Zoom Event Tomorrow, ( Tuesday, August 11 ) Presenting Lucy Burdette

Cathy, Lucy Burdette, Serena, and Jean

I love this photo taken in spring of 2019 when Lucy Burdette visited Copperfish and told us all about her Key West Food Critic Mystery novels. We all looked happy because we were!

The day I discovered Lucy’s series of books set in Key West was a lightbulb moment for me. I had no idea she would continue this amazing series or, that I would get to know her. Let alone having the privilege of having her appear at Copperfish Books and tell her story to our beloved customers and her many readers. Over the years I’ve sold many dozens of Lucy’s books. They are all super and perfect for vacationers as well as those of us who live in the hot spot of Florida. What a treat to hear her talk about her characters and  energize the audience.

Lucy showing off Key Lime Crime

Lucy Burdette is a pen name. Roberta Isleib is Lucy’s real name. You can follow her on Facebook from here.   You’ll get to meet her now famous kitty Mr T-bone and her brand new cute as can be puppy Lottie. I melt each time I see them getting to know each other better.

Key Lime Pie

I don’t know about you folks but I love a good slice of key lime pie. When I found out Lucy’s next book in the series would feature my favorite pie I knew there would be plenty of sweet stuff. And there is. I even asked Lucy who has the best key lime pie. She laughed and said she would have to “kill” me if she told me. 🙀 That was before the book came out.

I read THE KEY LIME CRIME as a digital review copy on my ipad a couple months ago, but was so humbled and happy to see that Lucy had mentioned me and Copperfish in the back of the book.

author’s note

She’s a very generous author and you are going to love hearing all about her new book. I hope you’ll join us tomorrow night through zoom.  Just click here and it will take you to the page on our website where you can sign up. Don’t forget that the event is free and a good time is guaranteed. Please come.

Copperfish Book Art

We, at Copperfish Books, will have copies of all of Lucy’s Food Critic’s books and they will be available for purchase through mail or in store. The new book will include this shout out for me and to Copperfish in the back of the book. If you’d like to begin with the first in the series  start with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER

An Appetite For Murder

which is number one. You’re going to love them all and they each stand alone.

I want to thank Lucy’s publisher Crooked Lane Books for all the work they’ve done. We want this wonderful series to continue forever!!

Elaine Newton-Critic’s Choice 2020 Summer Reading List

  • Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
  • Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
  • Lady Clementine by Marie  Benedict
  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card
  • The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles ( Feb. 2021 )
  • The Second Home by Christina Clancy (6/2/20)
  • Dominica by Angie Cruz
  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  • Akin by Emma Donahue
  • Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
  • A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
  • Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (4/28/20)
  • The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman
  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King
  • The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  • Apeirogon by Colum McCann
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
  • The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine
  • All Adults Here by Emma Straub (5/5/20)
  • Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
  • A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
  • Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

This list has changes in pub dates due to the pandemic. Please note the date in red. I will post more about this list soon.

Ribbons Of Scarlet Event At Copperfish Books

Ribbons of Scarlet

RIBBONS OF SCARLET by Kate Quinn, Sophie Perinot, Laura Kamole, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight and Heather Webb is an epic new novel of the French Revolution  written by six best-selling authors and told in the unique voices of six women who lived in that time period.  No one is exempt.  The voices are of women from all walks of life: princess; peasant; harlot; wife; fanatic; philosopher.  Strong women who made a difference. Timely because of the power of women to change the world.

The foreword is written by award-winning author, Allison Pataki.  What an insightful and compelling way to begin the novel.

These six amazing authors will appear together Saturday evening, October 5 at a reservations only event at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida.  You will have the opportunity to meet them and hear them speak, and have your book signed. This event is being catered by the wonderful people from  Punta Gorda Chocolate & Wine. French wine and cheeses will be served during the event.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Tickets are very limited at this time and you should grab yours now if you are interested. They will soon be gone! Please call 941-205-2560 to reserve. Or, you can go online to our website at Copperfish Books. Don’t forget, seats are limited.

Elaine Newton-Critic’s Choice 2019-20

Critic’s Choice:2019:20

Here it is folks! This is what you’ve been waiting for. The six titles Elaine will be lecturing on this coming season are:

Washington Black

Beginning the lecture season is :

WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan ( Thursday, November 14 and Saturday, November 16.

Sigrid Nunez

The Friend


THE FRIEND by Sigrid Nenuz ( Thursday, December 5 and Saturday, December 7)



Sarah Blake

The Guest Book

THE GUEST BOOK by Sarah Blake ( Thursday, January 23 and Saturday, January 25)

Sarah Blake will join Elaine on stage.

Machines Like Me


MACHINES LIKE ME by Ian McEwan ( Thursday, February 13 and Saturday, February 15 )


Sally Rooney

Normal People


NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney ( Thursday, March 19 and Saturday, March 21 )

Flight Portfolio


Last but not least is THE FLIGHT PORTFOLIO by Julie Orringer ( Thursday, April 9 and Saturday, April 11 ) Julie will join Elaine on stage both days!

There you have it. Your upcoming seasonal lectures with Elaine Newton.


Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach

It’s officially summertime now that Mary Kay Andrews celebrates her new novel,  SUNSET BEACH. There is nothing I would rather do than settle into one of these colorful, cozy beach chairs right on the edge of the surf.  This beachy cover will immediately draw you in, and the story will keep you entertained  until the very last page.

I’ve been reading Mary Kay Andrews  for many years.  She just gets better and better. I love the mystery aspect she’s woven into the last two books. I love that they take place on an island or a beach.  And I love that they always both entertain and enlighten. These are more than just beach reads.  She manages to give us issues to think about. And  she adds characters that are quirky, witty, and fun.

Drue Campbell has lost her job. She’s broke. She’s a mess. Period.  While attending her mom’s funeral her estranged dad, Brice, pops up after twenty years. Yes, there’s that, too.  He’s recently remarried, again. This time to a young woman who Drue went to school with. How inappropriate. Her name is Wendy. To say she and Drue do not see eye to eye is a gross understatement.  When dear old dad offers Drue a job at his law firm, she has to accept because it’s the only game in town.  This is not just any type of law firm. Can you say personal injury attorney? Ugh.

There is one good thing Drue has going for her.  She discovers upon her mom’s death that her grandparents have left her their beach cottage.  She’s inherited a falling down dump of a house that sits in the  midst of million dollar mansions.  It’s smack dab on  Sunset Beach.   Those of you who enjoy watching HGTV are going to love this aspect of the novel. Fixing up the beach house. Oh boy.


Mary Kay Andrews

Once Drue is working for her dad she begins delving into a cold case  and  becomes suspicious that her dad’s firm may have something to do with the disappearance of a woman all those years ago. She’s become a sleuth.

Of course there’s a love interest.  And the give and take between the new wife and Drue is fodder for a lot of tension.

Mix your preferred summer cocktail, put on your flip flops, grab your big hat, don your sun glasses, and grab your copy of SUNSET BEACH. You’re ready for summer!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

My review copy of SUNSET BEACH arrived from the publishing people at St. Martin’s Press. I am so grateful. Along with my book came a lovely note from Mary Kay. How super sweet. I so look forward to our sold-out luncheon event  with her on Wednesday, May 8.  We will have copies for sale of SUNSET BEACH at Copperfish Books. The on sale date is Tuesday, May 7. Once Mary Kay has visited, she will sign copies for us to sell. Those of you who were not able to attend the luncheon event, still can purchase signed copies afterward for as long as they last. Come on up and see us. We’re going to love talking about this event!!


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

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.


Copperfish Books With Paula McClain And Friends Of The Punta Gorda Library

Paula McLain

Program Literary Luncheon

We, at Copperfish Books, were thrilled to attend Friends of the Punta Gorda Library Literary Luncheon at the gorgeous Isles Yacht Club.

Paula McClain

The ballroom was filled to capacity with hundreds of avid readers who came to celebrate  this yearly literary event. This year the New York Times acclaimed bestselling author Paula McClain signed her books and regaled the audience with stories of her life. She gave us great insight to the behind the scenes research for her writing.

Serena, Cathy, Jean, Paula

Copperfish Books With Paula McClain

Isles yacht club

Paula McClain signing

Sending a big shout-out to Katie Mazzi who is the Director of Friends of the Punta Gorda Library for orchestrating a hugely successful event. And for inviting Copperfish Books to be a part of this literary occasion.

Cathy Graham and Serena Wycoff, owners of Copperfish Books.

Paula has four bestselling novels and a must-read memoir about her time  growing up in foster care.


Like Family


Paula’s breakthrough novel.

CIRCLING THE SUN,  a novel of Beryl Markham and Africa is based on the life of a strong woman.

LOVE AND RUIN is her most recent novel about Hemingway’s relationship with his third wife Martha Gellhorn.

A TICKET TO RIDE is a little-known novel published before THE PARIS WIFE.

Meeting Paula McClain was a dream come true for many of the readers in the audience. Friends of the Punta Gorda Library made this dream come true.  We are all waiting with bated breath for the new Punta Gorda Charlotte Library to open its doors this summer.





Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Gone So Long

I was wandering the aisles at SIBA a couple weeks ago in Tampa when this finished book caught my eye because of the author’s name. This was the only copy. The publisher was not ready to let it go, yet. But they told me to come back at the end of the conference and I could have it. And I did. The rest is history!

Pay attention folks. Most of this new novel by Andre Dubus III takes place in and around Arcadia, Florida. One chapter is actually set in our Punta Gorda. Toward the end you find yourself in St. Pete.  So even though the novel begins in a small coastal town in New England, prepare yourselves to enter the backroads of Southern Florida and the quaint, atmospheric town of Arcadia. Prepare to delve into the world of antiques and get yourselves ready to feel the sweat run down your neck as the heat of the Florida sunshine comes home to roost.

Most of you already know I live in this area. Copperfish Books is located in  downtown Punta Gorda. Arcadia is just a hop, skip and jump up the road. I can’t remember any modern novel being set in this area. I found my heart thumping in my chest as I read more and more. And it got better and better.

I am not going to lie to you about the contents being light. They are anything but. So, what’s it about? Forty years ago Daniel Ahearn  was incarcerated for a horrific act of violence that left him a widower and  his three-year-old daughter fatherless.  Susan is in her forties now and still suffers from that awful night of which she does not remember even though she was actually witness to it all.

This brilliant novel goes back and forth in time and is told in the voices of the three main characters  to allow you a front row seat to then and now.

Daniel Ahearn worked as the “voice” on the midway in a seasonally tourist town on the coast in Massachusetts.   Linda became attracted to him as a young teen. They became inseparable and then Linda became pregnant and they married.  Linda gave birth to a baby girl the spitting imagine of herself. Daniel was so proud. And love abounded, until it became an ugly beast. Daniel became what he later referred to as “Danny” who was a violent and unpredictable other part of himself whom he could not control.  As Danny became more and more jealous of Linda, their lives began roiling out of control until one fateful night when Linda snapped and told Daniel she was going to leave him. And he snapped right back stabbing her in the kitchen of their tiny cottage as their 3-year-old  daughter Susan watched it all.

This brilliant novel mostly set in our backyard begins forty years after Daniel killed his wife and his daughter was taken from him. Daniel spent eighteen years in jail before being allowed out for good behavior. So what has he been doing for all this time? And who has he become? All this and so much more.

Susan has been raised by her maternal grandmother, Lois, who has become a bitter old woman at the age of 82 who is still looking for vengeance. Lois took Susan and left New England all those years ago. Susan has grown up in the small town of Arcadia.  Lois owns and runs an antique shop in the small town.  Susan grew apart from her grandmother years ago.  Yet, suddenly, she decides to “take a break” from her husband, Bobby, and go live with Lois for a time while she is supposed to be working on a book she’s writing.

Susan’s life has been filled with throw away relationships.  She can’t commit.  Even her marriage is not certain. She’s sexually promiscuous and that is putting it mildly. It’s one of the things that’s come of feeling loveless.

Meanwhile, Daniel is in the  late stages of prostate cancer and has decided it’s finally time to find Susan. This is it.

Susan feels drawn to meet her father.  But there is fear and anger keeping her at bay.  However, when he suddenly appears, she is faced with the reality.  This, at the end of the novel. The tension is so high and thick by then that we can’t be sure another crime may be committed.


Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus is a master storyteller who delves into the emotions of his characters to the Nth degree.  Daniel is not a character to be sympathized with. However, you just might find yourself feeling sorry for this terminally ill ex-con. Maybe.

The slow burn throughout the story becomes a scorching runaway fireball  toward the end of the novel.  You just can’t miss it!

We have been lucky enough to book Andre Dubus III. He will appear at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida at six in the evening, Wednesday, January 23. RSVP at 941-205-2560. You can purchase your copy of GONE SO LONG online on our website or in the store.  If you click on our name under our logo, it will take you straight to the book.

This event is going to be important.  A novel set in Arcadia, Punta Gorda, and St. Petersburg is a case for celebration. We have a lot of questions to ask Mr. Dubus. And we can’t wait to meet him and hear him discuss his amazing book!

Copperfish Books and Maurice On Books at SIBA2018



I had the pleasure of attending the Southern  Independent Booksellers  Association conference in Tampa, Florida last week. We closed the bookstore for four days so we could all go north to be with the best group of book lovers and book sellers on earth!  The excitement in the weeks preceding the conference was palpable as we prepared for what was coming.

September is notorious for hurricanes here in the South.  And, of course, Florence appeared to shake up the coast along the Carolinas and beyond. It caused all sorts of havoc and prevented some of our favorite authors and publishers and bookstore owners from arriving. But onward we went. No stopping us.

Jean Lewis

Lisa Patton & Me

I was thrilled to get to meet and bond with Lisa Patton who recently published one of my favorite books of the season, RUSH.

Lisa Patton


She is lovely inside and out.  Sadly, most of her wonderful books did not arrive with her.  Weather issues. But she got to wow the crowds and tell her story.

Jean, Lisa (RUSH), Cathy, and Kathie Bennett of Magic Time Literary Publicity


Thursday was filled with informative hour long classes where we learned good stuff to help us bring more to the book table.  We met authors and publishers. We made connections.  We are better already from having attended.  We even got to hear wonderful authors tell the story behind their books. Made us want to read them all!

at lunch

Me, Mary Kay, and Cathy Graham

On Friday afternoon we got an amazing surprise. Mary Kay Andrews  arrived. She had very graciously agreed to stand in for an author not able to attend because of the storm. What a treat for us.  Cathy and I had the pleasure of speaking to her about coming to Copperfish. She would love to!! Happy.  And then they announced her new book cover would be revealed at the trade show later in the day!

Mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach

Here you have it! SUNSET BEACH is the title of Mary Kay’s novel coming out in May. Much jumping up and down and shouting.

Karen with John Grisham

Our own Karen was last seen making off with a poster of John Grisham’s upcoming blockbusting novel! You go girl. It will now live in our store.


Our group complete with Liz on a stick!!

I have to say one of the highlights of the conference for me was hearing Rick Bragg speak on Friday night.  We all laughed ourselves silly.  He made the night. Rick is the winner of the SIBA Conroy Legacy Award. He stole the show. This photo of him with Wanda Jewell speaks volumes.


Wanda Jewel with Rick Bragg

Wanda Jewell is the woman who IS SIBA.  She is the person mostly behind the scene that makes it all come together and happen. She is beloved by Indy booksellers everywhere. Wanda, you are loved. Thanks for all you do.


Trade show floor

To say a good time was had by all is way too trite.  It was overwhelming, totally over the top, filled with more books than you can imagine, and all-consuming. Was it worth it? Sure! You betcha.  And some of us will do it again next year. Until then, happy reading.