A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
9th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (May 7, 2019)
Hardcover: 272 pages
Digital ASIN: B07HM9NCJQ
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s intrepid food critic Hayley Snow must sniff out a killer in the ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.
Key West food critic Hayley Snow scents-es something fishy when a customer falls stone-crab cold dead on a seafood tasting tour.
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and Key West food critic Hayley Snow has just one more assignment to put to bed for Key Zest magazine before she gets to celebrate with her family and her police officer fiancé, Nathan Bransford. Then, just days later, wedding bells will ring—if death doesn’t toll first.
The sweet potatoes and stuffing will have to wait when Hayley picks up a distraught phone call from her friend, Analise Smith. On the last stop of a seafood tasting tour run by Analise, one of the customers collapsed—dead. With the police on the verge of shutting down the tour—and ruining Analise’s business—Hayley can hardly refuse her friend’s entreaties to investigate.
As if wedding jitters and family strife weren’t enough for Hayley to worry about, there’s crusty pastry chef Martha Hubbard, whose key lime pie may have been the murder weapon—but did she poison her own pie or was she framed? As the hours to Turkey Day tick away, the pressure cooker is on for Hayley to serve up the culprit on a silver platter in A Deadly Feast, national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s taste-tempting ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.
In this ninth outing in Key West, it is almost Thanksgiving and Hayley is also getting married to her Detective fiancé, Nathan. As usual, Hayley is super busy with her articles for Key Zest magazine, getting ready for her wedding, houseboat repairs and renovations, family drama and now a frantic phone call from her friend who needs help after someone dies during her seafood tasting tour. Annalise cannot afford to have her business shut down, and Hayley can’t ignore her friend. There are many suspects that Hayley needs to investigate. With Nathan busy with a top-secret assignment, Hayley and Nathan just might not make it to the altar.
The environment of Key West and Hayley’s busy life take a large portion of the story, but the mystery is interesting. There are plenty of red herrings yet I did figure out the culprit, although it was near the end. Hayley is a reluctant sleuth, yet has a hard time turning down family and friends when they ask for help. She tries to walk a fine line between discovering what happened and staying true to her promise to Nathan not to investigate any more crimes. Hayley is a great protagonist. She is smart, kind, and relatable. The other characters are well-written and interesting. Her police officer fiancé, Nathan is more likeable in this book as he is not as controlling with Hayley. Their relationship is moving forward in a positive way, very similar to the ups and downs of real life. I love Hayley’s roommate, Miss Gloria. She is sweet, yet can be spunky when she needs to be. Overall the characters are written with enough information to help them develop as individuals in the reader’s mind. The setting of this series is wonderful and one of the things that attracts me to this series. I love the detailed descriptions of Key West. There were just enough references to local landmarks and streets to draw in the armchair traveler without being overwhelming or feeling like a travelogue. The delicious food leaves my mouth watering and the recipes included are a nice bonus.
Overall, A Deadly Feast is a quick and entertaining cozy in a wonderful setting. The mystery will draw the reader in, yet it is melded nicely with the life of Hayley and her family and friends. This story will have you booking a trip to Key West, or not, depending on if you are worried about the amount of murders that Hayley has solved along the way. If you enjoy a culinary cozy, with some great recipes, then pick this one up, you will enjoy it. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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.