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An Appetite for Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery

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An Appetite for Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

Lucy Burdette
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 3, 2012 Key West Food Critic (Book 1)
Hayley Snow's life always revolved around food. But when she applies to be a food critic for a Key West style magazine, she discovers that her new boss would be Kristen Faulkner-the woman Hayley caught in bed with her boyfriend! Hayley thinks things are as bad as they can get-until the police pull her in as a suspect in Kristen's murder. Kristen was killed by a poisoned key lime pie. Now Hayley must find out who used meringue to murder before she takes all the blame.

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An Appetite for Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery + Death in Four Courses: A Key West Food Critic Mystery + Topped Chef: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
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Editorial Reviews


"What fun! ....Key West and food -- a winning combination. I can't wait for the next entry in this charming series." New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson

"A true taste of paradise....The victim may not be coming back for seconds, but readers certainly will!" Julie Hyzy, bestselling author of the White House Chef mysteries

"When her ex-boyfriend's new lover, the co-owner of Key Zest Magazine, is found dead, Hayley Snow, wanna-be food critic, is the first in line on the list of suspects.  Food, fun, and felonies.  What more could a reader ask for?"
Lorna Barrett, New York Times best selling author of Sentenced to Death

"An excellent sense of place and the occasional humorous outburst aren't the only things An Appetite for Murder has going for it, though: There is a solid mystery within its pages....Not only does Burdette capture the physical and pastoral essence of Key West, she celebrates the food."   Ed Irvin, The Florida Book Review

"Florida has long been one of the best backdrops for crime novels -- from John MacDonald to Carl Hiassen -- and Burdette's sense of place and her ability to empathize with a wide strata of Key West locals and visitors bodes well for this new series." Joe Meyers, CT Post

About the Author

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette has written eight mysteries as Roberta Isleib. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Product Details

  • Series: Key West Food Critic (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1st edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451235517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235510
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful vacation January 3, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, I admit, I'm not much for cozies. But Lucy Burdette's plucky heroine drew me in: this book is a big happy plate of conch fritters on a perfect evening in the Keys, watching the sun set red and pink and purple over the soft ocean. Local flavor abounds, and not just the setting and characters. Hayley is a food critic, but not the snooty sort, which means she gets to eat all sorts of great meals in all sorts of local restaurants. Oh, there's a murder mystery, too, and when the police not only fail to make progress, but seem to turn their suspicions on Hayley herself -- well, she has to buckle down and start investigating. The plot speeds along, the company is great, the setting exactly where any reader would want to be this time of year.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read and LOVED this book! It so captures the nutty sweetness (food metaphor, of course) of Key West where a street performer actually herds cats, has a great comic voice, and tells a compelling mystery. I am so rooting for Hayley -- can't wait for book 2 in the series.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loves Food, Loves Cats, Bad Taste in Men January 22, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit that mysteries are not always my first choice of reading, but I couldn't resist picking this book up when I saw that the story takes place in Key West -- a favorite location for me -- and serves up all the great mix of foods and restaurants that would take anyone many meals to experience. But it was Hayley Snow's voice that kept me reading. And her plight. Poor kid, she's kind of ditzy and certainly follows her all-too-vulnerable heart (instead of her stomach which is what her mother would have advised her to do) when making life choices -- such as following Chad Lutz, a guy she barely knew, to the island paradise known as Key West. Thank goodness her best friend Eric was already there to pick up the pieces when things went awry. And, oh boy, did they! Quickly, Hayley is the police's POI for the murder of Kristen Faulkner -- the floozy who was in bed with Chad when Kristen came home unexpectedly. Of course, it had to be the Key Lime Pie as a murder weapon. It is Key West.

You'll know all along that it couldn't be Hayley. She's too sweet and naive to plot such a murder. But who? And how many restaurants do we get to visit before finding out?

This is a terrific read, so entertaining and delicious. You'll want to visit Key West soon and hope to meet Hayley as she scoots around town reviewing restaurants for Key Zest, the local newspaper.

Loved all the chapter intros about food. My favorites: " A hot dog or a truffle. God is good." James Beard "I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they are either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live." Frank Bruni

Lucy Burdette has dished out a hot dog/truffle/guacamole delight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FAST-PACED VISIT TO KEY WEST, COZY STYLE April 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When aspiring food critic Hayley Snow moved to Key West, she was eager to get away from New Jersey. And she'd fallen hard, albeit quickly, for Chad Lutz, a charming attorney, whom she had met when he vacationed in New Jersey. In the mystery and thriller section of the bookstore where she worked, of all places! So when he invited her to come with him back to Key West, she didn't think twice.

Maybe that was part of Hayley's problem with relationships. But now she is here in Key West, trying out for a gig at a new magazine called Key Zest...and all she has to do is submit her application by Monday.

As part of the process, she and her psychologist friend Eric are eating at one of their favorite restaurants, Seven Fish. She plans to include a review in her application packet.

But just when she is starting to enjoy the evening, she realizes that Chad and his new girlfriend Kristen Faulkner are also there. Uncomfortable! She is reminded once again of the humiliation she felt when she arrived home early one day to find them in bed together. Which is why she is now sharing a charming, but small houseboat with her college friend Connie.

This is the story of Hayley's life: impulsive choices, bad endings, lots of chaos.

Words are exchanged after their meal, and Hayley and Eric leave. But what happens next turns the next few weeks into one chaotic tangle after another, like the Tarot cards predicted.

Hayley finds out the next day, when two detectives show up on her doorstep, that Kristen Faulkner was murdered early that morning--by consuming a poisoned Key Lime pie. She is now a Person of Interest.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Debut January 15, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this debut novel set in Key West, Florida. The story centers around a food critic to be, Hayley Snow. Hayley moved impulsively down to Florida from New Jersey to follow her lover. The romance failed but a new one was struck up with Key West. Hayley loves her new home town and loves food with equal passion.

The problem comes when her ex-lover's girlfriend is murdered and Hayley is the number one prospect in the eyes of the KWPD.

The descriptions of foods, life, colors (such as Lorenzo, the Tarot Card reader,) make you feel you are in Hayley's shadow experiencing the same tastes, smells, breezes and even rain squalls.

I laughed, cried a bit (Evinrude, well you will see,) and even felt the anger and frustration our Hayley felt. The sense of not being believed is something we have all felt in our lifetimes.

I truly liked the recipes and look forward to the next book which was tantalizingly excerpted for us. I think we have a new Author to follow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
fun, easy read, might give her series a try
Published 10 days ago by tibker
4.0 out of 5 stars Sun, food and murder, what's not to like.....
Like this character and of course the food talk and can't wait to continue reading the series!!!
Published 27 days ago by Deborah M Almada
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good story, can't wait to read the three more I just bought...
Published 4 months ago by T. Mornard
5.0 out of 5 stars Move that rock I've been under
Where have I been for so long? I just read the first book in Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic Mystery series and loved it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SueR
4.0 out of 5 stars my appetite was satisfied
Enjoyed this addition to the series. Can't wait to read the next book. Can't wait to go back to key west
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars cft
the story is a good read ----- but I like her friends more than her love live
I will get her next book to find out
Published 5 months ago by CT
4.0 out of 5 stars A Foodie Travelogue of Key West with a Murder Thrown In
Funny how you can read one book by an author and not like it only to find out that another of their pseudonyms is behind a series that you are actually looking forward to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
Loved this book--the location, the plot and the recipes at the end!
Published 6 months ago by Jean
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really like " cozy mysteries " so I enjoyed this book very much.
Published 6 months ago by glenda s grimmett
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel in a new series
A great first novel in a new series. I loved the setting of Key West and the laid back pace of life. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jennifer Rummel - YABookNerd
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More About the Author

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries--a cozy, culinary mystery series, which debuted with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER (January, 2012.) DEATH IN FOUR COURSES followed in September, 2012, TOPPED CHEF in May 2013, MURDER WITH GANACHE in February 2014, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS on December 2, 2014. FATAL RESERVATIONS will be in bookstores on July 7.

As Roberta Isleib, she's also written the golf lover's mystery series (SIX STROKES UNDER) and the advice column mysteries (DEADLY ADVICE.) Lucy (aka Roberta) is a clinical psychologist who loves using her background in her stories. She also loves to cook and to eat and to talk and write and read about food!

You can learn more about Lucy, Key West, and the food critic mysteries at her website, She also blogs with the wonderful crime fiction writers at Jungle Red Writers,, and shares recipes and stories with seven other cozy mystery writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen,

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An Appetite for Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
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