Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Characters and setting charm as always
Cons: Mystery is on the weak side
The Bottom Line:
It’s Hayley’s wedding
There’s plenty happening here
Thanksgiving Wedding Bells
While most of the series I read are cozy mysteries, they do include a bit of romance, and if the series runs long enough, eventually a wedding happens. A Deadly Feast brings us to that pivotal moment in the life of main character Hayley Snow.
She and her fiancé, Key West police detective Nathan Bransford, have decided on a wedding the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend since that is usually a slower period for tourists and therefore crime on the island. With the wedding just over a week away, Hayley has a busy schedule trying to get last minute things done and oversee the remodel of the houseboat they intend to live in after they are married – that is if their contractor ever shows up. Plus, her father and his family are coming into town and will be celebrating Thanksgiving with Hayley’s mom and her new husband, which could lead to fireworks.
So the last thing she needs is a mystery, but that’s just what happens. Hayley’s last article for Key Zest magazine before her wedding is on a seafood tasting tour, and at the last stops, one of the participants drops dead. Since the tour was being run by Hayley’s friend Analise, she can’t say no when Analise asks her to try to find out what happened to the poor woman before it harms Analise’s business. There doesn’t seem to be much to go on. Can Hayley find anything to clear her friend and her business?
As you can see, there is a lot going on in this book, and Hayley is busy trying to balance everything. Not only that, but her fiancé is finding the week leading up to their wedding to not be the crime free week he envisioned, so she is worrying about him. All this gives author Lucy Burdette lots of balls to juggle as she weaves this tale for us.
Unfortunately, I felt the mystery was underserved as a result. It got buried under all the other happenings, and in the end, things were rushed to give us a resolution.
Now, this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I love Hayley and the rest of the gang, so it is always fantastic to spend time with them. And, because I love them so much, I care about them and the drama they are going through. While the holiday means we don’t see one of the series regulars, we get to see a different side of another, and I enjoyed that. It’s been a few books since we’ve seen Hayley’s father and his current family, so I enjoyed seeing them again as well. And if Miss Gloria, Hayley’s octogenarian roommate, doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will.
And we get to spend time in Key West. Seriously, is it possible to fall in love with a place you’ve never been? If so, I have completely fallen in love with Key West through these books. Since my vacation prospects are pretty much zero this year due to changing day jobs, being able to escape through the pages of this book was fantastic.
Of course, there are recipes. In fact, there are nine and they give us quite a variety, including key lime pie in a cup, lobster macaroni and cheese, and, inspired by Thanksgiving, a pumpkin pie recipe I definitely have to try.
While the mystery was weak, I am glad I got to spend more time with Hayley in A Deadly Feast. While new comers to the series might not enjoy it as much, fans will find the pages fly by all too quickly as they always do.
Take more fictional trips to Key West with the rest of the Key West Food Critic Mysteries.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.
I'm reviewing this book as part of a blog tour. Be sure to check out the other stops.