Author Archive


Posted on July 5, 2018 - by

FOR BOOK CLUBS: Death on the Menu

Food critic Hayley Snow is attending a three-day international conference at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. Things get off to a bad start when Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal (which belongs to Cuba and is on display for this weekend only) disappears. And they only get worse when a body is discovered in the storeroom. Hayley must spring into action before the killer adds another victim to his menu.

The book features some history, especially that of Harry Truman’s Little White House, and the conundrum of Cuba/US relations, and Hemingway, and lots of food, but in the end it’s always about families. Hayley Snow’s family is front and center, of course, but also the Cuban families that have been torn apart by acrid relations between Cuba and the US. Lots to talk about in this book, and here are some questions to get you started…

Book Club questions for DEATH ON THE MENU by Lucy Burdette

1. Much of the action in this eighth Key West mystery is set at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. In the course of the book, some of the history of this structure is woven into the story. How do you feel about the presence of history in your mystery fiction, especially if it isn’t billed as historical mystery? What did you learn about Harry Truman as you read?

2. Hayley says: “In my mother’s family, lovingly prepared food meant comfort and care and even hope. A warm snickerdoodle cookie, for instance—maybe with a little chai spice added in for mystery—was a declaration of heartfelt affection. Great meals couldn’t save my mother’s marriage to my father because he didn’t speak her language. For him, food was fuel—the dinner table merely a quick stop at the human gas station.” If you had to sum it up, what would you say food meant to your family?

3. Hayley compares the work of her Tarot-card-reading friend Lorenzo to that of a therapist, or even a cop: So many problems are presented to him over the course of a work day, that he can’t help but absorb some negative energy along the way. And even Hayley turns to him as a kind of therapist. Have you ever had your cards read, or perhaps your palm? How do you feel about the work of fortune-tellers in general, and Lorenzo in particular?

4. One of the serious issues raised in this mystery involves the immigration of Cuban citizens to the US, and the former US policy called “wet-foot, dry-foot.” What was your reaction to this part of the story—particularly hearing about the Cuban chugs, and Gabriel’s family story?

5. Hemingway plays a small but significant part in this book, though Hayley admits she is hardly a student of his writing. And Dana Sebek has a view of the writer that is quite different from that of his adoring fans—in a nutshell, she says people admire the lore that has grown up around the man, more than his actual prose. Have you read Hemingway’s work? Are you a fan? Why or why not?


Posted on June 10, 2018 - by

Easy Yellow Cake for a Working Day

LUCY BURDETTE: I wanted to make a cake for a small dinner party, but I didn’t have a lot of time. (Big deadline looming for food critic mystery number nine.) I Googled “easy yellow cake” and came across the recipe on which this cake is based. It was simple, because everything gets added into the food processor in turn– No sifting, no separating of eggs, no alternating liquids with dry. And it was very good, light but dense. Maybe not my favorite yellow cake for all time, but very good!

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, room temp

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 teaspoons low sodium baking powder

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by buttering well and then flouring lightly.

Combine the butter and sugar in the food processor and beat until pale yellow. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and mixed that minimally. Beat in the milk and vanilla, again don’t overbeat.

 

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 25 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched lightly.

Then cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove from the pans to cool completely.

Frost as desired– My desire was whipped cream and sliced strawberries, but chocolate or mocha butter cream would be wonderful as well.

(Sorry about the photo–we were quite a ways into the cake when I remembered!)

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, will hit bookstores on August 7 from Crooked Lane Books.

Here’s a pre-order the book link from Amazon–and here’s a link to preorder a hard copy from RJ Julia in CT, where you’ll be able to get a signed copy.

Or you can order it from Books and Books in Key West, or call Suzanne Orchard at Key West Island Bookstore ((305) 294-2904)–she’ll be delighted to order you a copy!

Or really, wherever books are sold…

 


Posted on June 3, 2018 - by

Booked for Lunch! at the South Windsor Library

Please join me and the staff of the South Windsor Public Library in Windsor CT on October 2 at 12:30 for lunch and book chatter!


Posted on June 2, 2018 - by

Death on the Menu: Coming soon!

66 days to be exact! While I’ve been tapping my fingers and toes waiting, some pretty thrilling feedback has been rolling in:

I love this series! You’ve revitalized my love of cozy mysteries.” Laurell K. Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author

Burdette’s loving descriptions of food and the appended recipes are an added fillip for readers who enjoy some history and romance with their mysteries.”—Kirkus Reviews

Hayley Snow is one of my favorite amateur sleuths… This was a fabulous peril in paradise read that I simply could not put down.”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery mysteries

A travel guide woven through a page-turner of a mystery, Death on the Menu is a love letter to Key West.” —Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake mysteries

In her latest Key West Food Critic Mystery, Death on the Menu, Lucy Burdette skillfully balances a well-crafted plot with a vivid portrayal of Key West.”—Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of the County Cork mysteries

You can pre-order the book wherever books are sold–it will be out as an ebook, hardcover, and audio book!


Posted on May 27, 2018 - by

Booksigning at Key West Island Bookstore

Meet Lucy and get a signed copy of DEATH ON THE MENU at Key West Island Bookstore, 513 and 1/2 Fleming St, KW FL, November 2, 5 to 7 pm


Posted on May 27, 2018 - by

Murder on the Beach, Book talk and signing

Join Lucy at Murder on the Beach in Delray Beach FL to talk about her newest Key West mystery, DEATH ON THE MENU. October 24, 7 pm


Posted on May 27, 2018 - by

Bouchercon World Mystery Conference

Writers and fans of mysteries will gather this year in St. Petersburg Florida. I’ll be there too!


Posted on May 27, 2018 - by

CT Authors Trail at the Craigin Library

Lucy will appear at the Craigin Library in Colchester CT as part of the CT Authors Trail: August 22 at 6:30 pm


Posted on May 27, 2018 - by

Book Talk with Barbara Ross at Breakwater Books

Join Barbara and Lucy to talk about mysteries, food, and all things books and bookish! August 19 at 3 pm at Breakwater Books in Guilford CT


Posted on May 26, 2018 - by

Book Discussion at Windsor Locks Public Library

Come to a book discussion of DEATH ON THE MENU, August 15, 6:30 pm

 

28 Main St

Windsor Locks, CT



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