Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 310pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Lucy Burdette (Roberta Isleib)on the WEB: website, blog, facebook
Excerpt from An Appetite for Murder (Amazon Look Inside Feature)
Hayley Snow's life has always revolved around food - she loves cooking it, eating it, and, most of all, writing about it. When she moves to Key West and applies to be a food critic, Hayley's so close to achieving her dream, she can taste it. Until someone serves her a helping of murder.
Hayley Snow is a woman of many passions. She's followed her soul mate to funky, foodie Key West, but when their romance loses its sizzle, she's determined to find a new life in this island paradise. She's always been a foodie, so when she applies to be a food critic for Key Zest, the new Key West style magazine, it seems like a perfect pairing. Then Hayley discovers her potential new boos is Kristen Faulkner - the woman who stole her boyfriend.
Hayley can't see how things can get worse now that she's loveless, possibly working for her romantic rival, and living on her friend's boat - until Kristen is murdered and the police pull Hayley in as a suspect. Unfortunately, Hayley's got more motive than Key Lime pie has meringue. To clear her name she'll have to find the real killer fast or the only restaurant she'll be reviewing is the prison cafe.
What a perfect book to read this time of year! Lucy Burdette debuts the first book in her new Key West Food Critic series to fans and new readers. An Appetite for Murder has all the ingredients for a great cozy mystery, that will appeal to foodies and amateur gumshoes alike. The locale and mouthwatering food descriptions give this new series an exotic, carefree atmosphere that will have readers raving!
For most of the continental US it's winter-time. Freezing temps and blowing snow. And the perfect time to read a mystery set in the fun and sun. Key West was a perfect location for the beginning of this new cozy series. Burdette either has first hand knowledge of the everyday goings on in Key West or she's done a whirlwind of research because this book is just oozing local flavor and the amazing food of the islands. Even though murder is afoot, the author is still able to give off the feeling of the laid back, relaxed persona of Key West. Readers will find themselves feeling that ocean breeze on their skin or tasting the nutty flavors of the local cuisine. The descriptions are out of this world.
The lead character in An Appetite for Murder is down-on-her-luck Hayley Snow. A gal who followed her heart to Key West and ends up getting dumped by a cheating boyfriend. But you can't keep a good girl down, as Hayley decides to make the most of it and try hand at her life's passion, food! Unfortunately, the mishaps keep piling up and Hayley finds herself a murder suspect, as well as, a food critic. I really enjoyed Hayley's voice. She comes across as a little scatter-brained at times but she's witty and she's quick. She follows her instincts and gets right down to the point. Burdette has really created a very engaging main character that readers are sure to like and want to know more about.
I liked the behind-the-scenes kind of look into the world of food journalism. Readers get to see the dilemma's that food critics face on a daily basis. What happens if you mention a stop that has a lot of local flavor and your review gets it a lot more attention than it wants? How do you tell a chef that's a friend, you're going to give his restaurant a bad review? If you write a bad review it could damage a restaurants reputation. All of these were questions I never really considered when I thought about food writing. It was a very insightful and fun to read about.
I tried one of the recipes in the back of the book and it was a good one. Hayley Snows Leaning Tower of Eggplant is soooo delicious. If you've never tried eggplant, try it fried, it's amazing! I always try a recipe from each food related cozies and I'll have to say this was one of the best. I know it might sound weird, but it's super tasty.
This is a great first book in a series. The background is established. The characters are introduced and the mystery is still the main focus. It's fast-paced and smooth and the ending was surprise. I didn't have this one figured out and I'm hard to stump. If you love good food, the sights and sounds of islands and a little murder and mayhem this is definitely the book for you!
An Appetite for Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib, aka Lucy Burdette, has had eight previous mysteries published. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. Her story "The Itinerary," written under the Roberta Isleib name, was selected for inclusion in The Rich and the Dead, an MWA anthology edited by Nelson DeMille. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette.
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