When a prominent local builder dies in suspicious circumstances, his ex-wife, a yoga teacher with a controversial past, asks him to help her to look into his death.

As he investigates, deaths mount and Ben finds himself under suspicion and what started out as a simple investigation turns into a desperate quest to clear his name.

 In doing so he has to battle against corrupt local government officials, a sinister policeman, the village drug dealer, an eccentric Earl , and violent local villagers.

But he has allies. Helped by his kitchen team, his IT student waitress and his kitchen porter making up in muscles what he lacks in brain and a briskly efficient clairvoyant, Hunter is determined to get to the truth.  Utilising all the craft that he has learned in kitchens : discipline ; timing ; preparation and grim determination, Ben Hunter is as relentless in his quest to bring a murderer to justice as he is in creating the perfect meringue.


taste of death cover artwork

'Take an ex-con chef with a wry sense of humour, a Chilterns village where shady shenanigans lead to murder and stir until the plot thickens. HV Coombs's intriguing recipe kept me turning the pages. Highly enjoyable.'


                                                                 Frances Brody

Ben Hunter listens to a lot of cheesy music on the local radio station while he's working. Here are some of the songs mentioned in the book !

(Author's disclaimer - these do not necessarily reflect my taste in music ! But then again, they might....)

    A Taste of Death


   An Old Forge Cafe Murder Mystery

Ben Hunter, now a chef, former teacher and ex-con, has left London, moved to a small village in Buckinghamshire and opened a restaurant. There, surrounded by home cooking and rural peace and quiet, he feels he can rebuild  after the disaster that wrecked his life and career.

‘Good cooking is the basis of true happiness.’ Auguste Escoffier

The village he has chosen for his new life in the beautiful Chiltern countryside, flint-faced houses, a green with a duck pond, is, on the outside, chocolate-box perfect. But dark currents are at work under the placid surface.