I was thrilled to receive this novel from NetGalley and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. I have read every book in this series of very British mysteries that, surprisingly, are written by an American author who lives in Texas. A Bitter Feast is book 18 in this fine series that has deepened over time. If you can, read the books in order for the people, the history and the relationships but, if you can’t, this could be read as a standalone.
Detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones, who married many books ago, are invited to the country with their three children (Backstories on the children appear in earlier books as only one is the shared child of both Gemma and Duncan). They are invited by another police officer, Melody Talbot (again backstory in earlier novels), to her parents beautiful Cotswold home for the weekend. The descriptions of the countryside and the house will make you wish that you could hop a plane, unless you already live in Britain.
Of course, there are murders. There is also lots of food as chefs are important characters in the story. Why was a famous chef murdered? Why was his demise followed by others? And of course, whodunnit? I thought that I knew but I was wrong.
My only regret upon finishing A Bitter Feast was knowing that I now have to again begin the wait for the next book by this author. If you like traditional British mysteries/police procedurals, I highly recommend this one.
(Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author)
“Nobody writes the modern English mystery the way Deborah Crombie does—and A Bitter Feast is the latest in a series that is gripping, enthralling, and just plain the best.” (Charles Todd, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Ascot and A Cruel Deception)
“This character-driven series just continues to get better.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Through several points of view, this multifaceted novel provides a sobering cautionary tale about the exploitation of idealism and the abuse of power.” (Publishers Weekly)
“As in books by Elizabeth George and P. D. James, the intriguing personal relationships and family dynamics drive this well-crafted, impressive mystery-drama.” (Booklist (starred review))