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Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette
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Hello, Hayley!

Only seven pages in and I feel like I’m home again with Hayley. I’ve laughed out loud, marveled over and reread a turn of phrase that I particularly liked, and started to worry about Miss Gloria. I realize how much I have missed being in Key West and knowing what’s happening with Hayley, her mom, Miss Gloria, Eric, Lorenzo, Connie, Wally – well, everybody.

Fatal Reservations is the 6th book in the Key West Food Critic Mystery series. You could read it as a standalone, but why on earth would you want to? This series is so much fun and knowing the backstory and history of all these quirky characters is part of the fun. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but the next Hayley book is always on my to buy list.

Hayley’s life has settled down after all the excitement – and murder – over the holidays. Things aren’t really boring for Hayley, they never are, but she does have to deal with the fact that some things have changed. Her mom isn’t around; she’s back in New Jersey temporarily taking care of Sam. So Hayley gets a little breather, but her mom’s not there. Miss Gloria is pretty busy with her new volunteer job as a cemetery guide, and Wally is not quite measuring up in the boyfriend department like Hayley hoped he would. In fact, he is kind of boring. Hayley is still at Key Zest and loving her job, but there is new management and Hayley isn’t totally comfortable with things. For starters, she is assigned to cover a City Commission meeting where there is sure to be controversy over a new floating restaurant. She attends, it’s pretty chaotic and she’s all set to follow up with the politics sure to come, but her new her boss Palamina tells her to stick to the food; Palamina and Wally will handle this type of story from now on.

Well, we know Hayley well enough by now to know this isn’t going to happen, especially once Lorenzo becomes a person of interest in a murder and is nowhere to be found. Besides being so cute that I want her to be one of my granddaughters (“I knew how to eat and write a review.”), Hayley is devoted to her friends and loyal to the point of often ignoring danger to herself. Plus she is pretty nosy. So she’s going to find out where Lorenzo is and what is happening no matter who tries to stop her.

I really enjoyed this story. Lucy Burdette did a great job of blending Hayley’s everyday life and job and emotions with the changes in the lives of everyone around her, and with the excitement and suspense of the murder. As always, Key West comes to life as much as any of the characters in these books. I feel as if I’ve just been there and experienced the sights and sounds – and weirdness – of life there. And no spoiler, but the ending is perfect!

The recipes are a given to be as yummy as ever, but I always forget until I start the latest book about the terrific quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They are all over the place with no particular theme (unless I missed it ;-)) but they are great and I love them. For this story, given that Wally is kind of a blah, one particular quote is perfect: “Wally flashed a smile, tight as the rubber band around a bouquet of broccoli.” – Lucy Burdette, Death with All the Trimmings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for Hayley’s next adventure. ( )
  GrandmaCootie | Jul 7, 2015 |
Author Lucy Burdette has cooked up a delectable new course in the delicious Key West Food Critic series that made me hungry for more! Readers are going to be thrilled with this latest installment.

It was so good to be back in Key West with food critic Hayley Snow. I think being a food critic would be so great. Unfortunately I’m a picky eater, so my career would be short lived, but that just makes it even more fun to live it through Hayley! Um, just hold the dead bodies please. 

I just love it when authors start off their chapters with quotes or tidbits of information. Ms. Burdette has done so, with the most fun food related quotes. Anticipating each new quote was a lot of fun. It was hard not to peek ahead and read them.

Fatal Reservations was a fantastic addition to this series. One of the best so far. This story moved along at a great pace, never leaving a dull moment. Just the opposite . . . I didn’t want to miss one word! Every chapter brought more excitement, and more questions because there were so many misleads to keep me guessing. And it all led up to a scrumptious reveal that I never saw coming.

Don’t stop reading once the story is over or you’ll miss a lot of yummy recipes and a sneak peek of Book 7, KILLER TAKOUT. ( )
  LisaKsBookReviews | Jul 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451474821, Mass Market Paperback)

In the latest Key West Food Critic mystery, Hayley Snow’s beat is reviewing restaurants for Key Zest magazine. But she sets aside her knife and fork when a dear friend is accused of murder…

Hayley Snow looks forward to reviewing For Goodness Sake, a new floating restaurant that promises a fresh take on Japanese delicacies like flambéed grouper with locally sourced seaweed. But nearby land-based restaurateurs would rather see their buoyant competition sink.

Sent to a City Commission meeting to cover the controversy, Hayley witnesses another uproar. The quirky performers of the daily Sunset Celebration are struggling to hold onto their performance space. The fight for Mallory Square has renewed old rivalries between Hayley’s Tarot-card reading friend Lorenzo and a flaming-fork-juggling nemesis, Bart Frontgate—but things take a deadly turn when Bart is found murdered.

If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murder…


(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:05:24 -0400)

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