Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: Killer Takeout by Lucy Burdette (Key West Food Critics Mysteries #7)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, full story to keep you entertained
Cons: Climax a little rushed
The Bottom Line:
Deadly Fantasy
Hayley must juggle in case
Fun getaway read

Fantasy Fest is Looking Like a Nightmare This Year

I must admit that I’d never given much thought to visiting Key West, Florida, until I started reading the Key West Food Critic Mysteries.  (I came so close to a visit over New Years since I was in the South Florida area for work until I looked at prices.)  As a result, I really look forward to my virtual visits through this series.  Killer Takeout is the newest in the series, and it’s another fun visit.

Each year in October, Key West hosts Fantasy Fest, a week and a half long party leading up to Halloween when adults come to participate in various events and parades.  Costumes are encouraged, although many of them venture toward the adult side of the spectrum (to put it mildly).

This year’s Fantasy Fest is turning into quite a busy week for Hayley Snow.  In addition to her regular restaurant review for the magazine where she works, Key Zest, she’s also covering some of the events of the week for work.  Her mother and her mother’s fiancĂ©e are in town, planning a wedding at the end of the week.  And everyone is keeping one eye on the weather forecast as Tropical Storm Margaret is forming in the area and might be heading their way.

Into this mix, a little murder falls.  Hayley’s co-worker Danielle has been crowned Fantasy Fest Queen, a contest based on fund raising for AIDS Help.  However, Caryn, one of Danielle’s competitors for the title, is not taking her defeat well.  When Caryn collapses during the zombie bike ride, the police begin to look at Danielle as a killer.  Can Hayley fit finding a killer into her already busy schedule?

Hayley’s busy schedule also means that there is never a dull moment in this book.  The mystery is the main focus, but these other sub-plots keep us turning pages just as quickly.  I did feel that the climax of the mystery was rushed as a result of the various sub-plots, but by the end everything has been brought to a satisfying conclusion.

I love these characters.  Really, I do.  If I were to visit Key West at some point in the future, I’d be looking all over for them since I just know we’d become best friends.  That continues here, with the regular cast being their normal charming selves.  A sub-plot involving Hayley’s work life shows just how much she has grown in the seven books in this series.  The new characters are just as strong and interesting.  But I have to give a special shout out to Miss Gloria, Hayley’s 80-something houseboat mate.  That woman is a hoot!  I just love her.

And, of course, we get recipes.  There are six recipes, and there is something to make you drool.  I’m not a big fan of seafood, so the Key West Boiled Dinner doesn’t appeal to me, but I really want to test out the Strawberry Cake and Coconut Cake recipes.  Yum!

While there are references to previous events, nothing in this book truly spoils earlier books, so if you are new to the series, feel free to jump in here.  Once you do, you’ll want to backtrack and spend more time in Key West.

If you need a vacation but can’t get away right now, this series is perfect for you.  Killer Takeout will keep you turning pages and leave you feeling like you’ve had a tropical getaway.

Looking for more escapes?  Here are the Key West Food Critics Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, April 12th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 4/12.  You will have until midnight on 4/17 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 4/18.


  1. I have this one on my list. Thanks for the review and chance to win a copy.
    afarage (at) earthlink.net

  2. Congratulations on the new book release! I am very excited to have the opportunity to get on board with this delightful reading adventure: Key West, murder, and recipes!

  3. This book sounds good! Going on my insanely long TBR list.

  4. This book sounds so good and I am so happy that it is in print . I love the food trucks they have been in SF for such a long time that is what i miss here in Iowa. ptclayton2@aol.com

  5. Looks like a great read. Thanks for the opportunity!

  6. This is a series that has been on my TBR list for a while. After reading your review, I am moving it up near the top! kaijai123@comcast.net

  7. I love these books.
    Even though I live in south Florida, getting to Key West takes just as much planning as it does for almost anyone else.
    So, I'm happy to "travel" with this author.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  8. I'm a little behind on this series but I do enjoy it, she does great at describing Key West, I feel like I am there. Great review.

    1. oops forgot my email...senior moment...that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it, LOL

  9. It would be exciting to visit key west, I'm in Wisconsin, after reading this review I can't wait to read this book! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

  10. Sounds like a great book. Stoeser1@pie.midco.net

  11. Sounds so fun! Can't wait to read it.

  12. Oops! My email address is brichardson0056@yahoo.com

  13. I'm looking forward to reading "Killer Takeout". Enjoy the Key West mysteries. Great giveaway.

  14. Happy release day! I have always wanted to visit Key West, but have had to make do with books! Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!!! jillian.lauder@yahoo.com

  16. Happy release day. I look forward to reading it.Thanks for the chance to win. mcknzbwl@aol.com Donna McKenzie.

  17. Hi.. would be so awesome to wake up and find that I won this fabulous book to read..thanks for the chance. rosep@bayland.net

  18. Thank you Mark for the intro & review! I've read the debut of this series...looks like I have some catching up to do. sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

  19. This is a fun series and I need to catch up! Thanks, Mark.

  20. I am a fan of this author and I'd love to win!! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  21. Great series! (I think I ended up binge reading the first five in three days or somewhere along those lines.) I'm so looking forward to returning to Key West. Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. I just got back from the Keys so I would love to read a book based on Key West. wendyklik1517@gmail.com