When Annabelle Hammond, heir to the Hammond Tea Company, is found murdered, the pressure is on, and Scotland Yard assigns Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James to the case. At first it seems that Annabelle was the victim of a random attack. But after doing some preliminary investigating, Duncan and Gemma realize that the beautiful Annabelle was a woman without morals, having simultaneous affairs with her fianci, her brother-in-law, a real estate entrepreneur, and his street musician son. Far from being a random act of violence, the murder of Annabelle Hammond was deliberate.

Complicating the investigation are the personal lives of both Duncan and Gemma, for not only are they professional partners, but lovers as well. Duncan has other things besides romance on his mind, for he is trying to form a relationship with Kit, the eleven-year-old son he only recently learned hed fathered. Gemma is understanding, but finds herself evaluating her own feelings towards one of the suspects, a sensitive man who brings out emotions that she never knew she had.

As Duncan and Gemma work on their own tangled lives, they continue their investigation to discover that the murder has roots nearly sixty years old and is connected to three children who were evacuated from London during wartime.

Similar to the novels of Elizabeth George, KISSED A SAD GOODBYE is a sweeping novel that casts a spell on the reader. The story is complex, with many satisfying twists and turns. The reader becomes involved in the mystery and immersed in the personal lives of Duncan and Gemma. Crombie also paints a poignant picture of wartime England and readers will find their heartstrings constantly being tugged. (Apr., 336 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg