For anyone who has missed the previous posts, I am re-reading the Deborah Crombie mysteries that I enjoyed so much the first time as part of a reader challenge from another blog. Last night I finished Leave the Grave Green, the third book in the series.
The mystery in this one really captivated me, and I'm pleased to say I really didn't remember enough of the plot to take anything away from my reading pleasure. (I read so many mysteries that I don't retain the details much. It is the characters that stay with me. And that's why I choose the authors I do!)
Leave the Grave Green begins with a prologue scene that occurs over 20 years before the main action of the story. I often find such scenes superfluous, but in this case it is really integral to understanding the characters involved when we meet them. Once we jump to the present, we also jump right into the action. No long exposition here!
Other than Gemma and Duncan, the Sergeant and Chief Inspector who are the constants throughout the series, this mystery is centered in the world of opera and of titled British gentry. There are lots of nice scenes where stereotypes are set up just so they can be knocked down, and lots of interesting tensions among the new characters and the ones we already know. And a mystery so well crafted that I never saw the solution until it was being revealed.
Here I run into a snag. The most interesting thing about this book, to me, is the surprise twist in the back story of the main characters. But since I anticipate that I have readers who have not read these yet, and are still deciding whether to read them, I don't want to include any spoilers. So all I feel at liberty to say is that the end is a big surprise, and since I've read the entire series before, trust me when I say that it all works out well eventually.