Friday 8 December 2023


Book review: Murder on the Menu by Alex Coombs [blog tour]

Murder mysteries seem to really be the popular genre of the last few years and I'm absolutely loving it. There are so many wonderful new authors I've discovered that are pro whodunnit writers, from Robert Thorogood to Janice Hallett, and Alex Coombs has quickly joined their ranks as one of my new favs!

About Murder on the Menu

Chef Charlie Hunter uses every last penny of her savings to open a restaurant in the village of Hampden Green in the Chiltern Hills. But as an outsider – and a Londonder to boot – she doesn't receive a friendly welcome, especially not from Detective Inspector Slattery. So when a local man she had a public disagreement with ends up dead, she is instantly suspect number one. 

One of the few friends she has in the village suggests that Charlie investigates the murder. After all, if she can find out who really did it then she can clear her good name. But one thing leads to another and she's soon embroiled in a much bigger conspiracy than she could've possibly imagined...

My review

I absolutely whizzed through Murder on the Menu by Alex Coombs! The murder mystery was fast-paced and the characters were great fun to get to know. I love that protagonist Charlie didn't take crap from anyone. She is a real go-getter and gets stuff done – including investigating a murder in-between making the most scrumptious sounding starters and desserts for her brand-new restaurant.

I am also very fond of the two people she hires to help out in the restaurant: local student Jess, who is a great support to Charlie, and Jess' cousin Francis, who has more bulk than brains but nonetheless charms people off his feet as he's so genuinely lovely. I imagine this is the start of a brand-new series and I really hope these characters will return, the stories will just have to work around Jess' university schedule! 

On top of this being a solid whodunnit, Author Alex Coombs is a qualified chef and his food knowledge really shines through the pages. It made the scenes in Charlie's restaurant kitchen feel incredibly realistic while also making my mouth water as he described some of the delicious dishes on the menu in such wonderful detail. I'm now desperate to try Charlie's passionfruit mousse.

The one thing I'm disappointed by is that Hamden Green is a fictional place. Because despite the dead bodies rapidly piling up, it really does sound like a great place to visit. If only to try Charlie's delectable menu and meet the quirky cast of villages she encounters along the way... 

Murder on the Menu by Alex Coombs is a delight for classic crime readers and foodies alike. If you like your Masterchef with a dash of murder and mayhem, then this is just the book for you. 

Murder on the Menu by Alex Coombs is published by Bedford Square Publishers and you can now buy your copy from your favourite local book shop!

Blog tour stops for Murder on the Menu by Alex Coombs

This review for Murder on the Menu is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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