Friday, July 6, 2018

Death in Four Courses (A Key West Food Critic Mystery #2)

Author:  Lucy Burdette
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780451237835
Berkley Publishing
320 Pages


The annual Key West Loves Literature seminar is drawing the biggest names in food writing from all over the country, and Hayley Snow is there to catch a few fresh morsels of insider gossip.  Superstar restaurant critic Jonah Barrows has already ruffled a few foodie feathers with his recent tell-all memoir, and as keynote speaker, he promises more of the same jaw-dropping honesty.

But when Hayley discovers Jonah's body in a nearby dipping pool, the cocktail hour buzz takes a sour turn, and Hayley finds herself at the center of attention -- especially with the police.  Now it's up to her to catch the killer before she comes to her own bitter finish.


Hayley Snow is a food writer for the magazine Key Zest.  Her mother arrives in Key West, Florida and goes with her to the Key West Loves Literature seminar.  Hayley is hoping to meet Jonah Barrows, a well-known food writer, but things don't exactly turn out the way she plans.  She finds Jonah - but unfortunately it's in a fountain and he's dead.

When the police arrive they're surprised to find Hayley once again involved in a murder.  But she's not going to be put into the hot seat again and is determined to find out who murdered the mouthy critic before she's accused of the crime...

Okay, I was hoping the second in this series would be better than the first.  Why?  Because - and I recap here a bit - in the first book Hayley was the main suspect in the murder of a woman she only met twice!  Again, why?  Because her ex-boyfriend told the police she must have done it.  Never mind that said ex asked her to move in with him when he'd never asked anyone before; never mind that she had no reason to kill the woman aside from the fact that Hayley caught them in bed together; never mind that Hayley had no history of violence in her past; well, you get the idea...

Anyway...Hayley, of course, finds Jonah and asks for help getting him out of the pool.  When the police arrive they begin questioning her - no, let me amend that: they begin accusing her of the murder.  They ask very pointed questions about how well she knew the victim, etc. - pretty much treating her like she's a suspect in the murder.  Basically it's the same book as the first one just with different names.

Also, since she's supposed to be dating the homicide detective, I was a little taken aback when he said he heard about the murder and wasn't surprised she was involved.  Say what?  He's dating her and he thinks she's capable of murder?  What is it with the men of Key West?  First her ex-boyfriend and now her current one?  Neither one believes her innocent even though evidence (such as it is) is flimsy at best?  Shouldn't they automatically be on her side?  Not in this series, I guess.

Why on earth should I bother with this series?  There are enough series out there where I'm not going to do so.  Sorry, but this one just isn't a winner with me when the second book is too close to the first book to be almost a rehash.

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