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I am pleased to share my thoughts today about A Scone of Contention.
A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette
About A Scone of Contention
A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
11th in the Series
Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (August 10, 2021)
Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643856243
ISBN-13 : 978-1643856247
Digital ASIN : B08N6SCZRC
A murderer’s out to spoil Hayley’s honeymoon in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s eleventh Key West Food Critic Mystery.
Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow and her groom, police detective Nathan Bransford, chose Scotland for their long-delayed honeymoon, hoping to sightsee and enjoy some prize-winning scones. But their romantic duo swells to a crowd when they’re joined by Nathan’s family as well as octogenarian Miss Gloria.
Nathan’s sister Vera takes the women on a whirlwind tour of some of Scotland’s iconic mystic places as research for a looming book project. But the trip takes a deadly tartan turn when a dinner party guest falls ill and claims she was poisoned. And then the group watches in horror as a mysterious tourist tumbles to his death from the famous Falkirk Wheel, high above the Forth & Clyde canal.
Vera and her friends deny knowing the dead man, but after observing their reactions to the fall, Hayley is not convinced. With one person dead, a second possibly poisoned, and the tension among Vera’s friends as thick as farmhouse cheese, Hayley fears her long-awaited honeymoon might end with another murder.
Far away from home, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, eccentric characters, and a forbiddingly gorgeous setting, Hayley must call on all her savvy to keep a killer from striking again and then escaping Scot free.
Police detective Nathan Bransford is taking his bride, food critic Hayley Snow to Scotland to meet his sister and for a much-awaited honeymoon. Unlike a normal honeymoon, they will be joined by their friend Miss Gloria and his mother. His sister has big plans for the ladies to check out some fantastic Scotland sights while her husband will be spending the days with Nathan on the golf course. Vera especially wants the show off some mystic places that will be featured in her upcoming book.
Sadly the honeymoon gets off to a horrible start when a guest at a dinner party gets ill and says she was poisoned. Then while visiting the famous Falkirk Wheel, high above the Forth & Clyde canal they witness a man fall to his death. A man Hayley thinks is connected to Vera and her friends although they deny it.
Hayley feels something is really off with Vera and her friends but she really doesn’t know the players in the mystery opening up before her. While she would just like to enjoy Scotland with her husband her sister-in-law and her inner amateur sleuth have other plans.
I am always a little leery when authors take their characters away from their usual locales but Lucy Burdette does a good job of it in A Scone for Contention. Scotland is a well-traveled place for cozy characters but she takes us to some unique places that Vera wants to include in her book. I would have liked a little more in-depth description of some of these places to visualize what Vera was trying to convey. Other times when we visited new towns and hotels, the story drifted into travelogue territory, but the author did her best to find a good balance of location and mystery.
We meet several new characters once we touch down in Scotland. A dinner party is a perfect venue for these introductions but Hayley’s seat is next to a man with a vested interest in the book Vera is writing with her college friends but he has a totally different vision for the book than Vera. Then his wife appears to be poisoned ending the evening in a bit of chaos. In addition to the college chums, we meet the chef who was responsible for the fateful meal.
There was some tension on this trip and surprisingly it was not because the octogenarian or Hayley’s mother-in-law came along on a honeymoon. No, Vera and her mother’s relationship is severely strained. The college friendships seem to be strained as well and an overbearing spouse of one of them really fans the flames.
Then you have two mysteries to solve and they have to be connected. Hayley does her best to work through the clues but her a-ha moment may be too late. I will say my heart rate picked up as the reveal played out. Ms. Burdette plotted everything out wonderfully and kept me drawn to a certain character. I just couldn’t figure out the motive until the very end.
I did appreciate that the story began and ended in Key West. It gave the book a firm foundation and allowed us to check in with some favorite characters that we would have missed if the book started right out in Scotland.
A Scone of Contention takes readers on a nice little vacay with some unique characters. I do hope Hayley and Nathan do get to take a trip all by themselves someday soon and have a real honeymoon.
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About Lucy Burdette
Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 19 mysteries, including A SCONE OF CONTENTION, the eleventh book in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. THE KEY LIME CRIME won the bronze medal for popular fiction in the Florida Book Awards. Lucy’s books and stories have also been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a past president of Sisters in Crime, and currently serving as president of the Friends of the Key West Library.
Great Escapes Praise for A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette
Scone of Contention is a culinary cozy mystery that has something for everyone: clean romance, Scotland, high family (in-law) drama, yummy recipes and several mysteries to solve.
~Diane Reviews Books
. . . a fabulous cozy that takes the reader on a trip across the globe with good food and suspend sprinkled on top. Sure to delight fans of cozies with a culinary flair.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
SCONE OF CONTENTION is a delightful mystery that shows how conflicts of the past can impact the present. I enjoyed this trip to Scotland with a nip of whiskey, a slather of butter on a hot scone, and a devilishly good mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
A fun read . . . Going along with Hayley and Nathan on their Scottish honeymoon was charming. . . . Until the family drama threatens to ruin the Cozy trip.
~My Reading Journeys
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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.”