An Appetite for Murder (A Key West Food Critic Mystery #1) by Lucy Burdette
Hayley Snow is not having a good time of it. Having dropped everything to move with her new boyfriend to Key West she suddenly finds herself single, jobless, and living on a friend's houseboat. Not only that but the boss of her dream job - food critic at a magazine called Key Zest - just happens to be Kristen Faulkner who just happens to be the woman that Hayley caught in bed with her boyfriend not too long ago.
Things only get worse for Hayley when Kristen is found murdered and Hayley is an obvious suspect. But Hayley's not completely on her own. She has her friends Connie, Connie's boyfriend Ray, and psychologist and frequent voice of reason Eric. Not to mention all the amazing sound food in the restaurants or tucked into the corners of Key West.
I haven't been to Key West in years and it's going to be a few more before I'm able to visit again but reading this book was like hopping on a plane and being there myself - well not exactly but pretty close. Burdette's descriptions of the place and the food really brought it to life. I liked Hayley a lot. She's nice, she's funny, and she has a gift for putting her foot in her mouth - especially when she's nervous which is not a good habit in a murder investigation. There were a few times I cringed for her as she over-explained during an interrogation.
The mystery itself was fast paced and I was pretty clueless about who the killer was until towards the end. The food descriptions were mouth watering but didn't overwhelm the book with unnecessary detail. And Hayley's description of her Leaning Tower of Eggplant (recipe in the back of the book) sounded amazing and I don't even like eggplant. I also really enjoyed the foodie quotes that headed every chapter. There was from from Calvin Trillin that I especially loved.
Today I thought I'd share one of the recipes in the back of this book. I love foodie cozies and I always want to try the recipes in the books and I have decided this the year to actually do it! Today's recipe is for Molasses Sugar Cookies. Hayley makes them after a particularly awful day for comfort and I can definitely see why. Not only are these cookies super easy to make but they're warm and spicy tasting. They'd be perfect with a cup of tea after a long day.
Molasses Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
sugar for rolling
Melt butter over low heat. Cook, add sugar, molasses, and egg. Beat well. Sift together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt, add to first mixture. Mix well and chill. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Not only were these tasty and quick to throw together but they made my house smell absolutely amazing! If you're having a rough day then these cookies and An Appetite for Murder would definitely turn things around!
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads