Description (from cover):
‘Hayley Snow loves her job as the food critic for Key Zest magazine, tasting the offerings from Key West’s most innovative restaurants. She’d rate her life four stars, until she’s forced into the spotlight..and another murder investigation.
Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley’s boss signs her up to help judge the Key West Topped Chef contest. Stakes are high as the winner could be the next cooking-show superstar. Hayley shows up for the filming nervous but excited, until she sees who’s on the judging panel with her: Sam Rizzoli, big shot businessman–and owner of the restaurant she just panned in her first negative review.
When Rizzoli turns up dead, the police assume his killer is one of his business rivals. But Hayley wonders whether someone is taking the contest a little too seriously. With the police following the wrong recipe, it’s up to Hayley to find the killer before she’s eliminated from the show…permanently.’
This is the first book I have read in this series. I was so happy to have a chance to review this one as I have heard a lot of good things about this series. Normally, I try to steer clear of culinary mysteries as they are so overdone in the mystery world right now. But this one was a delightful read and kept me captivated until the very last page. I had no clue who the murderer was until the very end and that makes this book earn high points with me. The storyline was very intriguing and had a different spin on the cozy mystery genre. I really enjoyed the eccentricity of the characters and the fun atmosphere of Key West makes this book a must read.
I am most definitely going to check into the previous two of this series as I think I would enjoy them as much as this one. Even though culinary cozy mysteries are a dime a dozen these days, Burdette really makes her series stand out by being unique and utterly exciting to read. I enjoyed the reality television spin that the author used in her storyline and it was a humorous read. I think I will be a loyal fan of this series from now on and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Hayley and her eccentric Key West friends. A great read for a rainy Saturday, when you just want to curl up with a good read.
Overall Rating: 4
About the Author:
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. As Roberta Isleib, she has also written the golf lovers mystery series and the advice column mysteries. Her books and stories have been nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards.
This has been a stop on the ‘Topped Chef’ book tour presented by Cozy Mystery Book Tours. Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour as some are offering giveaways of this book!
Disclaimer: This book was given to me, by the publisher through Cozy Mystery Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.