Monday, August 10, 2020

Burdette Mystery Series Celebrates Food and Key West—The Perfect Combo


Is it possible to fall in love with a place in just a few hours?




That’s exactly what happened when I visited Key West while on a Carnival cruise in 2016. After shopping on Duval Street, exploring Hemmingway’s home, photographing the chickens that roam the streets, and devouring a slice of key lime pie, as well as numerous pieces of key lime fudge, I was in love with this town on the southernmost point of the continental United States.


When I returned home, I immediately started to read Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic cozy mystery series. I was hooked, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the main character, Hayley Snow, is a food writer. She also lives on a houseboat, which she shares with a feisty-but-loving elderly woman. I zoomed through all of the editions already in print and then waited for each new edition with great anticipation and little patience.


Announcement! The newest book, The Key Lime Crime, will be released on Tuesday, August 11, 2020!


This is the 10th book in the series, and lucky me got an advance copy.


I enjoyed every page!

Set during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when Key West, Florida explodes with tourists, Hayley is covering a key lime pie baking contest. Plus, her new mother-in-law comes for a visit—the same woman who didn’t come to the wedding a few weeks earlier. When Hayley, her elderly (and sassy) roommate, and mother-in-law discover the body of controversial new pastry chef from the contest, the trio sets out to find the murderer, which doesn’t make new husband and detective, Nathan, very happy.

One of the aspects of Burdette’s series I adore is her ability to describe Key West so clearly. It’s easy to feel like you’re right in the midst of the quirky town. She also includes real locations, restaurants, and people in her stories. With most of us feeling cooped up because of the coronavirus pandemic, reading this series is like taking a mini-vacation. In fact, I have a list of places from her books I plan to explore when I return for a longer visit.

Besides being an enjoyable read, the book also has recipes for many of the dishes mentioned in the story—thank goodness! So far, I’ve tested out the Chai Snickerdoodles, and they were tasty. The only change I would make would be to add a little vanilla to the cookie dough, which I’ll try out the next time. And yes, there will be a next time!


Since key lime is in the title, there are numerous references to the various pie styles found on the island, including this one from Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe I posted about after my visit. The book includes key lime martini and key lime parfait recipes, both of which are on my gotta-try list.


If you’re a fan of mysteries, food, unique characters, or tropical settings, then you need to read the Key West Food Critic series.


STAY TUNED! On Thursday, August 13, I’ll post a Q&A interview I did with Lucy Burdette about this series and the new book! Plus, over the next few weeks, I will post recipes not only from her books but from a couple of cookbooks I bought on my visit.