Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie

Title: A Bitter Feast
AuthorDeborah Crombie
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, October 2019
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Series
Plot: Melody Talbot’s parents are hosting a benefit at their home in the Cotswolds, and when Melody invites her boss, Detective Inspector Gemma James, Gemma’s husband Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, and their three children for the weekend, everyone expects a relaxing sojourn in a picturesque part of England.  Unfortunately, Duncan is involved in a fatal car crash on his way to Lower Slaughter, which turns out to be connected to the talented chef, Viv Holland, who is catering Lady Adelaide’s lunch.  The weekend turns into a busman’s holiday for Gemma and Duncan as they assist the local police in investigating several mysterious deaths, while Melody’s romance with Andy is suffering from prolonged separation while he is on tour, due to her insecurity about their relationship.   In the midst of all this angst, Duncan’s son Kit, now 15, shows real maturity by acting as sous-chef to Viv Holland and listening to Viv’s daughter who is confused and angry.
In 2017, I enjoyed seeing children like Toby and Charlotte frolic at Bourton on the Water
My Impressions: I am a huge fan of this series and had eagerly awaited this 18th book featuring Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid; all of which are delightful.  However, I do recommend starting at the beginning with A Share in Death.  Although Gemma and Duncan spend very little time together in this book, A Bitter Feast was enjoyable for several reasons: the Cotswold setting was very appealing because I was there myself not long ago, including to Bourton on the Water where Gemma and Lady Adelaide take the children; Melody’s parents are great characters, and it was fun to see them taking an interest in Gemma and Duncan (Sir Ivan dragging Duncan to the doctor which he desperately needed and even helping to replace the family car, which was totaled in the accident); the foodie aspects were interesting: both Viv Holland’s up and coming pub, the Lamb, and her restaurant experience back in London long ago.  I like Melody and am sorry her relationship with Andy is not progressing smoothly; I don’t think she and Doug are meant to be together.
The plot and actual mystery of this particular book are secondary to the setting and characters, always Crombie’s strength.  She deftly manages a large cast without losing track of the actual crime and how it is going to be solved.   I did think that there were two characters, Bea and Roz, who were too similar but that is a minor quibble.  Readers will appreciate a beautiful map of the Cotswolds which is almost as good as being there.
I yearned for a cottage in the Cotswolds!
Purchase Links: IndieBound * Barnes & Noble * Amazon * Book Depository * HarperCollins

Off the Blog: Winter approaches!  I kidnapped the nephews briefly this afternoon to help put away the hammock and the patio umbrella, and I broke down and turned on the heat yesterday.  Hardy New Englanders try to wait until November 1.
Source: I was eagerly awaiting this book and appreciate the copy from the publisher and TLC Book Tours, provided for review purposes. You can visit other stops on the tour and read the reviews by clicking below:

October 10th: Literary Quicksand
October 11th: Instagram: @slreadsbooks
October 14th: PhDiva
October 14th: Bewitched Bookworms
October 15th: Write – Read – Life
October 16th: Jessicamap Reviews
October 17th: From the TBR Pile
October 22nd: Lesa’s Book Critiques
October 23rd: Jathan & Heather
October 24th: Amy’s Book-et List

1 comment:

Sara Strand said...

I love that you've been following this since the beginning and enjoyed this installment! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours