Murder With Ganache
A Key West Food Critic Mystery, Book 4
Obsidian, February 2014
Mass Market Paperback
Haley Snow is the multi-tasking, scooter-ing food critic for a Key West periodical called Key Zest. Besides her job, checking out restaurant fare on the island at the foot of the nation, she dodges killers, manages to avoid calamity among her divorced parents, and tries to manage her best friend’s impending wedding.
In addition to all that she has to ride herd on her own potentially emotional entanglements with her boss at the magazine while dodging a vengeful investor. Readers get a good look at one of the most idiosyncratic communities in the nation, and, in this book, a clutch of almost dysfunctional relatives.
Haley and her mother are good friends, but when Haley’s best buddy decides to get married on a Key West beach, trouble, in the form of a teen-aged half-brother, and somewhat estranged relations who show up for the wedding inevitably follows. Then the kid disappears. Domestic crises run the gamut from mild disengagement to full-throated meddling and accusations of various malfeasances. It’s all a bit much. Meanwhile, cats mutilate a batch of cupcakes destined for the wedding reception.
It all gets sorted out in the end, but the plot wanders a bit too much for my taste, there are too many trying relatives and every so often some less than vital facts get distorted. I have always enjoyed Burdette’s writing and plotting, but I had a persistent feeling that this one was rushed into print lacking a bit of the author’s usual meticulous attention to detail.
Reviewed by Carl Brookins, March 2014.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.