Death at the Feast by Jan Durham

Title: Death at the Feast (Kipper Cottage Mystery #3)

Author: Jan Durham

Published on: 12 June 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Death at the Feast is the third book in Jan Durham’s Kipper Cottage Mystery series.

It’s Christmas and the whole town of Whitby, a picturesque fishing town on the North Yorkshire coast, is gearing up for the festive season. Mags and Tilly, life partners and owners of the Full Moon Café are getting ready are hired as caterers for an event hosted by the Mayor. Liz McLuckie goes to her friend Benedict’s home for a get-together while Mags and Tilly drive to the event at the museum.

Benedict and Liz are about to sit down for desserts (Lemon Mousse, yum!) when someone frantically knocks at the door. Mags and Tilly enter when the door is opened – Mags says she killed the Mayor. Turns out, Mayor Neil Grogan was allergic to sesame so Mags and Tilly saw to it that none of the dishes contained sesame. But, it so happened that sesame was present in one of the dishes and it led to Neil having an anaphylactic attack.

Benedict and Liz find a bottle of sesame oil while moving all the food from Mags’ car to Ben’s conservatory. When they tell the two women about it, they say they were careful enough not to include sesame oil in any dishes. Liz wonders who replaced it and when.

The next day Liz learns from Mark (a fishmonger) that Neil Grogan is dead. She tries to contact Tilly and mags but her phone calls go unanswered. She visits their café and finds Grazyna (help/waitress) behind the counter. She says the owners are at the police station and the café is not open to customers. (Liz is a friend so she’s allowed even if the sign says ‘closed’. )

Carolyn Grogan visits the café and tells Liz that she’s going to file a lawsuit against Mags and Tilly for killing her husband. The mystery deepens further when the Mayor’s body is stolen from the church the night before his funeral.

Jan Durham is one of my favorite authors and Kipper Cottage Mysteries is one of those series that I would follow till the end. Liz McLuckie is a widow and has moved to Whitby after the death of her husband. On a whim she decided to buy Kipper and Gull Cottages, renovate them and rent them to tourists. But during Halloween, Kipper Cottage was damaged in a fire (Death at Neptune Yard) and is under renovation once again.

Mags and Tilly are her best friends and so is Benedict. Liz realized she has feelings for Benedict but it couldn’t come at a worse time because Ben had started dating Gillian, the local reverend, by then. As the previous book ended, we saw Ben and Gillian part ways. That doesn’t mean Liz has the green signal, does it?

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In Death at the Feast, when Inspector Flint doubts Mags’ involvement in the Mayor’s murder, Liz wants to prove her friends’ innocence. She goes looking for clues – on the pretext of buying something from the Mayor’s jewelry store to trying a workout at a gym (which one of his sons own). Then we have the mystery behind the missing dead body – yeah, you read that right. The night before the funeral, Mayor’s dead body disappears from the church. Who would have wanted to steal a dead body and why?

Neil’s ex-wife Deborah seems to be friendly and so does his daughter Helen. Carolyn and Neil married a few months ago. She’s decades younger than her husband so Liz and her friends wonder if the Mayor was killed for inheritance. As per his will, Carolyn is to receive all that he ever owned.

I really loved the way the mystery unravels itself – just like peeling an onion, one layer after the other. Liz does her best to poke her nose (uh-oh!) and find the killer – even if it means going against the law once or twice. Hmm!

Jan Durham is a master storyteller. I am a huge fan of her writing and Death at the Feast is a smashing addition to the series. Excellent character portrayal and plot-to-story development. We also have a bit of romance – or at least a spark that might turn into a fully-blown love story. Fingers crossed!

There is a shocking twist in the second half of the book and this is when things get a tad murky. Liz must find the killer and bring them to justice. Speaking of killer, their identity was shocking – I was so sure it was anybody else but them! Time to retire my grey cells eh, mon ami?

We also have a dash of humor involving Iris and HER SINGING AT THE CHOIR. Iris is not hard of hearing but THAT DOESN’T STOP HER FROM SHOUTING… NOT EVEN IF SHE’S A MEMBER OF THE CHOIR. The rest of the troupe have trouble while practicing – who wouldn’t, though? Especially when their newest member is SCREAMING SINGING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS.

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.

‘GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN, LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY.’

For Jesus Christ our savior was born on Christmas day…

‘FOR JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR WAS BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY…’

Death at the Feast by Jan Durham is an engrossing and completely entertaining cozy mystery. Just the right book to put you in Christmas spirit. It’s not too early to start planning for your Christmas TBR list, innit? This book can be read as a standalone but if you are new to the series, I highly recommend you to start with Death at the Abbey.


I received an ARC from Inkubator Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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