Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to share my thoughts today about
A Dish to Die For!
A Dish to Die for (A Key West Food Critic Mystery)
12th in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639100725
ISBN-13 : 978-1639100729
Kindle ASIN : B09LH35D92
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette returns to Key West for another delectable dish of secrets, intrigue, and murder.
Peace and quiet are hard to find in bustling Key West, so Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, is taking the afternoon off for a tranquil lunch with a friend outside of town. As they are enjoying the wild beach and the lunch, she realizes that her husband Nathan’s dog, Ziggy, has disappeared. She follows his barking, to find him furiously digging at a shallow grave with a man’s body in it. Davis Jager, a local birdwatcher, identifies him as GG Garcia, a rabble-rousing Key West local and developer. Garcia was famous for over-development on the fragile Keys, womanizing, and refusing to follow city rules—so it’s no wonder he had a few enemies.
When Davis is attacked in the parking lot of a local restaurant after talking to Hayley and her dear friend, the octogenarian Miss Gloria, Hayley is slowly but surely drawn into the case. Hayley’s mother, Janet, has been hired to cater GG’s memorial service reception at the local Woman’s Club, using recipes from their vintage Key West cookbook—and Hayley and Miss Gloria sign on to work with her, hoping to cook up some clues by observing the mourners.
But the real clues appear when Hayley begins to study the old cookbook, as whispers of old secrets come to life, dragging the past into the present—with murderous results.
Hayley taking her husband’s dog Ziggy to the beach and having lunch with a friend should have been a fun afternoon. But that darn Ziggy found an eerie treasure while digging to his heart’s content. Hayley couldn’t see him but she follows his yips and barks and finds him with a very dead body in a shallow grave. The man is identified by local birdwatcher, Davis Jager. It’s GG Garcia, a local developer who has been ruffling a lot of feathers because of his proposed development on the vulnerable Keyes. He is not fond of following the rules and he is a womanizer to boot.
Hayley becomes invested in the case when Davis Jager is attacked soon after talking to her. Since her mother has been asked to cater the memorial service for Garcia, Hayley and Miss Gloria decide it is the perfect place to catch a lot of the suspects in one place. Nathan wishes Hayley would leave the investigation to the police but he knows his bride and with his father in town his hands are pretty full.
Hayley and Nathan are settling into the new married life. They are so comfortable together and every word between them sounds true to life. Miss Gloria is right next door in her own houseboat and while Hayley is no longer living there they are still thick as thieves and make a great sleuthing team even if Miss Gloria’s suggestions can really be out there. Haley’s mom’s business is really taking off and she is always ready for a dinner party. In this story, Nathan’s dad is in town to lead some police training, and Nathan is exhausted trying to keep up with the man and maybe trying to impress him just a bit. All the characters Ms. Burdette has created are strong and gain depth in every new story. When she introduces a new character she gives just enough background and allows that character to evolve over the course of the story and beyond if they return in another book.
The mystery was complex but I was really drawn to the vintage cookbook, notes, and diary aspect of the story even before I realized their relevance. Soon I was totally engrossed by the story. The well-plotted storylines, the descriptions of the fragile Keys, and all the glorious food. Lucy Burdette is a wonderful storyteller and again her talent shines in A Dish to Die For.
I love catching up with these characters. I am always entertained by their daily lives and the drama that always seems to find them. I am excited to see where the author takes her character next.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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.
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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.”