Key West Food Critic Mystery Writer Lucy Burdette

Cathy, Lucy Burdette, Serena, and Jean

I’ve been reading these wonderful little cozy mysteries about Key West for years. We sell them like candy bars at Copperfish. Last fall I decided to go out on a limb and emailed the author, Lucy Burdette, and asked her if we could convince her to come sign at our store in Punta Gorda. She said YES. The rest is now history.

Lucy Burdette

On Tuesday evening Lucy signed copies of all her books at Copperfish. She is just as delightful as we had imagined. We had a roomful of avid fans who had a blast hearing all about Lucy’s writing and her life in Key West. Oh, and she told us about her new kitty named T-bone.


Reading Lucy’s series is like eating bon bons; you can not eat just one. Addicting. For those of you who love Key West you are so in for a treat. She has eight books in the Key West Food Critic’s series and one more coming out very soon.

An Appetite For Murder

AN APPETITE FOR MURDER is the 1st in the series. It is available in a mass market paperback form. The latest is in a trade form which is a little larger. DEATH ON THE MENU is the newest.

Death On The Menu

Each of the books spotlight food and great restaurants in Key West. Plus,  you can follow the characters as they ebb and flow through the series.

We can’t thank Lucy enough for stopping at Copperfish on her seasonal migration back north to her summer home in Connecticut.  These books can be purchased at Copperfish in the store or online. Cheers!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Time To Book For Next Season!!!

Just a heads’ up about booking me for your bookclubs for the upcoming season. How quickly the summer flies by. Most of you have booked far ahead. But for those of you who have not nailed down a date for my visit, now’s the time to do it in order to get the date you need.

I’m already reading far ahead so I will have the most update information on new books and upcoming books. It’s amazing. I often wonder how I can come up with so many wonderful books each year. Not to worry. They come, and come, and come. It’s all good.

Bianca Marais

If You Want To Make God Laugh

To the many new clubs who are booking, you are in for such a treat. It’s always exciting for book lovers. It’s entertaining. And it’s so much fun.

Bianca Marais

Throwing out a bone. I just finished an amazing new novel called IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH. The author is originally from South Africa and now lives in Toronto. Comes out in July.

Book Me Now!

Outer Order-Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order-Inner Calm

Best known for a big little book called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, Gretchen Rubin strikes again.  I think the timing is perfection.  We are all bursting to  blow the stink off our winter lives. Gretchen has just the trick. Her inspiring new book is filled with quick and easy ways to bring calm and order into our lives. For me, she sparked my spring cleaning bug. And talk about purging not needed stuff and paper. Everything that is not nailed down is eligible for elimination.

I know I have trouble relaxing if my surroundings are cluttered.  I think it’s a woman thing.  Gretchen  tells us right away that clearing clutter is a big challenge.  It requires that we make taxing choices. What to keep, what to discard, and why. With a spare format that is clean and  easy on the eyes, she leads us through creative but simple ideas for taking care of business while keeping it simple. I love the crispness of the pages and the pristine spareness of the prose. It’s win/win. You won’t get bogged down feeling like you need to take notes and keep  score.

Gretchen Rubin

OUTER ORDER/INNER CALM made me energized and gave me the confidence to get up and get moving, but also made me realize that I don’t have to do it all at once. Start small. That’s the key. You can do this.

This is a gem of a book for gift-giving. I know someone right now who is going to get my review copy. She is going to love it. You know who you are… That is, if I can bear to give it up.

I am determined to get more organized over the summer so I will be ready for next season. In order to do this I have to bring more order and calm to my life. This book is key.  It is already freeing my mind as it frees my shelves.

You will love the top 10 tips for creating outer order in the back of the book. What a great ending. I just love this book.

About nine years ago I attended  a BlogHer conference with my daughter in NYC. I actually sat next to Gretchen Rubin in one of the sessions. She was not well-known at the time. I do remember her with her laptop.  I had not been blogging long, and was just trying to take it all in.

Harmony Books provided this review copy of OUTER ORDER/INNER CALM. I’m thankful they did. Thanks guys. It’s a great book. I love it.

Maurice’s Monthly Musings For April

April  arrived with little fanfare this year. My seasonal lectures are behind me, and already, I’m hunting down upcoming books for the fall and beyond. If you could only see the amazing stacks

Just two stacks. Oh, here

of review books surrounding me you might think I’ve lost my mind.  Well, here’s just two of many.  They will be pawed through, whittled down, and more will arrive.

Here’s a teaser. I will be offering a giveaway of Jane Green’s upcoming novel in June. Stay tuned.

The Friends We Keep

April has brought wonderfully cool mornings and amazing sunrises and sunsets here on the Cape. The afternoons are sunny and warm, not yet the steamy heat that we know is on its way.

I see car transports which mean our northern visitors are returning to their northern homes for the summer. Our roads are already less congested, our parking lots not as filled, and our restaurants will once again be available without reservations, at least for the most part.   I know I need this time to regroup, reset, and calm down. All to prepare for next season.

I have just finished reading a review copy of a book I loved. It won’t be available until July so you won’t see a review until then. However, it’s one I will be showing off next season, for sure.

Bianca Marais

If You Want To Make God Laugh

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH by Bianca Marais is wonderful. Do not miss it. If we didn’t already have the Critic’s Choice summer list posted this novel would surely be on it.

What’s the book I’ve thrown down lately? I tried reading THE FALCONER by Dana Czapnik. Just wasn’t for me. It’s getting great reviews and has a blurb on the cover by Salman Rushdie. Alas, sometimes that is just not enough.

It’s hard to believe that I am so inundated with books at this time of year. I have to remind myself that summer  is a big reading time. So, I will be posting a summer reading list from Maurice. Soon. I have my favorite authors and they are not disappointing me this year.

This is the time of year when the gardening bug hits me.

Shrimp plant shrub

Basket Plant

We have some new flowering shrubs and colorful new plants in our garden. And my orchids are going nuts.  Wait until midsummer and I will post them all in bloom….. The front of the house gets northern exposure and is great for roses and flowering shrubs. The lanai area in the back gets southern exposure and is perfect for the orchids.

This is a great time to let you know about a great new little gardening book for the kids. Joanna Gaines is just out with a gorgeous book called The Gardeners.

We Are The Gardeners

She’s penned  it  with her kids. I think it’s the perfect Easter gift for grandkids. Maybe you will too.

I’ll have another update in May. I’d love to hear what you have planned for your summer!


When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

When We Left Cuba

WHEN WE LEFT CUBA  is the second in a series about a Cuban family who were forced to flee Havana when Castro ruthlessly took over their homeland. NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA is the first of this stunning series and was published with  much acclaim last spring. Now Cleeton is back with a continuation of the saga of the Perez family. This time Beatriz, the oldest sister, is the protagonist. What a force she is.

The family has settled into Palm Beach society where the patriarch has been busy reestablishing the family fortune and getting his sugar business back up and running albeit from an entirely different location, of course.  The mother is very hard at work trying to marry off her daughters.  Beatriz is not having it. The story begins with a young man down on his knee proposing to Beatriz. It’s her fifth one and her mother is livid because Beatriz is turning all the eligible men down. This is where I was worried. I feared this novel would be a light romance.  I was prepared to be disappointed. Well, fear not, it quickly snapped to attention and became a real page-turner.

WHEN WE LEFT CUBA is filled with espionage,  politics of the sixties, Florida culture, Cuban exiles, love,  revenge, confusion, murder, and beauty. Cleeton’s knowledge of politics is clear as a bell in this novel.  The scenes in the book  bring back so much history. History I lived through as a young girl. I remember the Bay of Pigs. I remember thinking my family would have to go to the cellar. Watched my mom fill the shelves with imperishable food and water. Thank God, we did not have to use any of it.  I remember, though. I remember the day President Kennedy was shot. Devastating. I remember the fear of communism. Cleeton has done her job showing us these parts of history.

Next Year in Havana

Chanel Cleeton

We follow Beatriz Perez through her affair with a man deeply involved with the politics of the day. So much in love. But so utterly wrong for each other. We watch her move through the society of Palm Beach. I fell in love with the gorgeous beach house  and its floor to ceiling windows. I found myself calmed by the scenes where Beatriz would recline with a book  in front of the ocean.  What a charmed life, you may think. But not all charmed.

Beatriz Perez hit the ground in South Florida with an agenda. She had lost so much upon leaving her home in Havana. Not just mourning the slaughter of her twin brother, but losing her home and her country; her identity.  She became a woman bent on revenge. So when the opportunity to work with the CIA came along, she was all in.  Even if it meant losing the man she loved. Even if it meant losing a part of her family.

Cleeton has a way with words. She also has family who lived in Cuba. Some of them were exiled to Florida. So she knows what she writes about. And it shows. Brilliantly.

I have been thinking of visiting Cuba for as long as I  can remember.  When I was a kid my grandmother used to tell me stories of flying a plane to Havana. She captivated me.  Back in the old days before the revolution. I was fascinated.  But for years it was all but impossible. Now, my husband and I have booked a trip to Cuba for our anniversary this summer. I finally will get to see it for myself. I hope to get some good photos and bring back some great stories to share on the blog.

For now, this new novel WHEN WE LEFT CUBA, will be enough. I look forward to the next installment which is slated for next spring.

I thank Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House, for providing my review copy in exchange for an honest review. I did love it so. Thanks, guys.

We have copies of WHEN WE LEFT CUBA as well as copies of NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA at Copperfish Books.  We’d love to see you. Come on up.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Mary Kay Andrews Lunch Event For Sunset Beach

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews ( photo Bill Miles)

Look who’s coming to Punta Gorda. We, at Copperfish, are so excited and proud to announce our upcoming event with Mary Kay Andrews! Save the date. Wednesday, May 8.

At SIBA 2018

Cathy Graham and Jean with Mary Kay Andrews at SIBA in September.

Back in September, while at SIBA I asked Mary Kay if she would please come to visit Copperfish Books when SUNSET BEACH

mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach

was published in May. She told us she would love to come. Look at our Cathy. She is beaming. So happy. We, at Copperfish, decided to try something new. We’re hooking up with F.M. Don’s to offer a luncheon in conjunction with Mary Kay’s visit and presenting of her newest novel SUNSET BEACH. I’ve read all of Mary Kay Andrew’s books and I can tell you that when spring rolls around I am so ready for her new novel. I am guaranteed  a fun and witty beach read filled with atmosphere and characters galore. Since SUNSET BEACH is not published for almost a month, my review will run closer to pub date which is May 7,  yes just one day before Mary Kay’s visit to Punta Gorda.

Mary Kay/ Sunset Beach

We think it’s bound to be a big hit. In fact, we’re already seeing BIG results. I’m offering the LINKto the event on Copperfish’s website.  A copy of Mary Kay’s new novel is included in the ticket price. You can book your seat online, or you can come into the store, or call us. Either way it’s a win/win.


Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

Bookshop Of The Broken Hearted

You can see how this might have caught my attention. If truth be told this book arrived  on my doorstep unexpectedly.  I’m a lucky girl.

Robert Hillman writes a letter to the reader  just inside the book. This would have hooked me even if the  cover had not. But it did. You simply must read Hillman’s letter.

So many great writers have written blurbs of advance praise for this novel. So even though this novel does not have a pub date until April, I found myself hungrily devouring it. This while other books were screaming lustily for me to please crack their spines….

Who is Tom Hope? An Australian man who lives on a farm with his wife Trudy. But not for long. Trudy is about to fly the coop. Why? Because she’s off her rocker, that’s why.  Tom’s a quiet man who goes about his business and doesn’t bother a soul. Still, he loves his wife and misses her sorely.  So when she returns to him he is elated. Until he is not.

Who is Hannah Babel? She’s a tortured soul who survived the Holocaust after losing her family. She fled to Australia and opened a bookstore.

This quietly enormous novel is filled with grand prose and vast landscapes.  It deals with love, grief, loss, and survival.  The writing is reminiscent of M.L. Stedman’s THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.  Both Australian authors. I find it interesting. What it is is unique and wonderfully written. Hillman brings Australia vividly to life through both his heartrending story telling and the beauty of his prose. I believe this book is going to be one of those classics.

I have Putnam Publishing to thank for my review copy sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We will have copies on sale at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda soon.  Come see us.