Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reds Celebrate DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS @LucyBurdette


Today all the Reds are humming Christmas carols and wearing Santa hats to celebrate the launch of Lucy Burdette's fifth Key West food critic mystery, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS. Lucy herself is simply floating so we thought of some questions to ask about the new book...although she did edit out some of our best suggestions like: What do you really think of skate? (Hallie) and Have you ever eaten cod cheek? (Hank)

REDS: Seriously, tell us what are the best--and hardest--things about writing a cozy mystery series?


LUCY: I'll start with the hardest part: Suspension of disbelief. My readers must be persuaded to suspend disbelief in every way—characters, plot, setting, everything! For example, what business does a food critic have solving murders? Since Hayley Snow's profession does not explain her involvement with criminal investigation, the sleuthing must evolve because of her relationships with other characters and because of her own personality and history. Challenging!

What I enjoy most is learning more about the characters with each book I write. Do you know that I had no idea Miss Gloria would become such an important character when I started out? A series is always full of surprises...and so is the Key West setting.

REDS: Speaking of relationships, this story has a lot to do with Hayley and her mother. What do you find most interesting about this duo?



LUCY: I love writing about the push and pull of the mother-daughter relationship over time. Hayley is "finding herself" as a true adult, and her mom is revealing herself as a regular person with flaws and fears, not just a mother. I lost my mother when in my early twenties so I think I get extra satisfaction imagining the transition of Hayley and Janet Snow's relationship--how it changes and matures in ways that I didn't have the chance to experience.

REDS: What's so special about Key West during the Christmas season?



LUCY: So many things! It's funny how just a string of white lights around the trunk of a palm tree looks festive. But Key West does a lot more than that. They hold a lighting decoration contest, a lighted boat parade, the hometown holiday parade...this display took SECOND place last year: 


And don't let me forget to mention the Winter Wiener Wonderland which is a parade of costumed dachshunds. (I marched in that last year with John and Tonka—we all wore hot dog costumes.) It was so much fun to work all of those events into the book!

REDS: What was the best thing you ate while in training for this writing this book and the book launch?



LUCY:  Now you're getting to the heart of the matter:). The recipes in the back of the book are mine, except, of course, for the Jungle Red cocktail, which is Susan's brainchild. And I'm crazy for the Scarlet O'Hara raspberry cupcakes (which are also wonderful with mocha icing...)

Thank you Jungle Red Writers and READERS for all your support! The new book can be found wherever books are sold, including independent bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

Burdette infuses the mystery with Key West spirit and holiday fun along with delicious food references and recipes. This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery.  Booklist, December 1, 2014

38 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Lucy --- Happy book birthday!
    I'm really looking forward to reading Hayley's latest adventure . . . .

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  2. Congrats, Lucy. I must admit, I didn't get as much reading done as I hoped to over Thanksgiving. Should finish tomorrow, but I'm enjoying it so far.

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  3. A Key West Winter Wiener Wonderland is not what I pictured when I saw the caption. But it sounds like great fun, anyway! :-)

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  4. Can't wait to read this latest installment, Lucy! It's a super series. Now, if I could just get myself to Key West to read it there...

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  5. I'm with Edith! Save me a deck chair for the wiener dog parade and a glass of something red to raise--I'll bring my own copy of your book--oh, and don't forget to save me some sunshine!!

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  6. Hearty congrats, Lucy! Finished the book over the Thanksgiving weekend and LOVED it!

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  7. Thank you all so much! I have the deck chairs lined up, and John is poised to pour...

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  8. Congratulations on the publication of your latest book!

    I'll be purchasing the book as soon as possible. With your books, I always have to decide before I open one for the first time what I should read first: the story -- or the recipes?? Decisions, decisions!

    For the cost of a book, I get to visit Key West in spirit; perhaps some day I can get there in person, too!

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  9. Congratulations, Lucy! This one sounds like so much fun - I'm looking forward to it.

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  10. Oh! This is the book birthday! Congratulations, Lucy!

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  11. Hurray hurray hurray--this is SO wonderful!!

    Off to Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont (who'll be there tonight?)--and I will spread the word!

    xoxo

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  12. Can I just say: Raspberry icing on red velvet cupcakes! Divine. (Random thought: I just saw a recipe for making red velvet cupcakes using pomegranate juice to get the color.)

    Ah, the push and pull of mother/daughter. Mostly I push and they pull. Perfect fodder for a mystery. One character wants something that another character doesn't want her to have...

    We ALL wish we were there to kick off a great book launch, Lucy!

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  13. Congrats, Lucy! You hit the very reason I can't write cozy - that suspension of belief. But when it's done right, it's magical.

    OMG, those cupcakes look divine.

    Hank, I'll see you tonight in Oakmont!

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  14. Happy Launch Day, Lucy!!!!! This sounds like another delightful outing and I look forward to reading it.

    The push and pull of mother/daughter relationships. Ah - now there's a theme always ready for exploration. You do it beautifully.

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  15. Happy Book Birthday, indeed!

    Reine, your first comment was hilarious! Good thing I'd already swallowed my coffee!

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  16. Happy launch day, Lucy -- may it never get old. ~ Jim

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  17. thank you everyone for all those good wishes!

    I think I told you this back when Elinor Lipman visited JRW--she mentioned Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes in THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B. But she hadn't figured out exactly what they were--so these were my rendition. Divine!

    Jim, so far, no prospect of this getting old. It's the same thrilling mixture of delight and fear every time!

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  18. And Darn, Hank and Mary, wish I was meeting up with you in Oakmont! Have a great night!

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  19. Cupcakes, cockails, and weiner dogs. Could life get any better?

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  20. Lucy, I haven't quite finished (and I save the recipes for last, as an extra treat!) but I am loving the book! Another special treat is the chapter epigraphs. Such fun that I'll go back and reread them. Do you have a method for choosing them?

    Oh, and I love that you've brought Cassie in as a character. Had you been planning that?

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  21. Hank and Mary, have fun at Oakmont, and say hi to everyone at the store!!!

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  22. And Lucy, I think I've said this before, but the cover is fabulous!

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  23. Congratulations, Lucy! I can't believe that it's already been almost a year since MURDER WITH GANACHE came out!

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  24. I know Lisa, time flies by!

    Debs, I love looking for epigraphs. Now that I know I need them, I watch for food references EVERYWHERE. And I always buy and read BEST FOOD WRITING--some wonderful essays in those books.

    And yes, so so lucky with those cover artists!

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  25. About Cassie's cameo--a guy who used to review the golf mysteries suggested that Cassie might be related to Hayley. I thought it was a brilliant idea. Though a little hard to write about her from Hayley's POV:)

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  26. and pps, Reine, missed your first funny comment about the wiener parade:). The headline in the local paper today was that the Disney cruise ship won't be back for Fantasyfest next year.

    Good move LOL

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  27. Hurray! Now I can write my glowing review.

    As to southern Florida decorations, palm trees with lights (especially when they manage to light the fronds!) are a hoot. But last week I saw a wonderful all natural decorating scheme--trees full of white egrets with several roseate spoonbills at the top! Really.

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  28. Love thinking of eating as training for writing foodie fiction!

    Congratulations, Lucy! So great to be able to imagine being in Key West where it's warm!

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  29. Well, Lucy, you know that I am in love with Key West and was just there in September, so the Haley Snow series is, as I say in my review, like taking a vacation with each book I read. Edith, you would just be tickled pink if you visited Key West and the great places mentioned int he books. Having been to Key West four times now, I love following Haley through the streets and to the different restaurants and places. Lucy is right on target with her descriptions and ambiance. In September, I ate at Latitudes for the first time, a quick boat trip to Sunset Key. Like Haley stated, it is mucho expensive, but the food was worth it, and my Romanian waiter with the dark hair and eyes and the expressive eyebrows was so much fun. He and I developed a playful repartee, and when I was trying to decide about dessert, he told me that he would bring me what I needed. He did! It was full on chocolatey.

    And, the covers are such a delightful bonus in this series. I especially loved Death with All the Trimmings cover, so much that in spite of receiving a wonderful ARC and getting to read the book early, I pre-ordered it, too, so I can place it with the others on my best set of bookshelves. I should receive that copy today!

    As others here have mentioned, I'm enjoying the mother-daughter relationship in the book. They both are finding themselves and coming into their own. Oh, and Miss Gloria is simply divine!

    There is just so much to love about this series with the characters, the food, the setting. And, having spent a Christmas in Key West, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed a magical place.

    I plan to feature Death with All the Trimmings on my blog this week. My interview is up on Goodreads now, and I'm only posting a link here because it was such a delight to write it. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1005601951

    Oh, the UPS man just delivered my copies of Death with All the Trimmings. Yes, I said copies. Apparently, I once again pre-ordered twice (did the same with Hank's latest). So someone will be receiving a great Christmas present. Happy publication day, Lucy! Have a Key Lime Shooter (had mine at Hog's Breath in Sept.) and enjoy your day!

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  30. Congrats, Lucy! I've always enjoyed a white Christmas, but I'm perfectly happy to spend it in Key West - at least in spirit - with Haley Snow!

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  31. Thanks Julia, and Libby, and Leslie!

    Kathy, you're so funny--an author's dream to have readers pre-order--twice--by accident:).

    So glad you've enjoyed Key West on and off the page--and thank you for the reviews! xoxo

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  32. Lucy, it was hard being subtle.

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  33. Hallie, any chance of your posting the link to the recipe for making red velvet cupcakes using pomegranate juice for the color? I'd love to make it for Valentine's Day. I preempt a birthday party by giving a small Valentine dinner for people I love. I've always wanted to make red velvet cupcakes as a take-home gift but can never get myself to use all the red food coloring. If Pomegranate juice works that would be perfect! <3

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  34. Lucy, I have to say I would go to Key West for the food alone, but now that I've read your books I'm feeling a stronger need to travel that way. One of our sons lived there for six years and used to make group telephone calls home with his friends taking turns saying hello to Mum. Do I suspect drinking was involved? Anyway… your post today caused my heart to reach the I-must-go-to-Key West critical mass. Blessings upon you.

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  35. You have once more made me want to move to Key West. I love the setting and love your cast of characters! Thanks for a warm mini-vacation.
    (and Amazon finally let me post my review).

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  36. Happy Book day! Sounds like another scrumptious offering. I love seeing Key West through your eyes.

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