Archive for August, 2012

Posted on August 30, 2012 - by


I can’t wait for Tuesday when DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be in stores and out on shelves! Because of the Labor Day weekend, I’m launching the book today on Jungle Red Writers. I’ve told the story behind the story of the book–and we have a contest running!  Do leave a comment so your name will be placed into the drawing…if you’re thinking you’ll buy the book, remember that pre-orders make a huge difference when decisions are made about continuing a series-so thank you in advance!

I’ve posted discussion questions for DEATH IN FOUR COURSES right here:  If your book group would like to read this book as one of your selections, let me know-I’d be delighted to send out a batch of signed bookmarks. Or meet with you by Skype!

And because chocolate goes so well with reading, my namesake Lucille Burdette’s easy chocolate cake recipe can be found right here on MYSTERY LOVERS KITCHEN!

The book launch party for DIFC will be held at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison CT. If you’re in the area, I would love to see you there. There’s no charge but you can click here to reserve your seat.

Here’s an article about the new book from our local Connecticut paper, The Source:

And last but not least, I enjoyed writing this post for Lois Winston on my evolution as a culinary mystery writer. You might get a kick out of it too!

More coming soon! Love, Lucy

Posted on August 30, 2012 - by

Discussion Questions for Book Groups: DEATH IN FOUR COURSES


1.  Hayley has mixed feelings about inviting her mother to the food writing conference. Why? How does this affect your feelings about her a character?

2. The role of food in the families of the conference speakers varies widely. How was food seen in your family? Who cooked the meals and what were they like? How has that history affected your relationship with food today?

3. What is your favorite recipe? Cookbook? Do you prefer to stick to old standbys or are you adventurous in cooking and eating?

4. How has Hayley changed since AN APPETITE FOR MURDER? Or hasn’t she? What would her best friends Eric and Connie say?

5. Hayley is surprised by her mother in several ways over the course of the book. Have you had an experience where someone close to you does something unexpected? Do you think this happened because you had a certain view of them that proved to be incorrect or because they actually changed?

6. Hayley’s friend Eric says “At first it might feel good to confess, but honesty can have terrible consequences for the people who have to hear the so-called honest truth. ” Do you agree? why or why not? How can we decide when telling the truth will cause more damage than good?

7. How does Hayley see her mother’s life choices at the beginning of the book? How does that change?

8. Which of the fictional speakers’ books would you be interested in reading? Which might you want to have at your book group meeting–and why?

Posted on August 18, 2012 - by

“The Romance in Mystery and the Mystery in Romance.”

Panel discussion at a joint meeting of Connecticut RWA and New England Sisters in Crime. This will take place at the Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT

September 29, 12:30 pm

Posted on August 13, 2012 - by


When Madison, CT resident Roberta Isleib began writing a mystery about a lady pro golfer back in 1999, she never imagined she’d have ten books published in ten years. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, the second installment in Isleib’s Key West food critic mystery series, will be published by NAL/Penguin on September 4. Isleib is writing her new series using the pen name Lucy Burdette, borrowed from her maternal grandmother.  The books feature Hayley Snow, an aspiring food critic and amateur sleuth living in America’s southernmost island paradise.

The new book is set at the annual Key West Loves Literature conference, which draws the biggest names in food writing from all over the country, and Haley Snow is there to catch a few fresh morsels of insider gossip. Superstar restaurant critic Jonah Barrows has already ruffled a few foodie feathers with his recent tell-all memoir, and as keynote speaker, he promises more of the same jaw-dropping honesty. But when Hayley discovers Jonah’s body in a nearby dipping pool, the cocktail hour buzz takes a sober turn, and Hayley finds herself at the center of attention—especially with the police. Now it’s up to her to catch the killer before she comes to her own bitter finish.

Publishers Weekly called DEATH IN FOUR COURSES a “yummy sequel” and said: “Anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy.”

TOPPED CHEF, the third book in the Key West series, is scheduled for a May 2013 release. Isleib’s first mystery series included 5 books featuring Cassie Burdette, an aspiring golf professional.  Isleib’s Advice Column series featured Rebecca Butterman, a fictional psychologist who lived in Guilford near the Stone House restaurant with a private practice in New Haven. Isleib’s books and short stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She is a past-president of Sisters in Crime, a national organization founded to support women crime fiction writers.

Isleib will appear at RJ Julia’s Booksellers on September 5 at 7 pm to launch DEATH IN FOUR COURSES. Call 203-245-3959 to reserve a seat.

Posted on August 7, 2012 - by

Early Reviews and Book 3!

Isn’t it crazy to be talking about book 3 when DEATH IN FOUR COURSES isn’t quite out? Nevertheless, that’s how the book business works…and I’ve just learned that the new title for book 3 will be TOPPED CHEF. I’m putting on the finishing touches right now–and having a ball with a Key West style cooking reality show! (Photo is of me and John volunteering at Duval Uncorked, one of the events in the new book.)

Meanwhile, here are a few early reviews for DEATH IN FOUR COURSES:

All the elements of a winning recipe: Key West, food and fun! The not-so-secret ingredients? Lucy Burdette’s exquisite plotting and sly prose set her apart. Death in Four Courses is a full course feast!
Julia Spencer-Fleming

And I’m thrilled to have my first review ever (ten published books!) in Publishers Weekly–thank goodness it’s a good one! Here’s my favorite line: “Anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty mystery.”

And while you’re waiting to get your copy of DIFC, here’s a blog post on trunk novels over at the Girlfriends Book Blog. Turns out I have six of them!