Falling Into Fall: September Is Still Summer In Florida!

I know it’s considered fall in many parts of the country. However, here in S.W. Florida it’s hotter than ever and nowhere near feeling like fall.  In fact, this September is a real scorcher. If I’m not on top of watering the plants on my porches they shrivel up and die, just like that.

Books? I visited Copperfish this past week and it was such a treat to drive up and see  a couple of my peeps. Cathy and Karen were working that day and we were able to catch up between the customers. Yes, the store is open for browsing now. But you still need  author to wear your mask and keep your distance. Is good. I enjoyed seeing the tables stacked with great new books and what a joy to see the many new books ready for pub day this Tuesday. I also stopped into Punta Gorda Coffee and Tea for a cup of their cold brew for the drive home, and, picked up a pound of their newest Colombia Chaparral, Tolima Red Condor beans. Sipping a cup right now and loving this smooth brew with a coco, caramel and molasses finish. Yum!

Anxious People

Serena, Karen and Liz have read and are raving about ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman. He’s the author  of the wildly popular A MAN CALLED OVE years ago. Serena actually said out loud that this might even be BETTER. Holy cow . That is  so huge. I immediately downloaded a digital review copy and it will be my next read.

Of course I’m excited about the new Ken Follett novel, THE EVENING AND THE MORNING. Comes out in two weeks.

The Evening and the Morning

Prequel to THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH trilogy. This is going to be BIG. I don’t think anyone tires of Follett.

Wyatt De-stressed

And then there’s Mister Wyatt. My big orange boy. What’s he up to this month? Well, as you can see from the photo, he’s really stressed out. Ha ha.

Cat Door

And then there’s the amazing  cat door. This enables the kitties to come and go onto the back porch at their leisure. During the summer it’s been a lifesaver. Air conditioning stays in and heat stays out. Purrfect.

This past week I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself.  The virus, not spending time with friends and family. You know. Well, then I downloaded a review copy of

The Four Winds

THE FOUR WINDS by Kristen Hannah. It will be available for all of you to read in February of 2021. I know that seems like a long time in the future, but, trust me, it’s not. The feeling sorry for myself quickly disappeared as I got deeper and deeper into her amazing novel of the dust bowl and the great depression. We may think we have it bad now. Well, wait until you read this book. OMG! Talk about harsh. Talk about a strong woman. Hannah does her homework. She began writing this book far before our pandemic. You will not be disappointed. I feel blessed to have been able to read it so early.

I’m gearing up for fall and winter book talks. My first lecture is scheduled for Nov 9 and it’s going to be  outside the usual box.  This book club has requested to meet through Zoom and so we are going to do a Zoom event. They will host. Their clubhouse is not open yet. As we go forward for the season that begins after the New Year, we may be doing more of these events through Zoom if readers feel safer that way. I am keeping my eyes and ears open. And will keep you all posted.

Meanwhile, keep reading, stay in touch, and be safe and well!

Cheers!!

 

 

Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen

Squeeze Me

Squeeze Me

Carl Hiaasen is back with a new adult novel that is oh-so-timely and sure to be a huge hit. Hiaasen’s decided to take on the upscale Palm Beach community in South Florida.   It’s LOL funny right from the get-go.

When I saw the title I thought maybe it would be about oranges. After all, oranges are big here in Florida. When I realized the squeezing part of the title actually alluded to the outrageous number of invading pythons mostly in the Everglades, well, gulp, that sure did put a different light on things.

Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons might have been one of the wealthiest dowagers in Palm  Beach , Florida, but she was the most  unlucky woman period on the night she disappeared on the grounds of a swanky country club during a serious fund-raising gala.  She’d taken her martini outside for a break.  And that was that. No more Kiki Pew.  Gone. Disappeared.

Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons was a huge Trump supporter and the founder of the POTUSSIES, a group of women staunchly in support of their leader. They all had deep pockets  and  no problem supporting his cause. They were often seen enjoying events at Trump’s mansion nearby. So when our fearless leader was informed that Kiki Pew had disappeared he immediately did what he does best: blamed it on the immigrant hordes.  Of course, this is not what actually happened. But you can see where this might be going.

While everyone on the grounds of the club are searching wildly for a body, a huge python  is spotted on the limb of a tree near the pond .  Call for back up. And that is how Angie Anderson entered this story. Angie is a wildlife relocation specialist and they had to get this offensive snake   off these grounds before important people saw it. Angie overheard them all chattering about a missing person. Then she looked spotted the snake lounging on a limb of a tree where she sees the unmistakeable lump inside the body . And that is how we discover where Kiki ended up. But this is just the beginning.

Everything weird seems to find its way to Florida. We do have an influx of dangerous huge Burmese pythons living in and around the Everglades these days. In fact, each year there are times hunters are sent to capture them. They are taking over the  Everglades  and eating all the birds and small wildlife and everything else. This is true.  So for Hiaasen to stick pythons into this story is brilliant. A bit creepy but, brilliant.

Everyone knows our president has a home in Palm Beach . And he does visit as often as he can. Sometimes the first lady comes along. In SQUEEZE ME Hiaasen takes us over the top and uses his wild kind of humor to bring us a novel to squeeze us a bit out of our comfort zones. And he sure had me out of mine.

This fabulous satire brings back one of Hiaasen’s most beloved characters: Skink, the former governor of Florida who’s been living in The Everglades as a hermit for years. He’s definitely my favorite. I was filled with joy when he reappeared.  And I was not disappointed.

Razor Girl

Carl Hiaasen

Thank you Carl Hiaasen for giving us so much rich entertainment in these challenging times.  And please keep bringing back Skink.

I read SQUEEZE ME on my ipad available early through Edelweiss.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Copperfish  Books will be offering SQUEEZE ME discounted at 20% beginning tomorrow when it becomes available to the public.

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Migrations

MIGRATIONS, by Charlotte McConaghy, is certainly a novel for our times. In the not so distant future in a time of extreme climate change, a young woman named Franny Stone takes us on one of the harshest journeys any protagonist ever has. And so we begin.

THE ANIMALS ARE DYING. SOON WE WILL BE ALONE HERE.   This is the first line of the novel.  It was a total attention-getter for me. We begin in Greenland as Franny is hard at work tagging the tiny legs of arctic terns. You see, she’s bound and determined to follow what could very well be their last yearly migration from Greenland to Antarctica. Franny’s been out in the freezing cold and wet for six days before she finally decides its time to move on to the next step: finding a ship headed to sea . 

Who is Franny Stone? Nobody, really. She’s the wife of Niall who is a renowned ornithologist and we get to meet him throughout the book in spits and starts.  To say Franny is a lover of nature and birds in particular is a gross understatement. She’s totally infatuated.  To the Nth degree.  Niall has always had a special affinity toward the plight of the Arctic tern and so Franny is following his passion.  And she’s about to get the attention of a wild group of fisher people who spend the majority of their lives on the sea  and working in the most basic conditions.  Franny is able to coerce captain Ennis to take her on their journey by convincing him that she is his only ticket to finding  fish in these challenging times. Follow her terns, the fish  will appear.  And off they go; the most unlikely of  crews.

McConaghy shows us bits and pieces of Franny’s life over the chapters. And we come to slowly see where she came from. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, she spends the rest of her life trying to find her and who she was . This can’t help but affect how she lives her life and why she  can not stay anywhere for any length of time.  By the time Franny meets her husband it might just be too late for change…. And where is Niall anyway?

Every time I thought I knew all there was about Franny’s background, along some new reality would  bang down right in front of me smashing my thoughts to smithereens. This is a character I will never forget but I can’t say I liked her.

So, here we are, in a future so close we can almost touch it. Surrounded by desperate people doing mostly desperate things.  Climate change is a very real thing.  Animals are pretty much extinct in this novel and birds are going the same way.  Will people be next? I don’t usually read novels that are  apocalyptic. However, this story is so very important as well as not so very far in the future. I took a chance. It’s important. It’s timely.  It will move you and may change you forever.

McConaghy has written a haunting and visceral novel that is unbelievably ballsy and accomplished.  She’s a writer out of Australia who is writing  what we now call eco-fiction.  MIGRATIONS may remind some readers of STATIONS ELEVEN or FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.   Her attention to detail is second to none. Her sense of place is stunning.

I know I’ll be telling  everyone about this new novel for a long time. I feel it’s going to be one of the important books of the year!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We have copies of MIGRATIONS for sale at Copperfish Books right now and they are discounted 20% off.  My review copy came from Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, one of the best books of the year!

You Still Have Time For A Great Summer Read!

It has just dawned on me that summer as we know it is almost at a close. Schools are opening, carefully, and with great care, September is lurking like a giant ogre just waiting to pounce.  And for those of you still hoping to get some great in, I’m posting a list for you to consider. I have not read all of these. I could only wish. But they are on my list.

  • MIGRATIONS by McConaghy (review coming soon )
  • THE WEDDING THIEF by  Mary Simses *
  • THE KEY LIME CRIME by Lucy Burdette*
  • THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis*
  • MOTHERLAND by Leah Franqui
  • 28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand*
  • THE HENNA ARTIST by Alka Joshi
  • THE ORDER  by Daniel Silva (review coming soon )
  • A WEEK AT SURFSIDE  by Pierce Koslosky Jr.*
  • WANT by Lynn Steger Strong
  • ON OCEAN  BOULEVARD by Mary Alice Monroe *
  • SEX AND VANITY by Kevin Kwan*
  • WELL-BEHAVED INDIAN WOMEN by Saumya  Dave

You’ll notice that I starred several of the titles. That’s because they are so totally suited for right now at end of summer. I’m currently reading  A WEEK AT SURFSIDE and I will say right off that I don’t usually read short stories. But I was immediately drawn into this book. It’s a trade paperback and it will have you at the and wading in the surf  in no time flat.

I sit here at my desk in my looking out over a colorful sky filled with shades of lavender and pinks and oranges into the setting sun. I am surrounded by stacks of books needing to be read or reviewed; some physical books, some digital review copies. It is always thus at summer’s end. I begin the summer thinking I will be able to catch up on and even get ahead. It’s never the case. And even in this challenging time of the pandemic, there are still books aplenty. That is a good thing. I have dozens of books to consider for reviews and talks. It is all good.

I’m discovering titles coming in the new year by authors you and I both love. How fun it will be to have these to look forward to. And a huge title by Ken Follett coming next month.

Okay, readers, go forth and read.  There is no better time to read than right this moment in time.

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!!

Universe of Two by Stephen P. Kiernan

Universe of Two

UNIVERSE OF TWO is a novel based on the life of one of the brilliant young physicists who designed and built the atomic bomb, Charlie Fisk. Since this week marks the 75th  anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and then ending WW11 by dropping  a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on the 9th, I think the pub date is pretty important. But, this novel was due out in May. Pushed back to August by the pandemic, sometimes things are just meant to be.

Hiroshima

Stephen P. Kiernan is the author of four novels. I was first introduced to him with THE BAKER’S SECRET. I ve since gone on to sell dozens of copies of that book.

Charlie Fish meets Brenda who will become his wife one day when he wanders into her family’s organ shop. Brenda is a very accomplished organist with a promising career.  It’s not love at first sight, though.  However…..

When Charlie is whisked off to Los Alamos, New Mexico to work on a top secret affair, their relationship becomes more concrete.  Charlie doesn’t know he’s being injected into The Manhattan Project. He stays  very unknowing almost until the end.  With Brenda’s urging, Charlie becomes the “trigger” man for the project. Brenda has no idea what Charlie’s working on, she just knows he needs to be a man and get this project over with.   She has no idea….

The scenes at The Hill where Charlie works on the “gadget” seem quite authentic. The black kitty named Midnight who favored Charlie and slept on his bed worried me.  And when Midnight’s lovely black fur began changing color I became almost sick. It made this project very real. I even wonder now how many of the people who worked on this project actually perished later in life because of all that they were subjected to up so close.  The reality of this project gleams through in the telling.

Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling of THOSE WHO SAVE US says: ” Stephen Kiernan has pulled off the nearly impossible, reminding us by wrapping a war story in a love story that although we hold the power for our own extinction, we also have the power to redeem, heal, and save.  The most tender, terrifying, relevant book you’ll read this year.”

Yes, this is a love story, and at times it seemed almost old fashioned. But that goes with the times, I think. It’s also a story of conscience and redemption.  With that being said, I think for a lot of people, this story might make some of this clearer.  It’s very timely.

I thank William Morris of Harper Collins for supplying my review copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s a good one to add to your bookclub pile.

Copies of UNIVERSE OF TWO will be available soon at Copperfish books. They’ll be discounted 20%.

 

The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette

The Key Lime Crime

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.

Key West Houseboats

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.

T-bone

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

Lucy Burdette signing books at Copperfish Books (2019)

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?

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

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.

 

 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Good Morning America has already chosen THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis as their book of the month for August. How smart is that! I loved this novel and just know it’s going to be on every book lovers list for reading this year. And rightly so. After all, it takes place mostly in The New York Public Library.

Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis has done her homework. She’s managed to bring us a marvelous novel that’s rife with great behind the scenes information about one of the most iconic buildings in our country. She also ties in big women’s issues and adds a complicated plot.  And along with this she’s filled the story with strong women and a mystery that promises to keep you up at night.

The story begins in 1913 with the superintendent of The New York Public Library and his wife and their two children moving into an apartment within the stacks of the actual library. My thoughts upon first reading this were that surely this was not true. After all, this is a novel. However, there really was an apartment deep within the library and the superintendent lived there. Boom! Laura, Lyons, the wife, seems to have a perfect life. But, she’s discontent and as her husband spends all his spare time writing his novel, Laura wants to also pursue her career. And so she returns to school: Columbia School of Journalism, no less. There she realizes that she is meant for far more than being a wife and mother. And you begin to see where this is going. When Laura hooks up with a radical group of women in Greenwich Village, she asks herself who she really is. And then the books begin mysteriously disappearing from the library…..

Eighty years later, we meet Sadie Donovan, who is Laura’s grandmother.  We find that Laura became an award winning essayist but her life was filled with drama and complications. Sadie is working at the same library and is a curator. And then, once again, books and manuscripts begin disappearing.

NIC Public Library Lions Masked

I couldn’t help myself. I had to post this photo of one of the actual lions outside the New York Public Library with his mask on.

So, this novel is perfect for book lovers. Perfect for readers who love great historical fiction. It’s brilliant.

I loved reading more about the apartments within the libraries. You will too. Just google them and up will pop lots of info.

About ten years ago my daughter and I went to NYC for a week to a conference for bloggers. One of the things on our to-see list was a visit to The New York Public Library, the very one this book is about. It’s quite daunting. Silly me, I kept looking for the fiction stacks. But discovered that this library is a research library and not a library like we have here at home. It’s huge and quiet and wonderful. And very, very beautiful.

If you belong to a book club you have to know this amazing book should be on your list for this season. I know I’ll be talking about it for a long time to come. My review copy was provided digitally through Netgalley by Penguin Random House. It was a joy to be able to be a first reader. Loved it!

Fiona Davis is the internationally best selling author of several books  set in famous buildings in NYC. You’re also going to want to read CHELSEA GIRLS and THE DOLLHOUSE.  And there’s even more….

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We have copies of THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE at Copperfish Books right now. They are discounted 20%. Run, do not walk, to get your copy now. Or, order online from us. Still discounted. If you’re a big reader you are going to want this book. Just get it! Tell them Maurice made you do it 😺

 

The Dog Days Of August Are Upon Us

Charcuterie Board

To celebrate the first day of August we decided to enjoy a charcuterie and cheese   plate from My Sweet Art,  a very authentic little French Cafe here on the Cape.  I ordered it a day in advance and Jack picked it up yesterday, along with two bowls of their amazing French onion soup. We added a couple of glasses of red wine and the plate came with a lovely baguette.  It was way more food than we needed and so we now have leftovers for another day. All good.

As I’m writing  this post we’re breathing a sigh of relief that Hurricane Isaias has decided to spare  us and has moved on to other pastures. We are all grateful here and pray that this storm causes no big trouble anywhere it lands. We do know, however, that this is only the beginning. We have a lot of praying to go.

I’m surrounded with good and great books to read right now. Some digital and some physical. It is truly overwhelming. I’m wading through them all, figuring out which will make the cut. Which will be read? Which will be discarded? What to read right now?

Universe of Two

THE UNIVERSE OF TWO  by Stephen P. Kiernan.  I’m always looking for good books by male authors. Kiernan wrote THE ‘S BAKER’S  SECRET a few years ago and I was so pleasantly surprised. What a nice treat. Now he’s back with another historical novel, this one a love story during WW11 that’s based on the life of a mathematician who worked on the atom bomb. No, he was not aware that was what he was doing at the time. I look forward to posting my review soon.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Pub date is August 4 for THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis. I loved it! Review coming this week.

The Key Lime Crime

Finally, after the pub date was moved back, THE KEY LIIME CRIME by Lucy Burdette will be available for all you readers. On August 11 Copperfish Books will be introducing Lucy Burdette’s wonderful new novel at a virtual book launch. At 5 PM  on Tuesday, August 11 Cathy and I will be hosting an event with Lucy through zoom. You can sign up for what we know is going to be such a fun event through Eventbrite. You can link from here. I hope you can join us.  What’s more fun than Key West? During these challenging times we need diversion. We promise to provide that.

Kiki and mouse

If you look closely you’ll see a beat up stuffed mousey in the middle of the rug. Kiki, the sweetest cat , brings me these all the time. Her way of showing she needs attention. She’s scowling because she doesn’t like her picture taken. Couldn’t  resist sharing this one.

I  had the most wonderful email this week from one of the readers from the Tea Time book club in Bonita Springs. She wanted to let me know how much she has appreciated my recommendations for great books  especially during these last several months. She’s been reading so much. And so have many of her reader friends. This is music to my ears. I would love to hear from more of you who have been reading  more than ever.

If you follow Elaine Newton’s Critic’s Choice then you already know she’s been zooming. Our Elaine is now zooming. You can catch her mini reviews that’s she recorded from her kitchen in Toronto where she’s been held hostage during the pandemic.  She recently did an entire lecture of NORMAL PEOPLE and you can watch it  now. We don’t know when live entertainment will be available again from the Philharmonic and are grateful for these teasers. Thank you Elaine and Artis-Naples.

Copperfish Books continues to be open for appointment shopping or, you can shop in groups of no more than four at a time without an appointment, if there are openings.  Don’t forget you can shop online, too. And take a look at our upcoming zoom events. A great way to meet some of your favorite authors, virtually.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We’ll soon be falling into fall. And with it, tons of great new books are coming down the book pike. Cheers!

Death On The Menu by Lucy Burdette

Death On The Menu

 

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,

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.

Key West Houseboats

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

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

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!