Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Bitter Feast - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James #18) by Deborah Crombie

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Edelweiss

Description: 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.

Genre: Mystery - Police Procedural

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been reading this series since the beginning and even though I missed a few between the first one and this one it is always a favorite.

My Impression:  Oh I love this series and this may just be my favorite one in awhile.  One thing I've missed in the more recent books is seeing Gemma and Duncan working together and so I was thrilled when this one threw them together in an unofficial investigation.  This one had a little bit of an Agatha Christie vibe with a country house party plot and Gemma and Duncan essentially acting as unofficial detectives. 

The plot pulled me in from the very beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it from the time I picked it up until the time I put it down.  I was interested in the characters and found the plot compelling right from the start.  As someone who has read the series since the beginning I was delighted to see how grownup Kit has become but I don't think the kids roles were so prominent in the story that it would be annoying if you were new to the series.

Deborah Crombie never disappoints and this one was especially delightful.  If you're looking for a solid British police procedural with a bit of a country house feel this is a great choice!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes!  Crombie is a favorite and I'm glad I have a few older books to catch up on while I wait for the next book. 

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy mysteries I highly recommend this book and this series as a whole.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Sounds great!

    Lotte |

  2. I have only read the first one in the series, but they are 'on my list'.

  3. It's great when a reader finds a series she enjoys and one that continues on.
    I've been enjoying the Timber Creek series; I'm happy to have finally found a modern day mystery series I like.

  4. I haven't heard of this series, but it sounds like one I would enjoy. I'll have to check it out!

  5. The setting sounds great and you have convinced me to grab this book. I never could get Edleweiss to work for me on my tablet :-( But I will see if I can get a copy of this book. Love me some police procedurals.

  6. Ooops....I better start at book 1.

  7. I loved this book and was glad to see all the characters and the kids again. Crombie really does a good job with this series and it's one that I have recommended over and over. Makes me want to start at the beginning and read them all again. Weren't the food descriptions wonderful? She did a lot of research - horrible research which involved eating all kinds of wonderful food. Ha!

  8. I have seen this author around but had no idea that she wrote such a long standing series. This does sound really good. Maybe I will tackle the series at some point.

  9. The series is new to me. I appreciate the update and review.

  10. So glad you enjoyed it and it had all you like in your mystery books. I love the idea of a detective couple working together.

  11. This is an author I haven't yet read, but this lovely review of yours makes me think I should pick up one of her books. Thank you for sharing, Katherine.

  12. I loved this so much. As you said I liked them Duncan and Gemma working together and all the persona character developments with them, family and friends. In the previous book, they were each busy with their own cases, which were very interesting but they had little time together and their was not much family interaction. So the variety and depth of the world is precious. I loved the new characters in the small country town and how well they were developed as well.

    Anne - Books of My Heart