More e-book bargains (Scottoline and Crombie)

Lisa Scottoline has written many books.  This is where she began.  I read this many years ago and went on to read other books in the series.  The book was originally published in 1993 so I will borrow the blurb, rather than trying to remember the plot.

From Publishers Weekly

This tale of corporate intrigue centers on Mary DiNunzio, a lawyer on the partner track at one of Philadelphia’s top law firms, and her secret admirer/stalker. Mary, stressed by nature of her occupation, first shrugs off silent phone calls to her home and office that are eerily in sync with her comings and goings. Soon, however, when she starts getting personal notes, too, she starts to suspect her co-workers. When Brent Polk, her good friend and secretary, is killed by a car that’s been following Mary around, she goads police detective Lombardo to check for similarities between his death and that of her husband a year earlier. Soon follows a chain of strange discoveries: after sleeping with friend and associate Ned Waters, she finds anti-depressants in his medicine chest; Ned’s wife-beating father manages a rival law firm; a partner has been tampering with her files. An increasingly paranoid Mary cuts off relations with Ned, whom she suspects of being her stalker. But she doesn’t act on her suspicions until it’s nearly too late and she must fight for her life. Lawyer Scottoline’s first novel is an engaging, quick read, sprinkled with corny humor and melodrama in just the right proportions.
Deborah Crombie is, like Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes, an American author who sets her novels in Britain.  I adore this series which I have read ever since the first in the series, A Share in Death, was written.
Here is commentary on the first book:

Editorial Reviews

This polished mystery seems more the work of a seasoned genre master than the first novel it is. Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid, spending his vacation from Scotland Yard at a Yorkshire time-share along with several other guests, finds his holiday anything but relaxing. Immediately after he arrives at the elegant estate, he overhears a heated argument between the snobbish caretaker and her sarcastic assistant manager. Late that evening, the assistant is electrocuted in the Jacuzzi. To the consternation of Yorkshire police, Kincaid assumes an active role in the investigation, which becomes more urgent after two more deaths. Meanwhile, Sgt. Gemma James, a pragmatic single mother charmed by Kincaid’s unpretentious demeanor and bachelor status, digs for additional clues in London. Crombie, a Texan, has written a convincingly British whodunit, limning Kincaid and James with the ease and authority of one who has already completed several installments in a series. Readers will surely welcome follow-up appearances. (Feb.)

Publishers Weekly – Publisher’s Weekly
 These are my favorite kinds of mysteries; both plot and character development are there.  Start from the beginning if you can but feel secure buying this one since once you start, you will keep going.
On In a Dark House:

From Publishers Weekly

A serial arsonist nutter is on the loose in London in Crombie’s assured 10th book starring Scotland Yard Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid and his lover/partner Det. Insp. Gemma James. When a nude, charred female corpse turns up in a burned warehouse, the police discover that the unidentified victim, one of four possible women, was murdered beforehand. Duncan and Gemma also look into the abduction of 10-year-old Harriet Novak, a pawn in her parents’ ongoing acrimonious divorce. As the investigation by both fire officials and police evolves, it becomes clear that the abduction is connected to the murder. Young, eager firefighter Rose Kearny, who found the body in the burning building, works the case on her own and comes up with a theory that may explain the arsonist’s unusual motive. Fanny Liu, confined to a wheelchair, fears the worst when her roommate goes missing, and a nearby home for battered women apparently connects several aspects of the case. It’s a web of gossamer-thin clues that police, under the patient Superintendent Kincaid, work to untangle as they race against time to find the imperiled Harriet. Myriad subplots that have accrued from past entries slow the action in places, but Duncan and Gemma are such interesting and attractive characters that few readers will mind.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Note that the books are not too gruesome despite this description.  Deborah Crombie is definitely in my top tier of mystery authors!

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