A roller-coaster ride of a mystery novel!

A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels Book 18)

By: Deborah Crombie

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book I have read in this series. After starting it, I realized there were previous books but I was able to easily read this book stand-alone. It just made me want to go back to the beginning and start with book number one, which I have since purchased.

The story is set in the Cotswolds, where husband and wife police duo, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, have been invited along with their children to spend a relaxing weekend, along with co-worker, Doug Cullen, as a guest of another co-worker. That co-worker, Melody Talbot, turns out to be from a family that is quite wealthy as well as powerful.

The story begins with an introduction to Viv, a chef who is to cater a luncheon for Melody’s mother. She has been hiding her light at a small pub that she co-owns, rather than spending her time making a name for herself in London. She wants to spend more time with her daughter, Grace, who is eleven years old.

Duncan and Gemma are traveling separately to the weekend get-away and to attend the luncheon. Gemma and the children arrive safely but Duncan gets involved an a nightmare of a car accident. While he walks away from it, the occupants of the other car do not.

It quickly becomes clear that not all was as it seemed at first and there is a mystery to be solved. As there are four police officers from detective on down (Duncan, Gemma, Melody and Doug, the local detectives have more manpower than they would normally have to solve the case.

More and more layers are added, as a another murder happens. All of the characters and plot twists tie together by the end. It provides for a fast-paced but also in-depth story to read.

I’m looking forward to both continuing with the series and to going back and reading the previous seventeen books.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.

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