Dreaming of the bones /

by Crombie, Deborah.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Scribner, c1997Description: 350 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0684801418 :; 0684847205.Title notes: c.1 $22.00 1-98Subject(s): Kincaid, Duncan (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | James, Gemma (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | Police -- England -- Fiction | Poets -- Cambridge (England) -- Fiction | Cambridge (England) -- Fiction | Detective and mystery stories
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult Mystery M CRO Available 39270001875750

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

At Cambridge in the 1960s, poet Lydia Brooke becomes obsessed with her namesake, the Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, reenacting with her friends the nature-worshiping frolics of that more innocent era -- but with disastrous consequences. When the talented and tormented Lydia dies more than 20 years later, after a prior suicide attempt, it is assumed that she has taken her own life.<p>Now obsession has taken hold of Victoria McClellan. A feminist biographer at Cambridge, Vic finds herself immersed in the poet's world. Uneasy about the manner of Lydia's death, Vic calls on her ex-husband, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, for help. But before he can take action, Vic herself is dead -- and there's no question that this one is murder.<p>As Kincaid and his lover and partner, Gemma James, investigate, they are exposed to secrets that have reached out over three decades and poisoned a dozen lives. In a complex tale whose emotional intensity can be compared with that of Elizabeth George, Deborah Crombie shows how an attempt by women to claim their power can be dangerous -- even fatal.

c.1 $22.00 1-98

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

<opt> <anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">Dreaming of the Bones Chapter One Where Beauty and Beauty meet All naked, fair to fair, The earth is crying-sweet, And scattering bright the air, Eddying, dizzying, closing round, With soft and drunken laughter; Veiling all that may befall After--after Rupert Brooke, from " Beauty and Beauty " The post slid through the letter box, cascading onto the tile floor of the entry hall with a sound like the wind rustling through bamboo. Lydia Brooke heard the sound from the breakfast room, where she sat with her hands wrapped round her teacup. With her morning tea long gone cold, she lingered, unable to choose between the small actions that would decide the direction of her day. Through the French doors at the far end of the room, she could see chaffinches pecking at the ground beneath the yellow blaze of forsythia, and in her mind she tried to put the picture into words. It was habit, almost as automatic as breathing, this search for pattern, meter, cadence, but today it eluded her. Closing her eyes, she tilted her face up towards the weak March sun slanting through the windows set high in the vaulted room. She and Morgan had used his small inheritance to add this combination kitchen/dining area to the Victorian terraced house. It jutted into the back garden, all glass and clean lines and pale wood, a monument to failed hopes. The plans they'd had to modernize the rest of the house had somehow never materialized. The plumbing still leaked, the rose-patterned wallpaper peeled delicately from the walls in the entry hall, the cracks in the plasterwork spread like aging veins, the radiator hissed and rumbled like some subterranean beast. Lydia had grown used to the defects, had come to find an almost perverse sort of comfort in them. It meant she was coping, getting on with things, and that was, after all, what was expected of one, even when the day stretching ahead seemed an eternity. She pushed away her cold cup and rose, tightening the belt of her dressing gown around her slight body as she padded barefoot towards the front of the house. The tile felt gritty beneath her feet and she curled her toes as she knelt to gather the post. One envelope outweighed the rest, and the serviceable brown paper bore her solicitor's return address. She dropped the other letters in the basket on the hall table and ran her thumb carefully under the envelope's seal as she walked towards the back of the house. Freed from its wrapping, the thick sheaf of papers unfolded in her hands and the words leapt out at her: In the matter of the marriage of Lydia Lovelace Brooke Ashby and Morgan Gabriel Ashby . . . She reached the bottom of the stairs and stopped as her brain picked out words from among the legalese. Final decree . . . petition of divorce granted this day. . . The pages slipped from her numb fingers, and it seemed to her that they drifted downwards, cradled on the air like feathers. She had known it would come, had even thought herself prepared. Now she saw her hollow bravado with a sudden sickening clarity--her shell of acceptance had been fragile as the skin of algae on a pond. After a long moment she began to climb the stairs slowly, her calves and thighs aching with the burden of each step. When she reached the first floor, she held on to the wall like an unsteady drunk as she made her way to the bathroom. Shivering, shallow-breathed, she closed and locked the door. The motions required a deliberate concentration; her hands still felt oddly disconnected from her body. The bath taps next; she adjusted the temperature with the same care. Tepid--she'd read somewhere that the water should be tepid--and salts, yes, of course, she added the bath salts, now the water would be warm and saline, satin as blood. Satisfied, she stood, and the deep blue silk of the dressing gown puddled at her feet. She stepped in and sank into the water, Aphrodite returning from whence she came, razor in hand. Victoria McClellan lifted her hands from the keyboard, took a breath, and shook herself. What in hell had just happened to her? She was a biographer, for Christ's sake, not a novelist, and she'd never experienced anything like this, certainly never written anything like this. She had felt the water slide against her skin, had known the seductive terror of the razor. She shivered. It was all absolute rubbish, of course. The whole passage would have to go. It was full of supposition, conjecture, and the loss of objectivity that was fatal to a good biography. Swiftly, she blocked the text, then hesitated with her finger poised over the delete key. And yet . . . maybe the more rational light of morning would reveal something salvageable. Rubbing her stinging eyes, she tried to focus on the clock above her desk. Almost midnight. The central heating in her drafty Cambridgeshire cottage had shut off almost an hour ago and she suddenly realized she was achingly cold. She flexed her stiff fingers and looked about her, seeking reassurance in familiarity. The small room overflowed with the flotsam of Lydia Brooke's life, and Vic, tidy by nature, sometimes felt powerless before the onslaught of paper--letters, journals, photographs, manuscript pages, and her own index cards--all of which defied organization. But biography was an unavoidably messy job, and Brooke had seemed a biographer's dream, tailor-made to advance Vic's position in the English Faculty. A poet whose brilliance was surpassed only by the havoc of a personal life strewn with difficult relationships and frequent suicide attempts, Brooke survived the late-sixties episode in the bath for more than twenty years. Then, having completed her finest work, she died quietly from an overdose of heart medication. The fact that Brooke had died just five years before allowed Vic access to Lydia's friends and colleagues as well as her papers. And while Vic . . . Dreaming of the Bones . Copyright © by Deborah Crombie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon> </opt>

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