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Review ❤️ A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette

May 21, 2019
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Key West food critic Hayley Snow scents-es something fishy when a customer falls stone-crab cold dead on a seafood tasting tour.

Thanksgiving is nearly here, and Key West food critic Hayley Snow has just one more assignment to put to bed for Key Zest magazine before she gets to celebrate with her family and her police officer fiancé, Nathan Bransford. Then, just days later, wedding bells will ring—if death doesn’t toll first.

The sweet potatoes and stuffing will have to wait when Hayley picks up a distraught phone call from her friend, Analise Smith. On the last stop of a seafood tasting tour run by Analise, one of the customers collapsed—dead. With the police on the verge of shutting down the tour—and ruining Analise’s business—Hayley can hardly refuse her friend’s entreaties to investigate.

As if wedding jitters and family strife weren’t enough for Hayley to worry about, there’s crusty pastry chef Martha Hubbard, whose key lime pie may have been the murder weapon—but did she poison her own pie or was she framed? As the hours to Turkey Day tick away, the pressure cooker is on for Hayley to serve up the culprit on a silver platter in A Deadly Feast, national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s taste-tempting ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

 


Release Date: May 7, 2019
Series: Key West Food Critic
Book: 2
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Price: $9.99


 

Hayley Snow is on overload with everything she has to do. She getting ready for a family Thanksgiving dinner, preparing for her wedding the day after the holiday, and finishing up a story for Key Zest magazine. Her latest assignment is covering a seafood tasting tour in her adopted hometown of Key West, Florida. One of the tourists participating collapses and dies on the last stop of the tour, which is a business run by one of Hayley’s friends. To help a friend, Hayley now adds an investigation into this untimely death to her already full to-do list.

This book is the ninth in the Key West Food Critic series. I’ve only read a couple of the earliest books in the series, but had no trouble catching up with the main characters. I love reading about the Key West restaurant scene which plays such a big part of this book and in the series as a whole. I am glad to see Hayley has matured since the beginning of the series and is easier to connect with. She is a likable main character who is smart, compassionate, and sometimes impulsive. I like that she has friends from all different backgrounds and generations. She is always willing to pitch in and help, but I admit that tendency becomes a little too much in this book. It was hard to accept someone who is getting married in less than a week and has no place to live after the wedding would keep agreeing to help anyone who asks. I wasn’t sure if I was more frustrated by Hayley continuing to take more and more tasks on or with her friends who kept asking her for favors.

There are a lot of side plots which come up as Haley works on her article about the restaurant tour and asks questions about the tourist’s death while gathering material for the magazine. The various subplots take away from the main story and at times, the book loses focus. Hayley does a lot for the investigation and is able to turn up some important clues, but there doesn’t seem to be much organization or a sense of urgency to her sleuthing. The solution is clever in some ways, but a bit of a let down in others, so I have mixed feelings.

Partially making up for the lack of intensity at the beginning of the book, the drama picks up during a case Hayley’s fiancé is working on that has unexpected connections to Hayley’s investigation. I like the way things turn out in the book, and readers who have been following the series from the beginning will especially enjoy the ending. As expected in a mystery where food plays such an important role, there are several recipes at the end of the book. It will be interesting to see what comes next in Hayley’s personal life and in her career.

~ Christine

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