In Key West, Florida, Key Lime Pies are the favorite dessert of locals and tourists alike. At the kickoff of a Key Lime Pie contest, a new bakery owner named Charlotte is frustrated by not being allowed entry into the contest. Her oh-so-French Key Lime Neapolitan is ruled not a pie. Charlotte retaliates by throwing a pie into Sloan, the contest host’s, face. Only hours later, Charlotte is found dead on her lawn posing as a drunken Santa in The (perfect) Key Lime Crime.
Hayley Snow is a food critic for Key Zest Magazine. She married Key West Detective Nathan only three weeks ago. Nathan’s mother, who Hayley has never met, visits the newlyweds and discovers Charlotte’s dead body along with Hayley and her elderly neighbor, Gloria. Even though Nathan tells Hayley to leave the detecting to him, she can’t help investigating too.
Even though this is the tenth book in the series, I had no trouble with reading it as a stand-alone. The hijinks of the denizens of Key West are hilarious. Think Dave Barry’s Florida non-fiction or Serge Storm’s fictional adventures but toned down to a cozy mystery level. The characters are sincere and began to feel like friends by the end of the novel. The mystery was challenging. Overall, 4 stars for this funny foody cozy mystery.
There are also eight recipes seen in the book included at the end. From cheese puffs to chai snickerdoodles to steak and salad, many different choices are available. Plus the book’s David Sloan is based on a real person who wrote the book described in this book. Talk about being meta-fiction.
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
About The Key Lime Crime
The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
10th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.
When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.
Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.
It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?
About Lucy Burdette
Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writersand shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.
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