LUCY BURDETTE: I can't really concentrate on anything except for the fact that KILLER TAKEOUT will be out next Tuesday. So I'm sharing a few snippets from that book, the 7th Key West mystery. (The quotes are all in Hayley Snow's voice, of course.)
|Lucy with the cast of Wizard of Oz, FF style|
Me? I'd rather eat canned sardines from China than march down Key West’s Duval Street wearing not much more than body paint. But 100,000 out-of-town revelers didn’t agree. They were arriving on the island this week to do just that—or watch it happen—during Fantasy Fest, the celebration taking place during the ten days leading up to Halloween, including a slew of adult-themed costume parties culminating in a massive and rowdy parade.
Food is a major deal in my family—life-sustaining, of course. But it also provides clues to the cook’s inner life, like a psychologist’s inkblot test. According to my mother, and her mother before her, the menu that the hostess selects always, always sends a message to the guests.
I’d added the mango dog to our order at the last minute, thinking it would be more Sam's speed than mine. But the combination of the fragrant grilled all beef hot dog, wrapped in crispy bacon and slathered with slices of bright yellow mango, red onion, and jalapeno pepper, and topped with some kind of pink sauce looked irresistible. (Mango hot dog recipe.)
I retrieved my bike and peddled over to the Atlantic side of the island, and then up the bike path toward Fort East Martello, next to the Key West airport. As I rode, more zombies on bikes filled in the empty spaces ahead and behind me. There were Santa zombies and retiree zombies and wicked witch zombies, and zombies of uncertain lineage heavy on dripping blood.
|I DID ask his permission|
Robert, a life-sized stuffed doll with a creepy face who was dressed in a sailor suit, had been enclosed in a big glass case. On the wall, letters were displayed from visitors who had not taken the proper precautions of asking his permission before taking his photo. Or worse still, made fun of his evil powers. He was famous for cursing tourists who didn’t treat him with respect.
Bransford managed a pained smile. “None of Hayley’s friends are capable of murder—she tells me that every time we have an incident.”
“Not funny,” I said, and took the glass of white wine from Sam’s steady hands, my own fingers shaking.
Shortly after I’d moved down, Key West seeped into my system like a sweet poison, and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. And I probably bragged about how lucky I was to be on this island more than I should.
The tropical depression that forecasters had worried about for the last several days was still hanging heavy east of Cuba. The longer it stalled, the more organized grew its internal rotation, said the hurricane specialist. Which spelled more concern for Florida, especially our fragile keys, tossed across the ocean like a string of antique pearls.
People were like that, full of psychological wrinkles and shadowy corners—even the ones you’d known forever harbored secrets.
KILLER TAKEOUT will be out on Tuesday, available wherever books are sold! But I'd love to give a copy away to one of our wonderful Jungle Red Readers! Leave your email with your name to be entered in the drawing.