Monday, 5 May 2014
Author: Lucy Burdette
Genre: Light Mystery
Series: 1st book in the Key West Food Critic mystery series
Source: directly from author
Publisher: Penguin Group
First Published: January 3, 2012
First Line: "Lots of people think they'd love to eat for a living."
Book Description from GoodReads: 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.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to author Lucy Burdette for providing me with a complimentary paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
My Review: I currently work as a Library Assistant at my local library (and I truly adore my job) but one of my dream jobs is to be a food critic (as well as to own a book store/coffee house -- this girl is full of dreams). The chance to get paid for eating and writing?! Bliss. The reason I mention this is because 'An Appetite For Murder' is the first book in the new cozy mystery series that focuses on the life and antics of Hayley Snow, a food critic from Key West, Florida. Mystery, beautiful beaches and delicious dishes? Serve me up some of that!
I found this to be a strong start to new series. Sometimes I find that 'cozy mysteries' fall into the cutsie zone where the mystery is less in the forefront than the antics of the main and secondary characters. This is not the case with the Key West Food Critic series. I found this to be a well thought out mystery and a wonderful beach read -- because I literally read this on the beach while in Florida.
The only thing more vivid than the descriptions of the food that Hayley critiques are the descriptions of life in Key West. You can tell that the author has strong ties to the area and I appreciated getting a look into life in this very distinct area.
The mystery itself was strong and threw in enough twists (and some suspense) to keep me in the dark about the culprit until close to the end. There was a little less action than I was expecting but I also think that that kept the situations real because, let's face it, we're in a very small community and if the body count kept piling up it wouldn't be believable. We're talking Key West here, not NYC.
Hayley is a strong, but not totally invincible, main character who was easy to root for. She was a little more subtle than I was expecting for a main character but overall I liked her. While Hayley was impulsive at times she didn't come off as bumbling or irritating (as some cozy mystery characters sometimes do). She's likeable, her motives for some of her choices (while sometimes naïve) still came off as believable and not hokey. The secondary characters rounded out the storyline and I look forward to seeing Hayley's character develop as well as her ability to solve a good 'whodunnit'.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was mouth-watering with its food descriptions, suspenseful, set in a unique location and with a cast of quirky characters that made me hungry for more of Hayley's Key West adventures. Make sure to check out the back of the book for some of the recipes of the dishes mentioned in the book. Yup. It's a mystery with recipes! Love that!
I look forward to sharing my review of the fourth, and latest book, in this series, Murder with Ganache, with you soon which the author provided me with as well.
Note: Lucy Burdette also writes under the name Roberta Iseib (author of the Advice Column mystery series).
My Rating: 4/5 stars