THE KEY LIME CRIME is the tenth in Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic Mystery series. I’ve been a fan since reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER which was the first in this series. This is what they call a cozy mystery and it’s set entirely in one of my favorite locales: Key West, Florida. These books are filled with great food, atmospheric pages and all the crazy-wonderful spots you love in this amazing old city. And there are cats. And the main characters live on houseboats. How cool is that!
In this newest installment we find Hayley Snow up to her last nerve dealing with work angst and personal stress. You see, her new husband Nathan who is a police detective, has just announced a big surprise. His mother who was not able to attend their recent wedding, is coming for a visit. Could the timing be worse? Probably not. Key West the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is exploding with snowbirds and tourists. Plus, Haley works for Key Zest magazine and will be covering a big bash:a key lime pie baking contest that all the pastry chefs on the island are wild about. And there are a lot of them.
Haley and Nathan live on a houseboat that they share with an elderly housemate of Hayleys. They’re in the midst of renovating their own boat but it’s far from ready. So they set Helen, Nathan’s mom, up with Hayley’s mom and dad not far from old town. I have long been intrigued with the houseboats of Key West and so I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of the stories. Throw in Hayley’s housemate Miss Gloria who is somewhere in her eighties and I am all in.
The Conch Train is a great way to see the island especially when all the holiday lights are offering such a show. It’s during one of these island tours one evening that Miss Gloria spots something awry on one of the conch cottage porches and so she returns to the cottage after the train tour with Haylee and Helen to do some sleuthing.
And low and behold while she’s sniffing out an orange tabby kitten under the house, Helen unearths a dead body dressed in a Santa costume on the porch. Let the mystery begin.
I’ve loved Key West since my first visit thirty some years ago. I love its quirkiness, it’s be-who-you-are atmosphere, and all the food. And the cats.
Haylee begins to see her mother-in-law is a very curious woman. Helen is all over this murder. Why? And we find that the murdered woman is a very high profile pastry chef who has already caused plenty of trouble surrounding this pie contest. But why would anyone want to kill her?
I started reading this novel jonesing for key lime pie. My hunger for it just kept getting crazier. But, to tell you the truth, by the end of the story I was sick to death of it. Yes, more than enough pastry shops offer amazing key lime confections. They are ubiquitous in Key West. I remember the mile high meringue on the Blue Heaven creation. Love Blue Heaven. Have enjoyed many a breakfast outside with the chickens pecking around my feet.
We at Copperfish were lucky enough to have Lucy Burdette
speak and sign her books last spring as she traveled back north to her summertime home. She was delightful and everyone fell in love with her. It’s then that she told us about adopting T-Bone, her orange tabby kitten. And she’s incorporated him perfectly in this new crime caper. She also mentions Evinrude who is another Key West kitty. Love it.
I loved disappearing into this novel. I was hunkered down in the Key West I know and love. Back walking the atmospheric tucked away streets, eating in my favorite restaurants, and enjoying everything the island on the rock offers. If you haven’t been to Key West you have no idea what you are missing. And did I even mention the sunset events?
As I was enjoying reading the acknowledgements at the end of the book I was thrilled to see Lucy had mentioned me and Copperfish Books. How cool is that!
THE KEY LIME CRIME will be published in hard cover on Tuesday, August 11 by Crooked Lane Books. Cathy and I will be hosting the virtual book launch at 5 o’clock on the 11th. You can sign up through eventbrite on the Copperfish website. The event is free. Just click on eventbrite above and follow the directions. We sure hope you’ll be able to join us for what is sure to be a fun time for us all. After all, we’ll be talking about Key West and asking Lucy to tell us about her writing process. And since it’s 5 o’clock, maybe we’ll have a happy hour cocktail 😽
You’ll be able to purchase copies of THE KEY LIME CRIME on Tuesday, August 11. We will be discounting them 20%. All the paperbacks will also be available. When you spend $35 the shipping fee is free. A good choice would be the new book plus at least one of the paperbacks. They are all delightful! And Lucy’s sending signed book plates to go with…. Thanks Lucy.