A quick-paced, mystery takes you to Cotswolds, England, for a summer weekend to follow two Scotland Yard detectives and their family on their country getaway to visit a fellow detective, Melody Talbot’s family home. Surprise, – the Talbot’s are incredibly well off and their village is full of interesting characters that all pop up in one way or another. “A Bitter Feast,” by Deborah Crombie, is her latest installment in her mystery series following Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James. The best part is each book can be read on its own, so the reader can dive right in to the series at whatever point.
What seemingly starts as a banal weekend retreat for a working-class family quickly turns into much more than they bargained for. A deadly car accident starts a chain reaction leaving all involved with more questions than answers. An upscale charity luncheon seems to be part of the catalyst, as well, with several questions centered around its Chef Viv Holland, who works at the local pub. However, from her culinary talents, it’s obvious that she once lived a very different life elsewhere. Why has she retired to this small country village to work at a local pub? Is she running away from some dark past?
In this village where everyone is somehow connected, there’s plenty of secrets to keep the reader intrigued and guessing. While a bit wordy at times, Crombie is a delight to read and treats her readers with respect. This author is not spelling anything out but hoping you’re smart enough to go along for the ride and pick up the small details and crumbs she lays out along the way. A fast, fun read that is not too scary for a scaredy-cat like myself – I could even read it before bed!
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