Welcome to the exciting and fun world of Haylee Snow, food critic for Key Zest Magazine in breezy Key West, Florida. If this is your first time reading the series, settle yourself in for a treat. If you’re already a fan, get ready to enjoy DEATH ON THE MENU which is number eight in the Key West Food Critic’s Mystery Series.
I fell head over heels years ago when I read the first of the series, AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. You see, I’ve loved Key West for thirty years. Visited every chance I could get. When I discovered Lucy Burdette,
I knew I had hit on something big. Each book returns to the island with a new adventure filled with great food, atmospheric restaurants, sunset pier, Houseboat Row, Miss Gloria, the cats, and all the colorful characters I’ve come to love. Oh yeah, and there’s always a murder.
DEATH ON THE MENU begins with Miss Gloria and Haylee reading over the Key West Citizen and speculating about the upcoming event of the season. Haylee will be helping her mom who is just getting her fledgling catering business off the ground. They’ve gotten a big gig and will be doing all the food for a three day affair at Harry Truman’s Little Whitehouse. There’s lots of chatter as to who will be showing up. Could even be Jimmy Buffett or President Obama. It’s going to be that big of a deal. But when Haylee’s boyfriend Nathan who’s a detective with the Key West Police Department shows up to warn Haylee of expected trouble at the event, they start getting a premonition.
Haylee doesn’t scare off easily. Off she goes in the morning, just as planned, to help mom. Celebrities do show up. Even Diana Nyad gives a speech, Obama says a little something, and Jimmy Buffett sings some tunes and strums his guitar and adds a lot of color. And then the trouble comes along. Along with a murder. And the theft of rErnest Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA that was stolen right from its case in the museum.
Let the crime solving begin. Lots of amazing food shows up in this novel. And Burdette very generously shares eight recipes at the back of the book. Very cool. I am so impressed that I’ve decided to try my hand at the black bean soup later this week. It looks like the most authentic black bean soup I’ve seen and I can’t wait to try it.
I never get tired of hearing about the tucked away side streets of Key West. Just the thought of the bakeries and restaurants make my mouth water . And the Cuban coffee.
Haylee Snow lives on a houseboat with Miss Gloria, a very feisty octogenarian. She might be a senior citizen but she’s no slouch. Sharp as a whistle and quick on her feet, she also loves animals. That totally endears me to her. Evinrude and Sparky are wonderful editions to the cast of characters in that they are both cats and live on the boat. I have always been fond of the eclectic houseboats of Key West.
Haylee seems to have a dream job. After all, who wouldn’t want to review restaurants for a living in Key West? But you have to know there are trials and tribulations a plenty.
This is a colorful series full of “take me away from it all” scenarios. Just what we all need right now. There are nine books in the series and one coming in a couple weeks. So you have plenty of back stock to keep you reading . DEATH ON THE MENU came out last spring in hardcover and is now available in mass market paperback. You can get your copy at
Copperfish Books. Word on the street is they have them in stock right now. But, don’t wait. These puppies disappear quickly. Oh, and before I forget, we’ll be doing a zoom event with Lucy Burdette on August 11, the pub date for THE KEY LIME CRIME. More on that later this week!