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Death With All The Trimmings by Lucy…
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Death With All The Trimmings

by Lucy Burdette

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Hayley's family is down in Key West to celebrate Christmas. While her mom and cousin are doing all the holiday stuff, Hayley becomes friends with a chef who is opening a new restaurant. The restaurant is being sabotaged, and when a body is found after a fire behind the restaurant, Hayley must help her friend clear her name. ( )
  AnaKurland | Jan 30, 2016 |
Death with All the Trimmings is like coming home – to Haley, to her crew of always-fascinating characters – and to Key West, with its charm and beauty and kookiness.

I read a lot of books across genres, and I enjoy almost all of them. But there is a handful that when you have read a few pages you sigh and say, “Aaaaah, I’ve missed you.” Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic Mystery series is like that. In between books in the series I think back on them as light, cozy reads, but when I start reading a new adventure with Haley I realize again how many layers there are to each story and that some serious issues are being addressed. I am also reminded that while there are subtle reminders about Haley’s weight and her love of food, both eating it and reviewing it, it is refreshingly not a major factor in the stories or a vehicle to get sympathy for (or a laugh at the expense of) Haley.

I don’t like to give away the plot and details of a story in a review; there are other places you can go for that. But I will say that in Death with All the Trimmings Haley once again gets herself in serious danger without even realizing it. She still is too nosy for her own good and she just can’t keep her mouth shut.

However, she’s like the granddaughter you love dearly but who constantly exasperates you. She doesn’t always (actually almost never) does what seems smartest or safest at the time – and she seldom takes advice, even when she knows it’s for her own good. But she always does what’s right. She’s a good person, as are most of the people she surrounds herself with. We can’t help but like them. She does the things she does because she has to, because they are right.

Of course, just because I know that Haley follows her heart and does what’s right, that doesn’t mean I don’t get irritated with her or want to shake her because she doesn’t realize what she’s getting herself into - again. On that score, Lucy Burdette paces the story as if she was reading my mind. Just when I started to think, “Where is so-and-so?” he showed up. We get to see all the old favorites (and some not so favorite), including a lot of both Ava and Wally – good and bad. When I got exasperated with Haley and thought, “Either stop doing that or start doing this.” more of her thoughts and motivation were revealed or some plot twist happened and I thought “Oh yeah, right, I get it.”

As with all good authors and series, the books get better as the series goes on. The characters’ personalities continue to develop and you feel like you know all kinds of little things about them. It’s like that with Haley and her friends and family, and Lucy Burdette does an absolutely amazing job of making us feel we are in Key West – or if not, we want to be. I need to go to the Cuban Coffee Queen!

There are a lot of little extra goodies, too. Some things are just laugh out loud funny, like “The eyes that had looked like the color of moss when we were dating looked more like pond algae right now.” There is a quote at the beginning of every chapter – some contain valuable advice: “So many relationships that have been ended by metal utensils in nonstick.” Some reference another book, a real event, or I’m not sure what, but they were intriguing enough that I want to look up those I don’t recognize and go back to the first 4 books to see what I missed. And of course there are recipes, including The Jungle Red Christmas Cocktail!

Read Death with All the Trimmings and read it now. If you haven’t yet met Haley, go back to Book 1: An Appetite for Murder and catch up. You will be glad you did.

(I guess I have to add the disclaimer that I received an ARC of this book. However, I reviewed the first 4 because I loved them and this review was not influenced by the ARC.) ( )
  GrandmaCootie | Dec 1, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451465903, Mass Market Paperback)

The only snow in Key West this Christmas is Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, who is not getting time off for the holiday…or time off from murder.

It may be Christmastime, but thoughts of peace on earth, good will toward men, don’t seem to extend to the restaurant biz. Hayley has been assigned to interview Edel Waugh, chef/owner of Key West’s hottest new restaurant. But off the record, Edel reveals someone’s sabotaging her kitchen and asks Hayley to investigate.

Things heat up fast when the restaurant is set on fire—and a body is discovered in the charred wreckage. Is someone out to destroy the chef’s business—or actually kill her? Amid holiday festivities like the lighted boat parade and visiting relatives who stir up mixed emotions, Hayley needs to smoke out an arsonist and a killer who may turn up the heat on her next…

INCLUDES RECIPES!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:21 -0400)

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