Posts Tagged ‘book group discussion’


Posted on July 5, 2018 - by

FOR BOOK CLUBS: Death on the Menu

Food critic Hayley Snow is attending a three-day international conference at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. Things get off to a bad start when Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal (which belongs to Cuba and is on display for this weekend only) disappears. And they only get worse when a body is discovered in the storeroom. Hayley must spring into action before the killer adds another victim to his menu.

The book features some history, especially that of Harry Truman’s Little White House, and the conundrum of Cuba/US relations, and Hemingway, and lots of food, but in the end it’s always about families. Hayley Snow’s family is front and center, of course, but also the Cuban families that have been torn apart by acrid relations between Cuba and the US. Lots to talk about in this book, and here are some questions to get you started…

Book Club questions for DEATH ON THE MENU by Lucy Burdette

1. Much of the action in this eighth Key West mystery is set at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. In the course of the book, some of the history of this structure is woven into the story. How do you feel about the presence of history in your mystery fiction, especially if it isn’t billed as historical mystery? What did you learn about Harry Truman as you read?

2. Hayley says: “In my mother’s family, lovingly prepared food meant comfort and care and even hope. A warm snickerdoodle cookie, for instance—maybe with a little chai spice added in for mystery—was a declaration of heartfelt affection. Great meals couldn’t save my mother’s marriage to my father because he didn’t speak her language. For him, food was fuel—the dinner table merely a quick stop at the human gas station.” If you had to sum it up, what would you say food meant to your family?

3. Hayley compares the work of her Tarot-card-reading friend Lorenzo to that of a therapist, or even a cop: So many problems are presented to him over the course of a work day, that he can’t help but absorb some negative energy along the way. And even Hayley turns to him as a kind of therapist. Have you ever had your cards read, or perhaps your palm? How do you feel about the work of fortune-tellers in general, and Lorenzo in particular?

4. One of the serious issues raised in this mystery involves the immigration of Cuban citizens to the US, and the former US policy called “wet-foot, dry-foot.” What was your reaction to this part of the story—particularly hearing about the Cuban chugs, and Gabriel’s family story?

5. Hemingway plays a small but significant part in this book, though Hayley admits she is hardly a student of his writing. And Dana Sebek has a view of the writer that is quite different from that of his adoring fans—in a nutshell, she says people admire the lore that has grown up around the man, more than his actual prose. Have you read Hemingway’s work? Are you a fan? Why or why not?


Posted on August 30, 2012 - by

DEATH IN FOUR COURSES–Almost here!

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



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