. Easing the book from his grasp, she rearranged the covers, then stood looking down at him. From his father he had inherited the neat features and the fine, straight, light brown hair, and from his father had come the love of books and the streak of romanticism. To Will, Davie Balfour and the Jacobite Alan Breck were as real as his friends at the distillery; but lately, his fascination with the Rebellion of '45 seemed to have faded, and he'd begun to talk more of safety bicycles and blowlamps, and the new steam-powered wagons George Smith was using to transport whisky over at Drumin. All natural for a boy his age, Livvy knew, especially with the new century now little more than a year away, but still it pained her to see him slipping out of the warm, safe confines of farm, village, and distillery.

More slowly, Livvy went downstairs, shivering a little even in her cloak, and settled again in her chair. She fixed her mind on Charles, but when an uneasy slumber at last overtook her, it was not Charles of whom she dreamed.

She saw a woman's heart-shaped face. Familiar dark eyes, so similar to her own, gazed back at her, but Livvy knew with the irrefutable certainty of dreams that it was not her own reflection she beheld. The woman's hair was dark and curling, like her own, but it had been cropped short, as if the woman had suffered an illness. The dream-figure wore odd clothing as well, a sleeveless shift reminiscent of a nightdress or an undergarment. Her exposed skin was brown as a laborer's, but when she raised a hand to brush at her cheek, Livvy saw that her hands were smooth and unmarked.

The woman seemed to be sitting in a railway carriage -- Livvy recognized the swaying motion of the train—but the blurred landscape sped by outside the windows at a speed impossible except in dreams.

Livvy, trying to speak, struggled against the cotton wool that seemed to envelop her. "What-- Who--" she began, but the image was fading. It flared suddenly and dimmed, as if someone had blown out a lamp, but Livvy could have sworn that in the last instant she had seen a glimpse of startled recognition in the woman's eyes.

She gasped awake, her heart pounding, but she knew at once it was not the dream that had awakened her. There had been a sound, a movement, at the kitchen door. Livvy stood, her hand to her throat, paralyzed by sudden hope. "Charles?"

Now May You Weep
A Novel
. Copyright © by Deborah Crombie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Now May You Weep (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #9) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've liked the Kincaid/Gemma series so far but this book does not have the strengths of the others. The setting, Scotland, overwhelms both plot and characters. Crombie sprinkles a 'wee' into every line of dialogue and it's all whiskey and tartans. Can Scotland really be that trite? As in the others in this series, Crombie weaves in flashbacks of another story that ends up tying into the central plot. Except this time, she's less successful at tying the ends together. The murderer is not nearly as developed as usual - in fact the murderer seemed almost chosen at random. But I was disturbed most by the story line of Kincaid and his son. Luckily they don't have to actually parent their kids because there's always someone who is the perfect nanny/friend doing the heavy lifting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Weaker than the others I have read, and a non native really shouldn't try writing a Scottish accent - truly awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read with good characters and plot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another winner by Deborah Crombie!
jsharpmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the early Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid books with their 2 sons Toby 4 and Kit 12. Gemma travels to Scotland with her friend Hazel. They are supposedly going for a "cookery" weekend. Most of story highlights Gemma and Hazel. Hazel's friend Donald from an earlier life is murdered. Duncan shows up near the end to provide more support than detecting. Enjoyed the story.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well plotted mystery featuring Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid. Gemma goes off on a 'cooking holiday' with her friend Hazel, who, unbeknownst to Gemma is secretly working up toward an assignation with an old lover. When lover-boy is murdered, Gemma discovers the body and then must bite her tongue and sit back while local police handle the case. The characters in this delightful story are richly done. There are motivations and opportunities aplenty so the reader is presented with several possibilities for who dunit...
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of all the books I've read in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, this is my favorite so far. This particular entry in the series leans more toward the cozy genre. Gemma has accepted an invitation from friend and former neighbor Helen Cavendish to participate in a weekend cookery course in the Scottish Highlands. After their arrival, Gemma is surprised to learn that Helen has past ties to the area, to their hosts, and to some of the fellow guests. When one of the weekend guests is murdered, Gemma finds out what it is like to be the investigated rather than the investigator. Helen seemingly has a motive for the murder and was unaccounted for at the time of the murder. Out of loyalty to her friend, Gemma tries to be helpful to the local authorities without interfering with the investigation. While Duncan provides moral support and some assistance, the book primarily features Gemma.The author weaves a second story throughout the book, a historical account that ties into the main plot. I've read other books that use this technique and I usually find it irritating. Typically I'm more interested in one of the stories, and I resent the interruption in the narrative that I'm most interested in. This time, I was equally interested in both stories, and I liked the way that the author brought both the historical and present narratives to a climax at the same moment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Billyt1 More than 1 year ago
Weaker than usual. Totally a Gemma book with Duncan almost an afterthought. Therein lies the weakness. Gemma is a complex and exasperating character. She says or thinks the rights things but then her actions usually are contrary to what she said or thinks. She thinks about the kids and Duncan but calls once with no follow-up and is never there for them. This is not her case and she knew the victim all of two days. She should have returned home particularly considering the issues with Kit and her purported missing both boys but she doesn't. She isn't even here to pick up Kit. Gemma is totally unprofessional in the investigation when it appears Hazel is a suspect. Then she believes Tim is the murderer and she totally willing to give him up. She shows no empathy when Tim is arrested and she counsels Hazel not to return to London to support him. Hazel is the bad guy here. Gemma can be very unlikeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great addition.loved it. This book is a great blend of past &present. Along with murder past &present
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crombie is a master at developing mysteries with twists, turns and surprises. Kincaid and Gemma have evolved into flesh and blood for me. Great writer! Enthralling read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago