Books,  Crime Fiction Books

Book Review – A Bitter Feast | Deborah Crombie

Bitter Feast | Deborah Crombie

Genre: Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

Published: October 8, 2019 | William Morrow Books

Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5

A Bitter Feast is a beautiful addition to the famous Kincaid and Detective series and I’m so glad I chose to read this utterly gorgeous, atmospheric thriller!

About the Book:

Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James, have been invited for a relaxing weekend in the tranquil Cotswolds, one of Britain’s most beautiful and historic regions, famous for its rolling hills, sheep-strewn green meadows, golden cottages, and timeless villages that retain the spirit of old England.

Duncan, Gemma, and their children are guests at Beck House, the country estate belonging to the family of Melody Talbot, Gemma’s trusted detective sergeant. No ordinary farmers, the Talbots are wealthy and prominent with ties to Britain’s most powerful and influential. A centerpiece of this glorious fall getaway is a posh charity luncheon catered by up-and-coming chef Viv Holland. After more than a decade in London, Viv has returned to her native Glouscestershire, making a name for herself with her innovative, mouthwatering use of the local bounty. Attended by several dozen of the area’s well-to-do, as well as national food bloggers and restaurant critics, the event could make Viv a star.

But a tragic car accident followed by a series of mysterious deaths could ruin her ascent. Each piece of information that surfaces makes it clear that the killer had a connection with Viv’s pub—and perhaps with Beck House itself.

Does the truth lie in the past? Or is it more immediate, woven into the tangled relationships and bitter resentments swirling among the staff at Beck House and at Viv’s pub? Or is it even more personal, entwined with secrets hidden by Viv, her business partner Bea Abbot, and Viv’s eleven-year-old daughter Grace?

Further revelations rock the Talbots’ estate and pull Duncan and Gemma and their colleagues into the investigation. With so much at stake both personally and professionally, especially for Melody Talbot, finding the killer becomes one of the team’s most crucial cases.


Swathi’s Review:

Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid along with their three kids are invited to spend the weekend with Gemma’s colleague Melanie Talbot and her parents at their weekend mansion The Beck House. Situated in a quaint little Scottish village, it’s the perfect locale to spend the weekend with family! Melanie’s mother, Lady Adelaide Talbot has arranged a luncheon at her house, where the local chef Vivian Holland is said to cater for her guests including a number of food bloggers and journalists. Addie has certainly meant to encourage Viv’s talents and show her off to the world, but somehow disaster strikes in the form of a car accident involving a famous London based Chef and a local woman.

This leaves the entire village shattered and the detective couple are forced to lend their hands in the investigation with the local police DI Booth to avoid more body count. But will it be too late for that?

I totally enjoyed reading this book. In Spite of being a series, it totally worked as a standalone book as it’s very easy to catch up with Gemma and Kincaid and the other characters. Although the book is categorized as a crime thriller, I found myself to be distracted by all the delicious, mouth-watering cuisine, good wine, and the tranquil landscape of Britain’s most beautiful and historic Cotswolds. Author Deborah has made sure her readers doesn’t miss a bit of joy teleporting themselves the gorgeous green meadows and golden cottages, sipping delicious wine and crunching exotic meals!

A Bitter Feast is a chunky book with every character and setting written to the slightest detail. I loved the suspense behind every new character, creating a sense of doubt and mistrust as the story grows. I loved how the author manages to show the same cottage which is mesmerizing in the daylight to be sinister and haunting in the dark! Deborah plays skillfully with words hooking her readers offering food, wine and a mindful of gardening ideas for their own homes! HIghly recommended read of the year. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are solely mine and are no way biased.

Meet the Author:

Deborah Crombie is a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, two cats, and two German shepherds.

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