Author Archive


Posted on June 20, 2015 - by

Book Launch Party at RJ Julia Booksellers

yodareadingPlease join us on Thursday July 9 at 7pm to launch FATAL RESERVATIONS at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison CT. Cake! Wine! Books!

Call 203-245-3959 to reserve your place.


Posted on June 8, 2015 - by

Don’t be Afraid by Miss Gloria

(Every once in a while we invite the characters from the Key West mysteries to share a post. Today Hayley Snow’s roommate, Miss Gloria, has something to say…)

photo by Carol Tedesco

by Miss Gloria from the Lucy Burdette Key West food critic mysteries

I have a new job, did I mention that? Probably not, as I don’t remember things exactly the way I used to LOL. Anyway Key West has a beautiful, historical cemetery containing tons of fascinating stories of former islanders, and beautiful carved stones and crypts, too. So I’ve volunteered to be trained as a cemetery tour guide.

Photo by Carol Tedesco

My adorable roommate, food critic Hayley Snow, is not a fan of my new activity. Honestly? I think she’s terrified that all that death will rub off on me and I’ll and end up in one of those tombs instead of being on the outside telling their stories. But as I tell Hayley, we need to remind ourselves about our history, about the interesting people that came before us. We’ll want some little old ladies remembering us in the decades to come, won’t we?

Anyway, I’m not superstitious. And besides, often the people we should be afraid of are the live ones, not the dead. I should warn you we are bound to find some things in this cemetery that might not belong there.

You’ll be able to read all about that in our July book, FATAL RESERVATIONS. You can pre-order that story right here.

Photo by Carol Tedesco

What do you think about cemeteries? Do you love them or do they freak you out?

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 


Posted on June 1, 2015 - by

Mango-Avocado Salsa #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Life is a little crazy right now, with FATAL RESERVATIONS coming soon, so I thought I’d share a really easy recipe. I know, what sense does that make, right?

But some night when you’re pressed for time and want to quickly dress up a piece of fish or some shrimp, you’ll be glad to have this one in your hopper.

Salsa with Yellowtail

 

 

Ignore the ginger, I changed my mind on that!

Ingredients

One large ripe mango
One ripe avocado
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Two key limes
1 to 2 teaspoons orange flavored olive oil
Salt-and-pepper to taste

Putting this together is so easy, it’s almost embarrassing: Cut the mango and avocado into small chunks. Mix this gently with the onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Squeeze the key limes over the top and drizzle all with the olive oil. Then salt and pepper to taste.

Voila–salsa! You can serve this with pan fried yellowtail snapper or Key West pink shrimp. You could even serve it with tortilla chips as an appetizer. No one would complain!

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries.

Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!


Posted on May 25, 2015 - by

Mrs. Renhart has her say on Houseboat Row

(Every once in a while we invite one of the characters from the Key West mysteries to post a blog. This time Hayley Snow’s next door neighbor insisted it was her turn to speak out…)

MRS. RENHART: I have to admit it, I’m a little bit lonely. Even though I thought moving to Key West and living on a houseboat would make all the difference. Doesn’t it sound like a fairy tale? Oh for sure, getting Schnootie the schnauzer has helped a lot. But my husband isn’t what you call chatty. Or even much fun.

Oh let’s face it, he’s a good provider but a great, big grump.
Houseboat Row by Karen Beauprie

Ever since that young Hayley Snow moved in next door with Miss Gloria, it looks like they have a party all the time. It’s a constant parade of visitors over there, including Hayley’s family and a lot of friends.

And instead of looking tired and haggard, Miss Gloria seems to really enjoy the company. And my gosh, the food that comes out of that tiny little kitchen. All the people they have over, you’d think they’d invite the neighbors once in while, wouldn’t you?

Miss Gloria has a new job too, as a guide in the cemetery. And so those crazy cats have a lot more time alone, and I swear they torment my poor Schnootie every chance they get. And I swear I even saw a little white kitten on their houseboat. And is it possible there was a man skulking in one of the back rooms, too? How many people and animals can they cram into that little space?

I swear I’m going to keep my eye on things and if they get out of control, well, I’ll just have to say something.

The question is to whom?

Fatal Reservations will hit bookshelves on July 7, but we invite you to pre-order!


Posted on May 6, 2015 - by

What I’m Writing @LucyBurdette

 

LUCY BURDETTE: You wouldn’t believe the things I do in the name of research. Last fall, we arrived in Key West earlier than usual–October–so I could observe the wildest festival of the year–Fantasy Fest. Even after the week was over, I couldn’t pretend to understand the grand appeal of walking up and down Duval Street basically naked except for creative body paint. But hey, it makes for a fabulous backdrop–though sorting through what can go into a cozy mystery from this week of events was a bit challenging.

But John and I promptly signed up to train as Fantasy Fest parade ambassadors, and I ordered tutus in several colors (the men got camo tutus, including Tonka,) and made appointments for face-painting for the Zombie bike ride.

So that’s the book I’m writing now! Without further ado, here’s the opening for KILLER TAKEOUT, coming to bookshelves next April:

–>

KILLER TAKEOUT: Chapter One
Resident islanders couldn’t remember a hotter Key West summer. Not only hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, they agreed, but hot enough to crisp bacon, too. So far, the advent of fall was bringing no relief. Today’s temperature registered 93° and climbing–fierce-hot for October, with the humidity dense like steam from my grandmother’s kettle. And the local news anchor promised it would get hotter as the week continued, along with the party on Duval Street.

 

Me? I’d rather eat canned sardines from China then march down Key West’s Duval Street wearing not much more than body paint. But 100,000 out-of-town revelers didn’t agree. They were arriving on the island this week to do just that—or watch it happen—during Fantasy Fest, the celebration taking place during the ten days leading up to Halloween, including a slew of adult-themed costume parties culminating in a massive and rowdy parade.

 

Worse of all, the Weather Channel was tracking the path of a tropical storm in the Eastern Caribbean. They had already begun to mutter semi-hysterical recommendations: Visitors should prepare to head up the Keys to the mainland and take refuge in a safer area. But based on the crowds I’d seen, no one was listening. These hordes weren’t leaving until the event was over. Besides, with a four-hour drive to Miami on a good traffic day, getting all those people out would be like trying to squeeze ketchup back into a bottle. Might as well party.
Since no right-minded local resident would attempt to get near a restaurant this week, I had fewer food critic duties at my workplace, the style magazine, Key Zest. I was looking forward to covering some of the tamer Fantasy Fest events for the magazine, including the Zombie bike ride, the locals’ parade, and a pet masquerade contest. And since restaurants are my beat, I’d promised my bosses an article on reliable takeout food too. If that didn’t keep me busy enough, my own mother, Janet Snow, and Sam, her fiance, were arriving for the week to visit with my dear friend Connie’s new baby, and then get themselves hitched on the beach.

 

In a weak moment, I’d allowed Miss Gloria, my geriatric houseboat-mate, to talk me into being trained as a Fantasy Fest parade ambassador. Our job would be to help patrol the sidewalks, which would be lined with costumed and tipsy revelers scrambling for the colored glass bead necklaces thrown off the floats.

 

“If we aren’t going to go to the foam party, or the Adam and Eve bash, or the Tighty Whitey party, we should at least attend the parade,” Miss Gloria said.

 

I closed my eyes to ward off the image of my elderly friend at any of those events.

 

“And if we’re working as ambassadors, we’ll be stationed inside the crowd control barricades. We’ll have the best seat in the house. Get it? Seat.” She broke into helpless giggles.


            At the time, the idea seemed palatable. Barely.

Meanwhile, FATAL RESERVATIONS will be on bookshelves July 7. But you can pre-order it now!

Posted on February 15, 2015 - by

Here’s What They’re Saying About DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS

Burdette infuses the mystery with Key West spirit and holiday fun along with delicious food references and recipes. This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery. Fans of Julie Hyzy and Laura Childs may also enjoy.
— Amy Alessio, Booklist December 2114

From Fresh Fiction: DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS is just sheer fun. This is my first time reading the Lucy Burdette series, but I’ve already downloaded the first book to my Kindle as I want to visit more with the quirky and oh-so-likeable characters. The twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the very end as Lucy Burdette serves up a spectacular mystery.

A contemporary comedy of manners sprinkled with gastronomical glitter, delectable danger and good will, Death with All the Trimmings is delightful. Phil Jason, Florida Weekly

Burdette successfully blends murder with menus, furthers Hayley’s development and paints a loving portrait of Key West’s wackiness, including the town’s annual Dachshund Parade and the appearance of a Chihuahua flash mob. Her mix of food, felonies and fun is a tasty seasonal treat. Jay Strafford, The Richmond Times Dispatch

As the beleaguered chef in “Death with All the Trimmings” tells her staff: “Never forget the people who will be eating the dishes we prepare. They are what matters — they are eating the products of our care and love. If we cook with that in mind, our customers will feel it in their hearts.” Change this language to reflect novel-writing, and this is what Burdette does — she creates a product of care and love for her readers.  JennyKales.wordpress.com

“Like a spiked glass of eggnog or s’mores over a cold night’s cozy fire, Death with All the Trimmings is a holiday treat that any book lover should be pleased to find stuffed in their stocking or neatly wrapped beneath the tree.” Florida Book Review 
“Hayley may be a foodie, but she’s no snob: Burdette treats readers to mouthwatering descriptions of both elegant restaurant meals and take-out Cuban sandwiches. Burdette also includes recipes for six dishes featured in the story, including Scarlett O’Hara Cupcakes and spaghetti Bolognese. Juicy, entertaining and twisty without being gruesome, this is a perfect seasonal treat for readers who love both a turkey dinner and a good mystery.” —Katie Noah Gibson, Shelf Awareness, and blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

I love when a book keeps me on edge and this one had me going right to the end. This fast paced and action-filled drama quickly became a page-turner, as I had to know what happens next. All the main characters had a role in this latest caper as Hayley’s search for the culprit hits a little bit closer to home. The author does a wonderful job in bringing Key West alive through her and Hayley’s eyes that puts me smack dab in the middle of all the action. This was a great read boasting great conversations, a lovable cast of characters, a feel-good atmosphere, and a warm and friendly place to visit and I can’t wait to see what Hayley and her friends next adventures are in this delightfully charming and entertaining series.  Dru’s Book Musings

The pace of the book keeps readers moving from one event to the next without any lag time to get bored. It is a delightfully fulfilling read, although you might end it hungry.  Story Circle Book Reviews

Although the series is technically a “cozy” — no foul language or explicit sex, killings that take place offstage — the Burdette books have a sophisticated tone that separate them from the pack. She includes subplots, such as editor Wally coping with his mother’s cancer, that never overshadow the mystery, but deepen our affection for the wonderful cast of characters who surround Hayley.” Joe Meyers,  CT Post


Posted on February 11, 2015 - by

Writing the Mystery Series

CAPA University


Posted on February 11, 2015 - by

Princeton University Alumni-Faculty Forum

“Food Obsessed in America?” alumni panel


Posted on February 10, 2015 - by

Road Signs

LUCY BURDETTE: I can’t resist one last travel blog–I swear I won’t become one of those boorish relations who shows interminable slides! But the road signs in Australia are so interesting–and graphic…

Drive on left in Australia.

never too old to try it! Even with hubby giving helpful tips

Kangaroo crossing.

We might have seen an endangered bandicoot, but he was too fast to capture on film.

We did however see an endangered tiger quoll

and then drank his beer to support his future

Wood hens on road. Mutton birds on road.

Endangered woodhen

We did see them both  but the mutton birds fly in at night to land on the beach and find their nests. We watched in awe!

They really mean it this time: Unstable cliffs you may fall and die

twelve apostles, great ocean road

Dangers everywhere.

Sometimes it’s better just to focus on the cute animals…

Nothing is quite ever what it seems–this one I just liked–true for life in general…


And here’s an article on the pros and cons of visiting Australia and New Zealand, with tips!


Posted on February 9, 2015 - by

Eight Rules for finding Decent Food–almost anywhere! @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  Food matters deeply to my food critic character.  And to me too! If either of us get too hungry, we’re miserable–a poor state to travel in. After three weeks in Australia, we came up with these suggestions for finding good food on the road…
Mex and Co in Manly

1. Go where the lines are. We found this little Mexican place in Manly when we looked in the window and saw baskets of homemade tortilla chips and margaritas in mason jars. And then I remembered I’d seen it recommended on Yelp by a California girl–who would know better? We weren’t able to get in that night but believe me we showed up 15 minutes before opening the next night.

2. Which brings me to the law of converging suggestions. Try Yelp or Tripadvisor, but it helps if more than one person recommends, and also if you can get a sense of what kind of eater they are.


3. When desperate for something not too foreign or in doubt about the choices, go to the museum cafe.

Here are my hummus and olives from the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Sydney Harbor

4.  Steer away from tourist traps on the main drag. Be leery of these recommendations. (For instance, I would never start with a restaurant right on Duval, though of course there are exceptions!)

But sometimes the food can be sacrificed if the view is good enough (e.g., the cafe outside the Opera House), even if the folks at the next table are a little annoying…

Parma at the Royal Mail on Spencer

5.  Try the local specialties. Parma turns out to be fried chicken with ham and cheese and tomato sauce baked on, which is a regional specialty in Melbourne. And we were crazy for the homemade curried mustard, too, at The Royal Mail on Spencer in Melbourne.

6.  Eat what’s local and fresh. (This was a flower bed planted with lettuce in Sydney!)

7. Ask people who live there. We went to Little Creatures in Melbourne on our nephew’s recommendation.

And then ran into the chef and waitress from the restaurant we’d visited the night before–we struck gold with their recommendations of roasted corn, pulled pork,

Little Creatures in Melbourne

and these decadent salted caramel-stuffed donuts–served warm with ice cream:).

Cait with Lucy

8. If you’re in a city, look for a foodie walking tour. In Adelaide, John and I booked places for a tour called Feast on Foot. Cait, a lively city resident, took us to six of her favorite spots where we tasted falafel and dolmades, duck tacos,

duck taco  at Mall Food

spoonfuls of incredible salted caramel, pork bbq buns, cupcakes and more.

And she gave us city history and a tour of street art, too–the best way to see Adelaide!

And here’s an article on the pros and cons of visiting Australia and New Zealand, with tips!



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