Posts Tagged ‘An Appetite for Murder’

Posted on October 30, 2014 - by

Thank Heavens for Fans by Lucy Burdette

People have funny ideas about the life of a writer–imagining clamoring throngs of readers, enormous checks, and movie deals. But like many writers, I call myself “midlist.” That means I’m delighted to have a contract for sure, but still toil away in the trenches, hoping to spread the word about my books. So honestly every fan is a big deal. And a fan who works at a bookstore? Fabulous! Thought you might enjoy this story by email about a fan/clerk at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Milford, CT.

April 22:

Dear Ms. Burdette: I have some interesting news for you concerning the Key West Food Critic series. At my store, the employees each chose a book that they think they can sell 100 copies of. It’s called the 100 club. I chose “An Appetite for Murder” and so far, I’ve sold 37 copies. Who says you can’t profit from murder? CP

July 2:
Dear Ms. Burdette: Just wanted to keep you updated on the staff recommends 100 club at Barnes and Noble in Milford,CT. I am very guilty of sales with Hayley’s first book “An Appetite for Murder,” which is up to 81 copies sold. CP

August 12, from Community Relations Manager Karen Dydzuhn:

Charles Pigaty, one of my co-workers, is a huge fan of yours! I’m sure you know he hand-sold more than 100 copies of one of your books! At his urging, I am writing to ask if we could schedule a time for you to do a book talk and signing at our store.

September 18, at the bookstore:

LUCY: The photo at left is from the September 18 celebration and signing, where the BN district manager presented a certificate of congrats to Charles for selling over 130 copies of An Appetite for Murder.  (From left to right, Patrick Thornton, Charles Pignaty, Lucy Burdette)

Who says fans aren’t important? You guys are the ones who give meaning to what we write. Thank you Charles and Karen and Patrick and every one of you for every bit of support! xo Lucy

Posted on August 24, 2014 - by

You Can Lead a Cat to Water by Lucy Burdette


Lucy Burdette (1985) with Jack the cat, model for Evinrude


A post written by Evinrude the cat, from Lucy Burdette‘s Key West food critic mysteries

You’ve probably heard it said that cats aren’t flexible; that we don’t travel well. I, Evinrude, handsome gray tiger, am here to say it all depends on how our people handle things. Take my person, Hayley Snow. First she pops off and moves us from New Jersey to Key West to live with some guy she hardly knows, who can’t stand cats because of our litter boxes. Believe me, there were plenty of other places I was thinking of going by the time we left his inhospitable home–like in his polished oxfords or his basket of clean laundry.

Anyway, I digress. Anyone with four feet and a tail could have told you that relationship wasn’t going to work out. So then she moved us to her friend Connie’s houseboat. After I got over the shock of me, Evinrude, a cat from Jersey, living on the water, I’ve gotten to enjoy the lifestyle. There was a murder of course (AN APPETITE FOR MURDER), and as one fan so kindly pointed out, it would have been nice if Hayley had looked a little harder when I went missing.

But now all is forgiven and we’re living on Miss Gloria’s houseboat (DEATH IN FOUR COURSES) with her pesky little cat Sparky. Don’t tell Hayley, but it’s kind of fun to have someone to pal around with. The only thing I don’t like about the whole Key West situation is how Hayley comes back from the sunset celebration all worked up about Dominque and his flying house cats. If she thinks I’m going to jump through flaming hoops for a little taste of sushi, let’s just say she’s meowing up the wrong tree.

How about you cats? Have your people put you through more than you should be expected to handle?

The Key West food critic mysteries featuring Evinrude the cat are available wherever books are sold. You can also follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, “like” her on Facebook, follow her on Pinterest

Posted on August 11, 2014 - by

Key Lime Pie a la David Sloan

LUCY BURDETTE: As many of you already know, I have a particular fondness for Key lime pie, as it became the murder weapon in the first food critic mystery, AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. Naturally Hayley Snow is suspected when the victim turns out to be her ex-boyfriend’s new squeeze.

“Are the cops looking at any other suspects?” I asked.

“Not that they’ve mentioned. You are in the unfortunate position of having a decent motive and no alibi. And you’re a cook with more than a passing knowledge of key lime pie.” 

So what do we do now?” I asked. “I swear I never touched the girl. Or fed her any poison. I’ve never even made a key lime pie. To be honest, I’m totally freaked out by the idea of meringue.” 

So you can understand that when the Key West Citizen publicized a booksigning last winter for THE ULTIMATE KEY LIME PIE COOKBOOK, we had to go meet David Sloan and buy a couple of signed books. I told him about how I love food and recipes and he was happy to share a pie from the cookbook. He offers hundreds of options for combinations of crusts, fillings, sauces, and toppings, but I’ve chosen a traditional crust with a classic filling.


1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine the crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter until crumbs are coated. Press evenly into a nine-inch pie pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before filling.


1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup Key lime juice

Preheat the oven to 350. combine eggs and milk and mix well. Slowly mix in the Key lime juice. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool, then chill until firm.

Serve topped with whipped cream or meringue and enjoy your little taste of Key West!

Posted on September 1, 2012 - by

Counting Down: 2 Days to Blast-off!

I can hardly wait until Tuesday when the new book is officially released! Don’t forget to call RJ Julia Booksellers 203-245-3959 to either reserve a seat at the September 5 book party, or to have them send you a signed copy!

I loved coming across this review  of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, from Hayley’s new fan, YA Book Nerd.

And see you soon! 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 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 April 1, 2012 - by

Book talk and luncheon

at the Madison Beach Club

Posted on January 8, 2012 - by

Six Days on the Road

“And we’re gonna make it home tonight!” Remember that song? My friend Ross Hugo-Vidal played it for me on Twitter to celebrate the first week after launching AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. It feels like I’ve been on the road–but this time it’s the virtual highway:). Here’s some of the press APPETITE got over the past few days:

“The events were fast-paced and easy to follow.  The ending will be both surprising and satisfying....The author’s descriptions of life on a houseboat, friendly homeless drifters, beautiful flowers, and food that will have you snacking as you read add to the suspense.  Adults will enjoy this mystery; they may be tempted to try the recipes too.”

The evenly-paced story boasts a perfect backdrop that is Key West, delicious meals interwoven into the story and likable characters. I especially like Hayley who is funny, strong yet vulnerable and has a zest for living that made this well-written tale come to life. This is a fantastic beginning to a delectably entertaining series.  From Dru Ann Love

Article about APPETITE from Terry Ambrose, Crime Fiction Examiner:

“Bottom line: if you are a fan of cozy mysteries this is a series you can’t afford to miss out on! Highly recommended!”

“An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette is a delightful cozy mystery, full of quirky characters and delicious food.” From Just another new blog:

Hope you all are enjoying the book–love to hear your comments!

Posted on January 4, 2012 - by


An Appetite for Murder is on bookshelves now! While you’re waiting for your copy to be delivered, you might want to check out these reviews and stories about the new book:

Lucy Burdette dishes on AN APPETITE FOR MURDER with Examiner reporter John Valeri:

And here’s a review from Joe Meyers at the Connecticut Post:

And a fun interview with Hank Phillippi Ryan on Jungle Red Writers:

And you’ll get extra credit if you take this pop quiz on funky, foodie Key West:

Hayley takes center stage on Dru Ann’s Musings today, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HAYLEY

And finally, the Florida Book Review loves Lucy!

I’m so, so excited about this book–and would love to hear what you think! And feel free to spread the word to your book-loving and foodie friends!

Posted on December 11, 2011 - by

Twiddling Our Thumbs

Hayley Snow and I are just waiting for the January release of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER–I shouldn’t say “just waiting” as there’s plenty to keep us busy this time of year. And after all, we did send in the completed manuscript for DEATH IN FOUR COURSES only last week! But while you are waiting for the big launch, here are a few interviews and blog posts to whet your “appetite.”

Here’s a fun interview from Ann Nyberg’s Network Connecticut blog:

From the Girlfriends Book Club, a post on why character is what stays with a reader, even fifty years later…

And from Killer Characters, a short post from Hayley herself about what waiting for her debut is like.

Don’t forget, you can preorder the book at your favorite bookstore or online right now!