About the Book
Death on the Menu: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018)
Hardcover: 295 Pages
Digital ASIN: B078MBKH95
When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.
Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case.
Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom.
Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu.
Key West is a place steeped with history. Whether it be the Harry Truman Little White House or the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, both are huge tourist attractions. We visit just in time for a conference bringing a Cuban delegation to Key West to celebrate the similarities and differences hoping to forge a path of working together. Hemingway’s Nobel prize medal has been brought to town to be put on display with other treasures during the conference. Hayley’s mother has been hired to cater the food for the event. Hayley and Miss Gloria have been recruited to help serve. Hayley’s boyfriend Nathan would like the ladies to stay away from the conference. His intel says they may be trouble with all the protestors. But Hayley assures him that security is tight and they will be safe. Then the Nobel prize is stolen and one of her mother’s employees is missing. An all out search doesn’t find the medal but the employee is found in a storeroom, stabbed with a kitchen knife. Someone that passed through security has to be the killer, which means everyone. With suspects galore Hayley dives right in to find the murderer and hoping when she does she will find Hemingway’s prize too and ease the tension with the guests from Cuba.
This story has a slow build as the author introduces all the history and reasons for the conference. Hayley is still working on stories for Key Zest but isn’t in the office much. She spends most of her time with her mother getting food ready and serving. I missed the interaction with the other people at Key Zest. That being said there was so really cool guests to the conference. Jimmy Buffett and Barack Obama surprised the attendees with their appearances. I enjoyed Hayley supporting her mom and going above and beyond to make the event a success. Miss Gloria is always entertaining. I wish I had her energy.
After the body is found the pace picks up as both the police and Hayley need to catch the killer before the conference ends. For Hayley, that means being in the right place at the right time and keeping her ears open. With several twists and a keen insight, Hayley makes a discovery that blows the whole case wide open. I really enjoyed tagging along for this one.
After the killer is caught and the characters get back to their Key West lives the story ends in a way that had me smiling ear to ear and very excited for the next book in this series. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.
By the time you reach the 8th book in a series, the characters and the place have evolved in so many ways. To really enjoy this story I recommend reading the prior books first. Miss Burdette does provide some background details because of the publisher change, but to really know Hayley Snow, you need to start at the beginning.
About the Author
Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.
What a great addition to this wonderful cozy mystery series. . . Just full of Key West history, a mystery, and characters to liven up the book as the investigation goes on in between the plot twists.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Death on the Menu contains good writing and engaging characters. Lucy Burdette does a wonderful job at world building.
~The Avid Reader
There is something in the book for any reader. The problems and crimes are definitely not simple to solve.
This book was thoroughly enjoyable with a great group of characters, fun atmosphere, and authentic Key West flair. You won’t be disappointed in this one!
~The Montana Bookaholic
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”