An Appetite For Murder by Lucy Burdette is the first book in the new “Key West Food Critic” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian (Penguin), January 2012

Hayley Snow’s life has always revolved around food—she loves cooking it, eating it, and, most of all, writing about it. When she moves to Key West and applies to be a food critic, Halyley’s so close to achieving her dream, she can taste it. Until someone serves her a helping of murder.

Hayley Snow is a woman of many passions. She’s followed her soul mate to funky, foodie Key West, but when their romance loses its sizzle, she’s determined to find a new life in this island paradise. She’s always been a foodie, so when she applies to be a food critic for Key Zest, the new Key West style magazine, it seems like a perfect pairing. Then Hayley discovers that her potential new boss is Kristen Faulkner—the woman who stole her boyfriend.

Hayley can’t see how things can get worse now that she’s loveless, possibly working for her romantic rival, and living on her friend’s boat—until Kristen is murdered and the police pull Hayley in as a suspect. Unfortunately, Hayley’s got more motive than Key Lime pie has meringue. To clear her name she’ll have to find the real killer fast or the only restaurant she’ll be reviewing is the prison cafe.

What a great read. All Hayley wanted was to stay in Key West and work as a food critic, but instead she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of her soon-to-be boss and it doesn’t look like the police are looking elsewhere. To prove her innocence, Hayley will have to create a recipe that will expose a killer. This engaging and page turning murder mystery kept me guessing throughout most of the story. The evenly-paced story boasts a perfect backdrop that is Key West, delicious meals interwoven into the story and likable characters. I especially like Hayley who is funny, strong yet vulnerable and has a zest for living that made this well-written tale come to life. This is a fantastic beginning to a delectably entertaining series.

Lucy Burdette is the pseudonym of Roberta Isleib.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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