Welcome To Cozy Wednesday!
It is my pleasure to share my thoughts about
A Clue in the Crumbs by Lucy Burdette today!
A Clue in the Crumbs (A Key West Food Critic Mystery)
13th in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (August 8, 2023)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639104305
ISBN-13 : 978-1639104307
Kindle ASIN : B0BLTTFCTZ
Food critic Hayley Snow and her pal Miss Gloria are overjoyed to welcome Violet and Bettina Booth, aka the Scottish Scone Sisters, to Key West. The sisters will host The UK Bakes!—Key West Edition. But the same day they arrive, the bed and breakfast the sisters are staying in gets torched.
The contest begins the next morning featuring three local bakers. One is the inn owner’s wife, Rayna, who is not only the most talented chef of the group but now a person of interest in the fire. The next night, a dogwalker discovers a body near the bed-and-breakfast. The victim appears to be Rayna’s husband, and the murder weapon points directly to the Scottish Scone Sisters.
But the show must go on. In between filming sessions, the three elderly ladies and Hayley must search for clues to the brutal murder in order to find out who wants to force them out of the kitchen. But as they draw closer to the answer, the threats from a murderer grow closer too. Are they now in danger of getting baked off?
Violet and Bettina Booth, aka the Scottish Scone Sisters, have come to Key West to visit Hayley and Miss Gloria and to host the UK Bakes!—Key West Edition. Due to a fire at the B&B where they were supposed to stay the sisters end up staying on Miss Gloria’s houseboat, right next door to Hayley.
They all arrive on the set where the cooking show will be filmed to meet the three local bakers. One is Rayna, she and her husband own the B&B that had the fire. The other contestants are Harry Sweeting and Martina Bevis. Rayna’s husband storms the set to get Rayna to drop out and come home and the next night he is found dead with evidence that lands Scottish Scone Sisters at the top of the suspect list.
Do the sisters have a recipe to get them out of trouble? While UK Bakes!—Key West Edition continues, Violet, Bettina, Gloria, and Hayley keep their eyes peeled for any clues. They report everything they learn to Haley’s police detective husband, Nathan, but the murderer is right on their tail. Can the killer be caught or will UK Bakes! lose its hosts and two of its biggest fans?
These characters are so much fun. I love the relationship that Miss Gloria and Hayley have, it feels so real and true to life. Hayley and Nathan’s relationship is so comfortable. Nathan is so patient and kind with Miss Gloria and in this story with Bettina, and Violet. Having Hayley’s mom and Sam nearby enables them to participate in everything Hayley gets wrapped up in. I also like Lorenzo, Hayley’s Tarot Card reading friend. Sometimes he is very involved in the story, sometimes she only visits him once. This time he was actually invited to dinner on her houseboat and that let him know and us readers too how important he is to Hayley. I loved that Bettina and Violet were able to visit Key West, they are just so much fun. Miss Burdette has created such strong characters and they continue to grow and be relevant. That is not easy to do in a long-running series.
The author has put forth a complicated mystery starting first with the fire that was clearly arson, then the murder which led to other events, including a missing agent. All kept the pages turning quickly. It is always fun when Miss Gloria tags along with Hayley in a quest to get answers but adding the Scone Sisters was marvelous. They were up for everything and anything and took to snooping like pros. Ms. Burdette threw some nice twists to shake things up and misdirect. I had discounted the actual guilty party completely. The exciting showdown and reveal surprised me. And what a showdown it was!
As always Ms. Burdette’s descriptive style sets each scene wonderfully. I was able to visualize every place from Williams Hall where the baking show was filmed to Miss Gloria’s and Hayley’s houseboats to all the places around Key West where the characters traveled. She also had me drooling over the food descriptions too. Yes, there are recipes at the back of the book. It was like a little virtual vacation.
A Crumb in the Clues was such an entertaining read! Fabulous characters and a divinely plotted mystery with plenty of humor make it A Perfect Escape. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Betina and Violet. Until next year, Ms. Burdette. I can hardly wait.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Lucy Burdette
New Jersey–born clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette a.k.a. Roberta Isleib is the author of twenty-two mysteries, including A CLUE IN THE CRUMBS, the latest in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow (Crooked Lane Books). The tenth book in her Key West food critic mystery series, THE KEY LIME CRIME, won the Florida Book Award’s bronze medal for popular fiction. Her first thriller, UNSAFE HAVEN, was published by Severn House in 2021. Her books and stories have 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.”