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The Midnight Feast
(Review, Book Summary & Spoilers)

By Lucy Foley

Book review, full book summary and synopsis for The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley, an atmospheric slow-burn mystery about the opening weekend of a luxury coastal resort that ends in fire and death.


The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley opens on the weekend of the grand opening of The Manor, a luxury resort-hotel located near a dense ancient forest on the Dorset coast.

Everything has been planned to perfection by its owner Francesca Meadows, a former local resident who has returned to develop this property she recently inherited, to ensure a tranquil and picturesque experience.

But in this atmospheric and slow-burning mystery, the revelry will end in death and fire, as secrets these lands hold are revealed over the course of the weekend...

(The Full Plot Summary is also available, below)

Full Plot Summary

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary
See the Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of The Midnight Feast
Quick Plot Summary

The four-paragraph version: The book takes place during the opening weekend of The Manor, a luxury resort hotel on the coast of Dorset, owned by Francesca Meadows, a former local resident who has been gone a long time but has inherited the land. Francesca is from the wealthy Meadows family, though the rest of the locals are largely poor. Among the locals there are superstitions about The Birds, a group of hooded figures that are said to exact their own brand of justice when necessary. By the end of the weekend, there's been a fire at The Manor and multiple deaths.

The book jumps between the perspectives of Francesca, Owen (her new husband), Bella (a guest at the hotel), and Eddie (a 19-year-old local who is on staff). It also flashes forward to the perspective of DI Walker who is investigating the body found at the base of a cliff nearby by the end of the weekend and who later discovers two dead bodies trapped inside by the fire. Bella's old journal entries also show that she and Francesca knew each other 15 years when Bella's family stayed nearby for the summer.

It's revealed that the summer Bella hung out with Francesca, Francesca accidentally killed someone, Cora, by giving her brownies laced with poisonous mushrooms. Bella and her boyfriend Jake witnessed it, but they were threatened by Francesca and her grandfather not to say anything. Jake soon went missing with his moped found having careened off the side of a cliff nearby. Meanwhile, Owen turns out to be a very poor former local resident who is hiding his true identity from his wife.

Bella is at The Manor in order to reveal where Cora's body was buried. Owen is the one who finds it and it turns out Cora was his mother who had him at 16. When Francesca tries to get away after being confronted with her crime, Eddie accidentally chases her off a cliff. Francesca's (sexual predator) twin brothers are the ones who died in the fire. In the end, it turns out Jake survived but turned to drugs for a while. He got clean and became DI Walker, and he returned because he heard about the opening of The Manor. Owen inherits everything from Francesca and begins plans to turn it into a community center in honor of his mother.

For more detail, see the full Chapter-by-Chapter Summary.

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Book Review

The Midnight Feast is Lucy Foley’s latest mystery and is slated for publication later this month on June 18. Foley is probably best known for her mystery-thriller, The Guest List, which came out back in 2020. Her previous novel was 2022’s The Paris Apartment.

The Midnight Feast starts with the grand opening of a luxury hotel, The Manor, located near a dense ancient woods in Dorset, England. The locals are displeased with the intrusion of the hotel onto their woods, and there’s whispers of local superstitions and beliefs that have been disrespected by the developers of The Manor.

It’s soon revealed that by the end of the weekend, there’s been a fire and body is found at the base of the cliff nearby.

The Midnight Feast is atmospheric and moody, and the premise was more or less interesting enough to me, but in the first half of the book, the story moves very, very slowly. I found my attention wandering quite a bit reading this book. Not just because of the slow pace, but because there’s just not enough of the story being revealed in the first half that it feels a little aimless.

Once the first major plot reveal happens around the half-way point of the book, I got a lot more interested and the story picks up. I ended up mostly enjoying this story. I liked the way it came together. It wasn’t terribly clever, but it wraps up nicely and tells a complete story about this small community of people.

Read it or Skip it?

I liked this better than the last Lucy Foley novel that I read, The Paris Apartment, but I felt similarly about it — that the books try create a creepy atmosphere, but then it tries to ride that for an entire half of a book instead of moving the plot along.

I do think this one played out in a more interesting and comprehensible way than her previous offering, and I ended up mostly enjoying the mystery, but it’s a hard book to recommend whole-heartedly since the first half dragged so much for me.

I’d say if you’re a Lucy Foley fan and don’t mind her slow-burn writing style, you will probably enjoy this book. If you’re not and are interested in checking out her work, The Guest List, is probably still her strongest mystery-thriller.

See The Midnight Feast on Amazon.

The Midnight Feast Audiobook

Narrator: Joe Eyre, Sarah Slimani, Roly Botha, Laurence Dobiesz & Tuppence Middleton
Length: TBA

Hear a sample of The Midnight Feast audiobook on

Book Excerpt

Read the first pages of The Midnight Feast

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