In the center of Key West there lies a beautiful, old cemetery. On the carved
stones and crypts, visitors can read snatches of stories of former islanders.
Some of the gravesites are very well tended, while others are crumbling. Some
are surrounded by stone walls and others by spiked metal fences.
One sunny day, I wandered through the cemetery and began thinking about the
people who were buried there, and the relatives who survived them. Where could I
find a better setting for a mystery?
So in FATAL
RESERVATIONS, the sixth Key West mystery, I nudged Hayley Snowâ€™s roommate,
Miss Gloria, to volunteer for training as a cemetery tour guide.
Hayley is not a fan of Miss Gloriaâ€™s new job. Down deep inside, she's terrified
that all that death will rub off on her friend and she'll and end up in one of
those tombs instead of standing on the outside telling their stories. But Miss
Gloria tells her: â€śItâ€™s important to remind ourselves about our history, about
the interesting people that came before us. We'll want some little old ladies
remembering us in the decades to come, won't we?â€ť
Early in the book, a body washes up near Houseboat Row and Hayleyâ€™s dear friend,
Lorenzo, the tarot card reader, is accused of murder. As the mystery unfolds,
Hayley and Miss Gloria realize that the people they should be afraid of are the
live ones, not those already dead.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series,
launching in January 2012 with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER (NAL.)
Lucyâ€™s alter-ego, clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib, has published eight
mysteries including the golf loverâ€™s mystery series and the advice column
mysteries. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and
Macavity awards. Sheâ€™s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers
of America, and Sisters in Crime, and a past-president of Sisters in Crime.
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In the latest Key West Food Critic mystery, Hayley Snowâ€™s beat is
reviewing restaurants for Key Zest magazine. But she sets aside her knife and
fork when a dear friend is accused of murderâ€¦
Hayley Snow looks forward to reviewing For Goodness Sake, a new floating
restaurant that promises a fresh take on Japanese delicacies like flambĂ©ed
grouper with locally sourced seaweed. But nearby land-based restaurateurs would
rather see their buoyant competition sink.
Sent to a City Commission meeting to cover the controversy, Hayley witnesses
another uproar. The quirky performers of the daily Sunset Celebration are
struggling to hold onto their performance space. The fight for Mallory Square
has renewed old rivalries between Hayleyâ€™s Tarot-card reading friend Lorenzo and
a flaming-fork-juggling nemesis, Bart Frontgateâ€”but things take a deadly turn
when Bart is found murdered.
If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only
hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murderâ€¦
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