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Mystery writer Deborah Crombie loves her characters

Crombie Some suspense novelists grow weary of reprising their characters in book after book and seek respite by writing stand-alone novels.

But Deborah Crombie's fans need not worry.

``I hear writers say they are bored and that they would like to do something else, but I don't feel that way at all,'' says the creator of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series, which follows the personal and professional lives of two Scotland Yard investigators in London. ``I miss them when I'm in between books doing research. I always want to be back with them, back in their lives.''

Crombie, who appears Saturday at the Broward Public Library Foundation's Lit LIVE! at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, speaks with a friendly Texas drawl -- she grew up in a Dallas suburb and now lives with her husband in McKinney -- and sounds as if she could happily talk about Duncan and Gemma and their friends and family for a good long time. She likes them that much, although she admits that Gemma's young son Toby is ``lots of fun, but if I had to live with this kid, I would kill him.''

Blood Solving crime and domestic disasters plays a part in Crombie's works, with the domestic issues as important as whodunnit. The relationship between Duncan and Gemma has deepened over the 13 novels: Crombie's latest book, Necessary as Blood (Morrow, $24.99) involves not only the disappearance of a young mother and the murder of her solicitor husband but also a big development in the lives of the couple. The two finally joined households in And Justice There Is None.

The menage now includes two dogs and a cat, given that animal lover Crombie has two cats and two German shepherds. (You can see photos at deborahcrombie.com.)

``I have a soft spot for cocker spaniels, too,'' she admits, ``which is why Gemma has Geordie, her cocker. But I sneak some shepherds into the books, too.''

Click here to read my interview with Deborah and see her Saturday at Lit LIVE! at Nova Southeastern University.


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