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