Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What We're Writing Week @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Would you believe that the most recent recent thing I've written is an agonizing list of possible titles for the seventh book in the Key West series? If you are my friend on Facebook, you will know that I haven't been doing this myself. (If not, why not? Let's be friends.)

When I put the call out, I got the most amazing suggestions. Don't you have to love NAKED CAME THE ENTREE? (That one from friend Kate Flora.) Or how about MISE EN CRIME SCENE (Rosemary Harris?)

But before that excitement, I was polishing the last possible draft of FATAL RESERVATIONS. I love this book--it's Lorenzo the tarot card reader's story, coming in July. I hope you'll love it too--here are a few snippets from Hayley...with photos to read them by...

My eye caught on pimento cheese with spiced saltine crackers and a plate of fried green tomatoes--was it too early in the day for pimento cheese? My mouth watered at the prospect, which I interpreted as a definitive no.


Of course our team shirts were homely, but to me, they were like a badge and a blue polyester uniform were to a cop. They meant we belonged. They meant we were on the case, on the hunt for the best food--the best everything--in Key West. The brotherhood of Key Zest

“Maybe it wasn’t only his personality that I disliked,” I added. “Probably anyone juggling on a high wire would make me nervous. Never mind that the utensils he was lobbing around were on fire.”
    “Aha! That's how I feel when you get involved with police work,” said Torrence. “Like you’re on a high wire tossing flaming objects with not one nanosecond of training or experience.”

Lorenzo had built a Zen garden around his home, with a wash of small white rocks taking the place of grass. The rocks were punctuated by short spiky palmettos and tropical bushes and trees, including sea grapes, shortleaf figs, and an autograph tree--the totally cool plant I’d seen in the botanical garden with actual autographs on its smooth green leaves. People scribbled on those leaves as if they writing on the wall in a public bathroom stall.

    “Anything I left out that might be a specialty of the chef?”
    “Grouper fish flambe, of course,” the waiter said. “The owners caught the grouper themselves last night. And we went out with Chef early this morning and gathered the seaweed from Smathers Beach.”
    I had to bite my lip to keep from snickering: Hard to picture the restaurant staff moving among the early spring break revelers, scooping up seaweed.

We crept closer to the grave and she shone the beam into the crevice. A large green iguana darted out of the hole, causing us all three to screech in unison and leap backward. I tripped over the wrought iron gate and crashed to the ground.  

Instead of the cheerleader I’d anticipated, she was watching me like a pastry chef on salted caramel. As if I would turn on her at any moment.

(I bet Hank wouldn't post this photo, but it cracks me up--and reminds me of how deliciously amazing the salted caramel tasted...The photo is from a chocolate shop in Adelaide, part of our foodie tour with Feast on Foot) 

That's it for now--back to work. I know snow is still covering the ground for many of you, but July will be here before we know it, bringing the sixth Key West food critic mystery, FINAL RESERVATIONS. 

You can pre-order it here. 


  1. Oh, I do hope you're right about the snow . . . I think we've all seen enough of it to last us for a long, long time.

    I really enjoyed the little snippets with the photos --- besides looking yummy, it made me even more anxious to read the whole book! Thanks for sharing this with us. [And I love the salted caramel photo!]

  2. Photos, great! Snippets, so much fun! Another 'trip' to Key West, yay!!! Especially with all the snow still on the ground... aren't books wonderful!

  3. o wonderful! And I will admit to you that I fell asleep the other night trying to think of a title for your book

    I could only come up with Key West Kitchen Confidential. Which isn;t half as good as Mise En Crime Scene.

  4. Yes, books are wonderful! thanks Joan and FChurch. Hank, I love that, KEY WEST KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL. I'm going to send it in and see what they think...xo

  5. This sounds delicious! Pre-ordering it now.

    Cracked up reading about the flambeed fresh caught grouper and hand gathered seaweed.

    Though, on another topic, I really would love to learn about cooking with seaweed. Is it like mushrooms, there are varieties that can kill you?

  6. Lucy/Roberta:

    As usual, just KNOWING you have another book coming out has me salivating, not to mention looking forward to the mystery, too!

    I once tried a salted caramel brownie; it was too much salt, and ended up overpowering the chocolate taste. I had to throw it out - I think I prefer my chocolate to be pure!

    16 days until spring! I hate to even look at PICTURES of snow! The other day at work a supervisor asked me if I could get some info for her on a person whose last name is Snow. I said "you couldn't need information on someone with a different name?" (No offense to Hayley Snow!)

  7. Oh, this was fun, and I adore that cute photo of you tasting the salted caramel!

  8. Hallie, don't know a thing about cooking with seaweed! (You all should know that Hallie made some brilliant tweaks to the copy on the back cover of Fatal Reservations.)

    Deb R, it's been truly a nightmare this winter! We are filled with empathy for you, and guilty gratitude not to be there:(.

    The salted caramel we tasted at that shop was not mixed with chocolate. Honestly, I could have eaten the whole jar...

  9. Nice snippets. And I love salted caramel. And I'm terrible with titles, but I like "Key West Kitchen Confidential" and "Mise en Crime Scene."

    I drove through a slushy snow/rain mix that brought traffic to a practical standstill. Can't wait for July. For many reasons.

  10. What a delightful post!! I am so happy that this series continues -- and that you are willing to share progress along the way. Thank you!!

  11. Well, at least in the Northeast we can _read_ about gorgeous Key West and also make some recipes — pimento cheese and fried pickles sound all kinds of wonderful.... I really like Key West Kitchen Confidential!

  12. Oh Mary, that sounds like a nightmare! Hallie's written an essay about the "Snowmaggedon" in Boston this year--you won't believe her pictures. Coming next week...

    Thanks Denise!

    And Susan! I know New York's been no picnic this winter either...

  13. Oh Lucy, I love my vicarious trips to Key West with you. Looking forward to the next one. And I adored grouper when I had it in Florida!

  14. Grouper is so wonderful Rhys--everyone should try it when they come down.

    We hope your launch is a huge success!!

  15. "Key West Kitchen Confidential"

    I vote for it, too!

  16. Good luck with the title. I'm so bad at titling anything, I understand your frustration.

    Looking forward to Fatal Reservations!

  17. I think we take it for granted that soon we will have another wonderful book with a terrific title - we forget how much work it is for you! But thanks for the work. Fatal Reservations has been pre-ordered for a while, can't wait!

  18. Thanks Mark! thanks Grandma Cootie--that means so much! xo

  19. I love that photo, Lucy! I saw the thread on Facebook, but I can never come up with book titles, especially witty ones. I'm most likely to come up with something like "The Pimento Cheese Murders." :-)

    It's never too early in the morning for pimento cheese, I say. Yum!

  20. I loved reading all those snippets. And caramel. And pimiento cheese. Yum.

  21. although now that you mention that Lisa, I love THE PIMENTO CHEESE MURDER! You can be pretty sure no one else has used it:)

  22. I'm one of your FB friends, Lucy, that has been in on the title adventure. So much fun! Since the book takes place during Fantasy Fest, my titles have tried to incorporate that wild event. I love reading all of the suggestions.

    Oh, salted caramel! There is a fudge shop in the little town nearby where my daughter lives, and the salted caramel fudge that they make is truly to die for. Hmmm, Salted Caramel to Die For. Hehehe! I love the picture of you eating. Wonderful!

    Lucy, have you eaten at Firefly Southern Kitchen on Petronia? I've probably already mentioned it to you, but with Haley's quest to present the best food of Key West, I thought it worth another mention. They have Key Lime Cake, which is quite possibly the most delicious dessert that I have ever put into my mouth. It is a recipe handed down in the chef's family, and nobody is privy to its exact contents except the chef. Maybe you could incorporate this amazing dessert (better than any Key Lime pie I've ever had) into one of the future books.

  23. Hey Kathy, I have eaten there--in fact Hayley reviews Firefly in the next book. But now you've given me a terrible craving for that cake...

  24. My sister is the cutest on the planet. And so is that big lizard!

  25. Lucy, I'm so happy that Firefly is going to be in the next book. Isn't that cake divine? I don't know how I could help but go there every day to have a piece if I lived in Key West.

  26. Lucy, loved the snippet, loved the pics! Especially the one of you:-)

    I can't wait to read Fatal Reservations. (Hint hint, wink wink:-))

    And your cover is fab!

    Now, for that pimento cheese...

  27. I like the image of the Iguana appearing on the book.