Posted on November 17, 2014 - by Lucy
LUCY BURDETTE: After I describe what I’ve been up to, you might wonder that I’ve written anything in the last two months.
As you know by now, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be published on December 2. (Pre-order link right here!) The modern way to publicize a new book, especially a cozy mystery, seems to be the blog tour. So I’ve been writing blogs—lots of them—about Christmas in Key West, writing a foodie character, why I love cozy mysteries, and a day in the life of Hayley Snow, just to name a few.
|Lucy Burdette and John Talbot|
Three of us Reds also had a fantastic long weekend at the New England Crimebake, a conference founded to celebrate crime fiction, especially from New England. I had the honor of co-teaching a class with agent John Talbot on writing and selling the mystery series, doing manuscript critiques for aspiring writers, and attending many wonderful panels.
|Angelos Pompano, Lucy, Craig Johnson, Chris Falcone|
We all enjoyed the folksy humor and good nature of our guest of honor, Craig Johnson.
|Lucy with Lorenzo, aka Ron|
But woven around all these activities, I’ve been working on the sixth food critic mystery, called FATAL RESERVATIONS. I tried to take a little of my own writing advice, LOL, and think deep and long about Hayley’s stake in a sixth mystery. Why would it be her business to get involved in solving yet one more crime? Why does she care? And who would listen to a food critic’s suggestions about clues and suspects anyway? The answer came from finding one of her Key West friends in trouble—Lorenzo, who reads tarot cards at the sunset celebration every night on Mallory Square. Here’s a little snippet:
A noisy rustling burst out in the audience and the man with the palm frond hat staggered up toward the podium, shouting. “You people have been looking for any excuse to take over. Damn it, this is none of your business! The trouble with the Artistic Damn Preservation Society is right here in this room.” He spun around to point a shaky finger at a tall man several rows behind me: my friend, the tarot card reader. Lorenzo.
“You need to sit down or you’ll be removed from the premises,” said Commissioner Greenleigh. But the palm hat man darted down the center aisle, heading for Lorenzo. He flung himself across two startled women and circled his hands around my friend’s neck. Lieutenant Torrence and a uniformed cop yanked him off Lorenzo, whipped his hands behind his back, and cuffed them. He fought and cursed as they ushered him out of the room and down the stairs.
“Are you all right, sir?” the mayor asked Lorenzo.
“I think so.” Pulling a white handkerchief from his pants pocket, he patted his face and neck, now mottled red, and smoothed his hair.
“If you’re able to speak, sir, it’s your turn at the microphone,” said the mayor.
Lorenzo nodded, adjusted his collar, and came forward. By dress alone, he stood out from most everyone in attendance: long-sleeved white shirt, high-waisted black pants, black tie. All very proper and distinguished. But his face shone in the spotlight and large damp circles spread from his underarms to the body of his shirt. He looked very hot. And rattled.
And that’s only the beginning of his troubles…
Before I get back to working on the story, I can’t help sharing this advance review of DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, from Booklist:
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.
Readers, picture me dancing…
Posted on November 8, 2014 - by Lucy
Blog by Dr. Rebecca Butterman from Roberta Isleib’s (aka Lucy Burdette’s) advice column mysteries
My name is Dr. Rebecca Butterman. I’m a psychologist and I also write an advice column for the brokenhearted readers of Bloom! magazine. Family dysfunction? I know about this both professionally and personally LOL.
And don’t you find that the holiday season sometimes makes problems feel worse? Hollywood movies and Norman Rockwell paintings twist us up by having us believe that everything should be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and Hanukkah. The holidaze, I like to call them. You pull together full-grown members of a family and put them in close contact for days—they are going to fall back into ugly, old patterns. I promise you that!
Even my friends at our picture-perfect church on the town green aren’t exempt from problems. I found that out recently when our minister called me at midnight to talk about the death and possible murder of another church member. Whoa! And naturally, he wants me to help figure things out.
Some people wonder how I—being a professional—handle my stress. One of my favorite distractions is cooking. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s good old-fashioned comfort food.
Here’s my easy recipe for baked apples, which will make your house smell like you’ve scored the best of Christmas. And make your stomach happy and turn your heart in that direction, too.
This recipe serves two, but it’s easy to double or triple it up.
Two of your favorite apples (I like Mcintosh or Macoun)
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Half a teaspoon cinnamon
Core the apples, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. In a small bowl, mix the butter, oats, sugar, and cinnamon well. Divide the mixture into two parts and stuff into the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes in a 350 oven, until the filling is crispy and bubbling, and the apples soft. You can add ice cream or whipped cream if you wish, but I find these apples are perfect by themselves.
The first advice column mystery, DEADLY ADVICE, is also available as an ebook. And Lucy Burdette’s fifth Key West mystery, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be in bookstores December 2. You can preorder it now!
More breaking news! If you *forgot* to buy your ebook copy of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, it’s on sale for $1.99 through the weekend!
Posted on October 25, 2014 - by Lucy
by Lieutenant Steve Torrence from Lucy Burdette‘s Key West food critic mysteries
People seem to have this idea that cops in paradise (the island of Key West in this case) have an easy life. Shovel in a couple of doughnuts, walk along the beach, drink a cup of Cuban coffee, ride our (fill in the blank) cruiser/bike/horse up and down Duval Street–plum assignment right?
What they probably don’t know is that our little island gets a couple million visitors a year. That’s right, a couple million. Spring breakers, New Year’s Eve revelers, FantasyFest attendees–we’ve got a party for every occasion and all the trouble that goes along with that.
We attract a lot of homeless “tourists” too. And believe me, our residents and visitors don’t care to see those folks on the streets. They don’t want to see them panhandling or drinking or sleeping or worse…it’s a delicate balancing act, keeping the peace.
|The real Steve Torrence|
I have a little extra on my plate too, in the form of a new island resident named Hayley Snow. She’s a nice kid, with a nice family–and I’m glad I was able to help out with her brother this spring. But she scares me–she’s gotten the idea that she notices things the way a cop might. And she takes that further than she should.
How many ways can I think of to say “stay of out of it” in a nice way? Got any ideas about how to get the message across so she stays safe?
MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now!
DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out on December 2, but you can pre-order wherever books are sold…
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Posted on October 20, 2014 - by Lucy
by Edel Waugh from Lucy Burdette‘s Key West food critic mystery, Death with All the Trimmings
You’ll hear the whole story in December, but let me say that starting a new restaurant is a killer proposition. So far, Key West feels even harder than New York City, if you can believe that. Here’s my theory: Established eateries don’t welcome newcomers who can cook circles around them. People don’t like it when someone else is in the limelight. A chef who can cook both new dishes and old standbys better than anyone else on the island is considered a threat. And when people feel threatened, they lash out.
|Photo by Jay DeFehr|
You know what’s been the hardest? Finding good help. Maybe you’ve heard what they say about this southernmost island: Turn the state of Florida on its end and and shake it hard. All the loose nuts fall down to Key West.
I did manage to bring down some of my people from New York City, because I know I can rely on them. Even so, bad things are happening in my kitchen. And no, I can’t take it to the police. I can’t afford one sentence of lousy publicity. That old saw “any publicity is good publicity”doesn’t work for a restaurant. One hint of cockroaches or spoiled fish or food poisoning, and the amateur food critics will be all over the Internet dissing the Bistro on the Bight.
The best I can do is try to cultivate my employees’ loyalty, and make them see that if I succeed, they succeed. And the only way I know to do that is by example–cooking like I’m on fire. Tonight I’m trying to win them over by serving my grandmother’s recipe for Bolognese sauce at the family meal. Do you think that will help?
If that doesn’t work, I may call that food critic, Hayley Snow…people say she’s good at nosing out a mystery…
Posted on October 15, 2014 - by Lucy
In the early days of my marriage to John (when most things were still mysterious,) one of the biggest mysteries about my husband was this: What in the world he could possibly be discussing with his buddies over a 4 to 5 hour golf round several times a week?
So I asked him. What do you talk about?
Even a new wife couldn’t argue with that!
And that’s what I’m writing about now in the sixth Key West food critic mystery, which will be called FATAL RESERVATIONS, and will come out next July. Hooray! Did I forget to mention that I signed a contract for two more books in the series?
Anyway, back in the third book, TOPPED CHEF, I thought I had figured out the relationships in Hayley Snow’s life. But it turned out, I wasn’t feeling the zing between her new detective boyfriend and her. So I looked around to see who else might come into the picture. And I’ve been heading in that direction ever since.
Until I got a fan email from Sue P. last week that made me question, well, everything…
I recently found this series and love it. I do have a complaint though. I was just getting interested to see how the romance would work out between Hayley and her detective. And you bring back his ex and she gets dumped! I was not a happy camper at this development. I still would like to see where this would go, more so than with her boss, which is where you seem to be leading. I think she needs a challenge and this is not her boss. Bring him back!! Just my opinion. Thanks.
So like I said, I’m puzzling over relationships…here’s a snippet from FATAL RESERVATIONS:
Fifteen minutes later, I climbed the very steep steps to the Old City Hall building, an imposing red brick structure with ornate black railings and a bell tower. For a hundred years, the city commission had been meeting here on Greene Street, a half block from Sloppy Joe’s bar and the chaos of Duval Street. I doubted that visitors had any idea how much city business was conducted while they swilled beer and shouted choruses of Buffet’s Margaritaville and Kenny Chesney’s Key West theme song No shirt, no shoes, no problems.
The hall was cavernous, handsome, and clearly set out to differentiate the commissioners and city staff from any interested onlookers. A text from Wally buzzed in, reminding me to turn off the ringer on my cell phone.
Let me know outcome tomorrow? Mom’s chemo was brutal today. I’m going to watch a marathon of Breaking Bad and then crash. See you a.m.at staff meeting.
As my relationship with Wally took a turn for the better over the last couple of months, his mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse. In that sense, our new half-owner Palamina Wells had been a godsend. She was smart enough to step right in and run the day to day nitty-gritty details of Key Zest while Wally took care of his mom. She was also smart enough to recognize the attraction between me and Wally, and to remove me from reporting directly to him, so we could see where this love train might take us.
All I can say is, stay tuned to see where this is going. And thanks Sue!
Posted on October 4, 2014 - by Lucy
|Schnootie with her family|
by Schnootie the Schnauzer and Evinrude the cat from Lucy Burdette’s Key West food critic mysteries
Schnootie: “Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, bacon, woof, woof. Woof, woof, Evinrude. Woof, woof, woof, Santa, woof woof! Damn cat!”
Evinrude: “That dumb dog can’t even speak English. And she gets riled up in the flick of a cat’s tail. I think she’s trying to tell you that she has a big part in the next book. I’ll show you–big deal.”
|Evinrude looking fierce|
From DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, coming December 2:
Schnootie began to bark furiously and flung herself to the end of her leash. She choked and sputtered and started to bark again.
Mr. Renhart, who had been sleeping in a hammock on their boat, struggled to sit up, finally tipping out of the sling and slamming onto the deck. “Shut up, damn dog!” he yelped.
Mrs. Renhart rushed out to check on the commotion.
“What’s the problem, silver beastie?” she asked as she scooped up the dog and buried her nose in her fur. “Did Daddy scare you?”
Mr. Renhart struggled to his feet, scowling, and stomped back indoors. Schnootie tried to wiggle out of her arms, still barking. Mrs. Renhart looked over at us.
“Schnootie,” she said, “it’s only Santa’s elves. Were you a good doggie this year? Mommy’s going to take you to the drag bar later to have your picture taken with Santa and those great big pretty ladies.” She cracked a huge smile. “That’s going to be our Christmas card photo this year.”
Miss Gloria burst out laughing. I bit my lip to keep from joining her, not wanting to hurt our neighbor’s feelings. But Schnootie posing with drag queens? I started to giggle.
“Anyway, so sorry about all the ruckus,” Mrs. Renhart said. “Schnootie didn’t recognize you in those outfits. She must have thought you were men. She doesn’t even like Mr. R., especially since he’s started growing that silly beard.”
She ducked her chin at the door through which her outraged husband had retreated.
Schnootie wasn’t the only one with mixed feelings about Mr. Renhart.
Still chuckling, Miss Gloria and I both removed our hats and the dog quieted immediately. Mrs. Renhart motioned good-bye with Schnootie’s paw and returned to her houseboat’s cabin.
Posted on September 28, 2014 - by Lucy
LUCY BURDETTE: At least once a year, we have Book Club Week at one of my group blogs, Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I love book clubs–love belonging and love visiting. And I love recommending books for clubs to consider:). This time around I suggested MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth in the Key West food critic mystery series.
As you probably already know, MWG is a cozy mystery starring Hayley Snow, a food critic who lives on a houseboat in Key West. Her extended family is descending on the island like a category 3 hurricane for her best friend’s wedding. When her stepbrother disappears into the spring break party scene, she must put the baking of cupcakes and other wedding chores on hold in order to search for her brother. The book features Hemingway cats, and cupcakes, and wedding drama, but in the end it’s about finding and embracing family in whatever form they come.
If you are going to choose MURDER WITH GANACHE for one of your book club selections this year (and I hope you will–I love this book, and there are so many things to talk about), as the hostess, you must resign yourself to providing something chocolate.
You might choose hot fudge pie or chocolate cake, both swoon-worthy, but here is an easy alternative. This recipe began as Chocolate Nutella Fudge from the Tasty Kitchen–until I read the list of ingredients on the Nutella package. At that point, thinking there must be something better, I searched for a substitute, and found an organic chocolate-hazelnut spread that is really quite incredible.
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (make these good quality, as it will show)
1 cup Nocciolato (organic chocolate-hazelnut Spread–I used the whole 9.5 oz jar)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon sea salt or pink salt
To make the fudge:
Line an 8 by 8 inch pan with two layers of parchment paper, overlap on the sides.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. (The pan should not touch the water.)
Scrape the mixture into the papered pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with sea salt. (I would have used some of Krista’s pink sea salt if I’d had it on hand–so pretty!)
Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours. Lift the fudge out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a pretty plate. Store leftovers (if there are any) in an airtight container in the fridge. This can also be made ahead and frozen.
As for what to discuss while enjoying the fudge, here are some questions to get things going:
1. Hayley’s mother says that “life develops around the kitchen table” and that “kids need to understand how food connects the people in their lives.” Hayley’s stepmom insists that life develops at work–who cares whether a mother uses a cake mix or serves macaroni from a box? Where would you stand in this argument?
2. Hayley’s parents have a disagreement about social justice on the way to the marina. How do you feel about the homeless people as presented in the book? Have you had any personal experience with homeless folks?
3. When Hayley’s brother Rory gets into trouble, the family struggles with how much to tell the police. They wonder whose side the cops are on. How do you think you might react in a similar situation? Would you trust the police to have your interests at heart?
4. Hayley says “Food meant comfort and love and even peace in my family.” If you had to sum it up, what would you say food meant to your family?
5. Hayley tells Rory “I’ve discovered that family has less to do with biology than it does with who cares enough to make the effort.” Does this statement ring true for you? Talk about a person who isn’t a blood relation in your life who feels like family.
6. When spirits are low, Hayley and her mom make comfort food for the extended family–spanakopita and Greek salad and strawberry whipped cream pie. What menu would you design to cheer up a troubled family member or friend?
If you’d like to read some of the reviews on MURDER WITH GANACHE, you can do that right here. I was completely delighted this spring, when Woman’s World magazine selected MURDER WITH GANACHE as a pick for a foodie book club. As you can see in the photo, they also recommended reading with a daiquiri in hand:). Sounds like a good idea, right? Recipe here.
And, if you think your book club might like signed postcards from the Key West mysteries, leave a comment today with your email.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be on bookshelves on December 2. You can preorder it now, from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite independent bookstore.
Posted on September 7, 2014 - by Lucy
LUCY BURDETTE: I have often wondered whether the mystery series I wrote before the food critic mysteries might have gotten more traction if it had been published in the era of ebooks and social media. No way to tell, of course, but the happy news is that the first book in the series, DEADLY ADVICE (written as Roberta Isleib), is now available for Kindle.
The book stars Dr. Rebecca Butterman, a clinical psychologist and advice columnist living in Connecticut. She works out of an office in New Haven (in the same building where I had my private practice,) and she explores many of the places on the Connecticut shoreline that I’ve grown to know and love.
Although this series is a little edgier than the food critic mysteries, the books are close to my heart because they draw so much from my previous career as a psychologist. In a poignant coincidence, given the terrible news two weeks ago about Robin Williams, DEADLY ADVICE opens with the mysterious suicide of Dr. Butterman’s neighbor. She feels doubly troubled about this death, thinking she should have noticed something was wrong–both as a professional and as a neighbor.
In addition to my sleuth’s background, that opening scene is also rooted in my graduate school days. During my final year, newly separated, I lived in an anonymous apartment complex with only a nodding acquaintance of the other residents. Each morning, my taciturn next-door neighbor left for work at 7:30, returning by six. Some nights she’d cook one hamburger on the grill outside her door. Medium well, I’d think, considering the time it sat on the coals. How sad, I’d think. Is that me? I’d wonder next.
One evening, I came home from the library and noticed a small U-Haul parked in front of her apartment. An older couple was loading the contents of her place into the van. Over coffee the next morning, I skimmed the newspaper as usual, and noticed a small article near the bottom of an interior page. Based on this paragraph, I realized that my neighbor had shot herself several days earlier. Her body had lain in the apartment next to mine for over forty-eight hours before someone found her.
I felt shocked and sad. Isn’t this every single woman’s worst nightmare—dead two days and no one even notices you’re gone? As you can imagine, this incident has always haunted me.
Years later, that’s where DEADLY ADVICE began. When Dr. Rebecca Butterman returns home to find her neighbor an apparent suicide, she’s wracked with guilt. As a psychologist and advice columnist, she’s an expert! She should have been able to help the young woman. But the neighbor’s mother suspects foul play, and soon persuades Rebecca to investigate the possibility of murder.
When Rebecca Butterman is troubled, she cooks. Like Hayley Snow in the Key West mysteries, she loves to cook, to eat, and to share meals with her best women friends. But she doesn’t think so much about the meaning of food the way food critic Hayley does. She’s too busy puzzling over what makes people tick…
In honor of the launch of DEADLY ADVICE as e-book, I’m happy to share one of Dr. Butterman’s favorite recipes, beef carbonnade. She would tell you to start the dish the day before you plan to eat it so it can sit in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the flavors to blend. She would also tell you that serving this meal to sad people might make their world a tiny bit brighter.
We hope you enjoy the book and the stew!
Posted on August 4, 2014 - by Lucy
LUCY BURDETTE: What do you think of the Christmas in July trend? To be honest, I’ve always considered it a hokey idea. Shouldn’t a normal person get on with enjoying summer and not try to trump up interest in a holiday that’s still six months away?
But, for two reasons, Christmas really has arrived in July this year. Last week I had the gift of rereading DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, the fifth Key West food critic mystery coming December 2. And the gift of copy edits. Wanna hear good news or bad first? Bad, of course…
For those of you who don’t know, copy edits are–I should put this politely, because it’s a public blog and who knows who might be reading–necessary but maddening. These are not the editing notes from my editor, who is smart and laser-eyed and chock full of good ideas for making a story better. This stage consists of nit-picking.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m happy when they find things like misspellings, and missed capitalization, and incorrect geography–mistakes that I would much rather hear about before the book is published. For example, someone noticed that I’d written AZURIASTAN as the name of a country whose flag is flown on the grounds of the Truman Little White House in Key West. There is no such country! The flag in question is from AZERBAIJAN. Where did I even find that made up name? Whew, embarrassment averted. Better still, I managed to turn that error into a blooper made by Hayley’s ex–pure fun.
And I learn things during the copyediting stage, too, like “brunet” is the correct spelling for a man with brown hair, “brunette” for a woman. And Bloody Mary has both words capitalized.
But there are also hundreds of changes in things like dashes, and commas, and hyphens. Which sometimes seem utterly random. And the enemy of individual writing style.
And also queries such as: AU: Repetition OK? (Of course it’s not okay, unless I intended it, as in some kind of artistic writing rhythm, which doesn’t happen all that often.)
Even the recipes at the back of the book are not immune from the copy editor’s eagle eye… AU: Shouldn’t it read fold rather than stir since it’s easy to over-beat whipped cream?
And that brings me to the second gift–that of rereading DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS after resting from it for several months.
This stage is so much more pleasant than the one Hallie described on Tuesday–that awkward beginning, when you have no words on the page and can’t imagine where you’ll find them.
So Bloody Marys all around–Merry Christmas dear Readers!
Chapter One: DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS
My cell phone bleated from the deck outside, where I’d left it to avoid procrastinating via text messages, Facebook updates, or simply lounging in the glorious December sunshine with our resident cats, watching the world go by. The biggest interview of my career as a food critic was scheduled for this afternoon and I wanted—no, needed—to be ready.
Miss Gloria, my senior citizen houseboat mate, hollered from her rocking chair overlooking the water. “It’s your mother. Shall I answer?”
“Mind telling her I’ll call back in an hour?”
Miss Gloria would relish the opportunity to chat with her anyway, and maybe her intercession would slash my time on the phone with Mom in half when I returned the call. I am crazy about my mother, honest. But it had still been a shock when she announced she’d rented a place in Key West for the winter season. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to spend Christmas in paradise together? And New Year’s . . . and Martin Luther King Day . . . and Valentine’s Day? You get the picture. Mom had followed Diana Nyad’s attempts to swim from Cuba to Key West with rapt attention. When Diana overcame sharks, jellyfish, rough water, and advancing age to complete her 110-mile swim on her fifth try, at age sixty-four, Mom took it personally.
“Diana says we should never give up,” she announced on the phone a couple of months ago. “Why not ‘be bold, be fiercely bold and go out and chase your dreams’?”
My mother had been a little down since the summer because her fledgling catering company had not taken off the way she’d hoped. Although she’s an amazing and inventive cook, the business part of owning a business eluded her. For her first five catering events, cooking with only the highest-quality ingredients, she’d lost money rather than making it. A lot of money. Even her newish boyfriend, Sam, who was supportive beyond any reasonable expectation and categorically opposed to meddling, had suggested she take a few steps back and reconsider her plan.
“Why not? You should go for your dream, too,” I remember saying. “That’s exactly what you told me when I lost my bearings: Keep putting yourself out in the universe, and eventually the wind will fill your sails.” I stopped myself from trotting out more metaphysical tropes. I hadn’t wanted to hear too much advice when I was feeling down; Mom probably didn’t want mine, either. “What do you have in mind?”
“I’m thinking of coming to Key West for the winter!”
Whoa. If that was her dream, who was I to stop her? But my big solo adventure on this island was about to turn into How I Met Your Mother.
(Blog post first published on Jungle Red Writers)
Posted on February 20, 2014 - by Lucy
Thrilled to death with the reviews that have been coming in for MURDER WITH GANACHE:
Polar Vortex be damned! Reading Murder with Ganache by Lucy Burdette is like reaching into a pre-heated oven for a dish that is seasoned with all the correct ingredients – mystery, romance, family conflict and food. Readers just know that each morsel is going to taste scrumptious and they will soon be back at the buffet longing for another helping. BOLO books
Lucy Burdette gives depth to this book by dissecting the modern family in all its divorce, remarry, reshape, share kids, make nice, stay enraged, give up, try again glory and gloom. Hayley’s caring yet determined nature often provides the healing salve that lowers the anxiety level and heals torn relationships. The author’s background as a clinical psychologist clearly enriches her handling of this material.
The constant charms in the Key West Food Critic Mystery books are, as one might expect, the attention to Key West and the attention to food — as nourishment, me delight, art, business and social lubricant.
So, in conclusion, a book escape to add to your weekend rotation, among other titles, that is as good as it looks and twice as sweet. The story line will make you care what happens to our cast of characters and their furry friends help lighten the mood along the way. A perfect read for teen readers and beyond; it’s clean, it’s fun, it’s as the name implies, cozy….so cozy on up to it and enjoy a reading experience chock full of fun and spirit that can’t be ignored. Insatiable Readers
It really helped that the characters were strong. I had no trouble keeping any of the cast and their relationships straight as I progressed through the book. They all felt real, and I truly cared about the outcome.
The plot was also strong. I was enjoying things even before Rory disappeared, and once that happened, I had a hard time putting the book down. The twists were great, and the fact that I liked the characters truly made it even harder to put down. Carstairs considers
In this compelling mystery Burdette successfully balances the serious topics of homeless youth and divided families with bad tourist cuisine, excellent cooking, and a mother’s quest to find true love for her daughter. Hayley may lose her mind, her job, and possibly her life, but she will always have her family’s love. Not to mention an appreciation of excellent food. Kings River Life
But Hayley Snow is beyond easy to root for. In Murder with Ganache, Burdette once again shows that she’s as skillful at spinning a yarn as her protagonist is at baking pastries. And unmasking killers. Florida Book Review
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, fun mystery, the tropical setting, and the completely calorie-free guilty pleasure of reading about some amazing food (recipes are included in the back of the book) and, of course, the cats. If you can’t afford to go away for spring break, this book is the second-best thing. Ingrid at the Conscious Cat
Lucy Burdette skillfully brings all those elements together in a strong mystery that manages to showcase Key West and food while bemoaning the tragic loss of a young girl. Lesa’s Book Critiques
This page-turner kept me up half the night – I had to finish reading this book. Lucy Burdette does not disappoint. This has to be my favorite book in the series. The author has also provided some very yummy recipes. So, if you like your mystery with a little Key West Style, then you should be reading Murder with Ganache. Myshelf.com