Archive for March, 2011


Posted on March 29, 2011 - by

Being Rick Worth

One of the goals I had for this winter was to try something completely new–like a painting class.  My grandmother (the original Lucille Burdette) was an amateur oil painter–we have several of her works hanging in our house. In Key West, a guy called Rick Worth has been a fixture on the arts scene for twenty-five years. He is perhaps most well known for painting designs on cars, which are then called “conch cars.” And one of these cars makes a cameo appearance in A TASTE FOR MURDER.

So I decided to sign up for the February session of Rick Worth’s Painting Boot Camp at the Studios of Key West. I was nervous. I can assure you that I’ve shown no sign of artistic talent in my life so far.

About 30 of us were given five colors of latex house paint and two brushes and he explained how to lay out the first block of color and fill in from there. After two and a half hours, we all came out with some semblance of the study he painted. His painting is below. And mine underneath that. My husband, anyway, was very impressed.


Posted on March 25, 2011 - by

The Rich and the Dead

Each year the Mystery Writers of America puts out an anthology of stories edited by a well-known author. This year Nelson DeMille is the editor of THE RICH AND THE DEAD, due out the end of April (Grand Central.)

I (that is, Lucy’s alter-ego Roberta) was delighted to have a story included. “The Itinerary” features Detective Jack Meigs from the advice column mystery series and takes place in Key West. Last year while visiting KW, we noticed a cruise ship passenger running down the gangplank with his suitcase, baring making it onboard before the ship pulled away. Bingo–inspiration! My sister and brother-in-law and husband helped me brainstorm the bones of the story.

What if staunch Yankee Detective Meigs was forced to go on vacation in tacky, tropical Key West (his words, not mine:)? And what if he witnesses a man leaving the ship with bags when everyone else has loaded? And what if the local paper runs an article the next day about a woman missing from her boat? Bored to death by his inactivity, Meigs can’t help offering an assist to the local cops.

Here’s the opening:

Detective Jack Meigs knew he’d hate Key West the moment he was greeted off the plane by a taxi driver with a parrot on his shoulder. He hadn’t wanted to take a vacation at all, and he certainly hadn’t wanted to come to Florida, which he associated with elderly people pretending they weren’t declining. But his boss insisted, and then his sister surprised him with a nonrefundable ticket: He was screwed. A psychologist had once told him that it took a year for grief to lift, and that making major life changes during this time only complicated the process. Which was why he’d gone to work directly from the funeral, and every day in the three months since. There was no vacation from the facts: His wife Alice was dead and she wasn’t coming back.

The driver packed him into a cab that smelled like a zoo and lurched away from the curb. Then the bird let loose a stream of shit that splattered off his newspapered roost and onto Meigs’s polished black leather loafers. The cabbie hooted with laughter.

“That means good luck, man,” he said, gunning the motor and grinning like a monkey in the rear view mirror. “Mango doesn’t do that for just anybody.”

I had a blast writing this story–hope you enjoy it. THE RICH AND THE DEAD can be pre-ordered from all the usual suspects, including my local independent bookstore, RJ Julia booksellers.


Posted on March 17, 2011 - by

Hello from Lucy Burdette

A big hello from the Lucy Burdette website,  the home of the Key West food critic mysteries, featuring accidental amateur sleuth Hayley Snow. The first book in the series will be published by NAL/Penguin in January 2012. I’m happy to say I’ve turned in the manuscript to my editor–now on to brainstorming for book two!

Stay tuned for lots more on Key West, food, and books!


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Posted on March 17, 2011 - by

Book Launch party for THE RICH AND THE DEAD

April 26, time TBA
The Mysterious Bookshop
Book Launch party for THE RICH AND THE DEAD
(Including Roberta’s story “The Itinerary”)
The Mysterious Bookshop
58 Warren Street
New York, NY
212.587.1011

 

 


Posted on March 17, 2011 - by

CH Booth Memorial Library

May 17, 7:30 pm
CH Booth Memorial Library
25 Main Street
Newtown, Connecticut
203.426.4533

 


Posted on March 17, 2011 - by

Seascape “Escape to Write” workshop

September 9-11, 2011
Seascape “Escape to Write” workshop
Chester Retreat House
Chester, Connecticut
With instructors Hallie EphronS.W. Hubbard, and Roberta Isleib.
Workshop details at Seascape.


Posted on March 17, 2011 - by

New England Crimebake

November 11-13
Dedham, MA

Posted on March 8, 2011 - by

Asking for Murder

Berkley Prime Crime
(September 2, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0425223314

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When Rebecca’s friend and fellow therapist Annabelle Hart is found badly beaten and left for dead, Rebecca is determined to help search for answers. But this time, no one wants her help. Not Detective Meigs, who thinks the crime was either a botched robbery or the result of a relationship gone sour. And not Annabelle’s sister, who makes it clear that Rebecca isn’t welcome in family matters. (more…)


Posted on March 8, 2011 - by

Preaching to the Corpse

Berkley Prime Crime
(December 2007)
ISBN: 978-0425218372

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The holidays have arrived in postcard-perfect Guilford, CT, but someone’s taking the joy out of the season…

Psychologist/advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman gets a call in the middle of night from the minister at her church. He’s in custody after going to a fellow parishioner’s home and finding her dead. The murdered matron was the leader of a search committee charged with finding a new assistant pastor after the previous assistant left in a rush. The minister begs Rebecca to intervene. She learns that the committee was divided–has someone tried to eliminate the competition? Rebecca puts her analytical skills to work to do her own search–for a killer–all while resisting the urge to break the seventh commandment with a very married detective, and praying she’s not the next victim.

(more…)


Posted on March 8, 2011 - by

Deadly Advice

Berkley Prime Crime
(March 2007)
ISBN: 0425214745

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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 should have been able to help. When the neighbor’s mother suspects foul play and begs her to investigate, Rebecca puts this down to denial. Then she finds Madeline’s blog, a zippy chronicle of dating adventures that suggests anything but depression. So when Rebecca’s editor assigns her to do a column on the modern singles scene, Rebecca finds herself re-tracing the Madeline’s steps into the world of speed-dating and web-blogging, where no one is who they claim to be. Over-eager suitors are the least of her worries: Dr. Butterman is about to discover just how deadly some advice can be.

When it comes to murder, everyone could use a little help.

(more…)



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