Murder with Ganache (Key West Food Critic Series #4)

Murder with Ganache (Key West Food Critic Series #4)

4.7 17
by Lucy Burdette

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Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has her plate heaped high with restaurant reviews, doughnut and sticky bun tastings, and an article on the Hemingway cats. But this week she’s also in charge of her best friend’s wedding. And then someone adds a side of murder…

For better or worse, Hayley has agreed to bake over

…  See more details below


Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has her plate heaped high with restaurant reviews, doughnut and sticky bun tastings, and an article on the Hemingway cats. But this week she’s also in charge of her best friend’s wedding. And then someone adds a side of murder…

For better or worse, Hayley has agreed to bake over 200 cupcakes for her friend Connie’s wedding while still meeting her writing deadlines. The last thing she needs is family drama. But her parents come barreling down on the island like a category 3 hurricane and on their first night in town her stepbrother, Roby, disappears into the spring break party scene in Key West.

When Hayley hears that two teenagers have stolen a jet ski, she sets aside her oven mitts and goes in search of Rory. She finds him, barely conscious, but his female companion isn’t so lucky. Now Hayley has to let the cupcakes cool and assemble the sprinkles of clues to clear her stepbrother’s name—before someone else gets iced.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gourmets who enjoy a little mayhem with their munchies will welcome Burdette's fourth Key West mystery featuring food critic Hayley Snow (after 2013's Topped Chef). Soon after the arrival of Hayley's dysfunctional family in Key West, Fla., for the wedding of Hayley's best friend, her 15-year-old stepbrother, Rory, the epitome of sullen adolescence, disappears. A search locates Rory in a coma aboard an abandoned sailboat the next day, but the subsequent discovery of the drowned body of the girl Rory ran off with makes the boy a murder suspect. Burdette (the pen name of Roberta Isleib) does a good job integrating information about runaway teens into the plot, along with appealing food details. Mystery purists may disapprove of a solution that involves someone not identified until late in the story—as well as an otherwise intelligent lead who flouts a police order to stop following the chief suspect and throws herself into the fray. Agent: Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Management. (Feb.)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Key West Food Critic Series, #4
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Praise for the Key West Food Critic Mystery Series:

“What fun! Lucy Burdette writes evocatively about Key West and food—a winning combination. I can’t wait for the next entry in this charming series.”—New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson

“Food, fun, and felonies. What more could a reader ask for?”—New York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett

“For a true taste of paradise, don’t miss An Appetite for Murder. Lucy Burdette’s first Key West Food Critic mystery combines a lush, tropical setting, a mysterious murder, and plenty of quirky characters. The victim may not be coming back for seconds, but readers certainly will!”—Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef mysteries and Manor House mysteries 

“You’ll eat it up.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Murder With Ganache (Key West Food Critic Series #4) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
It's spring time in Key West, Florida.  So what sounds like the most fun?  Vacation for the young crowd on break, or maybe a lovely wedding on the point with a beautiful sunset reception, or perhaps a family gathering of all the different new couples with divorced parents and food tasting.  Well in this book, Lucy Burdette has brought all these things together in her fourth Key West Food Critic Mystery book, and the results is a world-win of adventure. Amongst everything else, food critic and writer, Hayley Snow, is dealing with her surely 15 year old half brother who has gone off on a Jet Ski that is not his, and he's gotten into a real mess.  At the same time, Hayley is a bride's maid for her best friend's wedding and has planned to make hundreds of cupcakes for the big day.  But never forget that her day job is eating and critiquing foods from all of the local restaurants for her handsome boss at Key Zest Magazine. I adore this series.  Burdette's characters grow exponentially in every book and I must get my updates on everyone's lives in each new book.  The fun vacation atmosphere and food recipes give me that vacation feeling every time I get engrossed in these mysteries.  The lime cupcakes, strawberry pie recipe, and other recipes are worth the read by themselves.  I hope these mysteries go on and on like a wonderful family reunion with a mysterious twist!
Jgetze More than 1 year ago
Key West food critic Hayley Snow feasts on a buffet of trouble in this fourth installment of the series -- busted cupcakes, visiting troublemakers (mostly family), unruly animals (also mostly family), murder, plus a bride and groom who fall off the wedding cake. This time, there is simply NO WAY our polite and caring heroine will manage all of these family, pet and dessert problems, let alone solve the murder and maintain her sanity. Can she?  I don't read a lot of cozies. I usually like blood, sex, a little more action. But Lucy is such a fine writer, and Hayley such a wonderfully entertaining character, I'm stuck on the series. Don't tell my noirish friends.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Missing Step-Brothers are Danger Hayley Snow is the maid of honor in her best friend Connie’s wedding. Since Connie and Hayley’s family are so close, they are all flying in for the ceremony. That includes Hayley’s step-brother Rory. In the time since Hayley’s last seen him, he’s turned into a typical surly teenager who doesn’t seem that interested in spending time with family even though he wanted to come on the trip. The night of the bride and groom shower, Rory begs to go off on his own so much that his mother and Hayley finally relent. However, he doesn’t return by the time the party is over. Where is he? What kind of danger has he found in the few hours he’s been on the island? This was my introduction to Hayley and her friends in Key West, and I enjoyed it. Occasionally, I felt I was a step behind since I hadn’t read the previous three books, but the characters were introduced well enough and are so strong that I was soon able to follow along just fine. The plot was great and kept me turning pages as quickly as I could. The ending was a big rushed and weak as a result, but everything did make sense. And, being a culinary cozy, there are some delicious sounding recipes at the end. I have obviously been missing out on a great series. Now that I’ve discovered this, I will need to backtrack and read Hayley’s three previous adventures. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
At the heart of it, Murder with Ganache is all about family... Murder with Ganache by Lucy Burdette The Fourth Key West Food Critic Mystery Murder with Ganache, the fourth in the Key West Food Critic Mystery series by Lucy Burdette, finds Hayley making cupcakes for her friend Connie's wedding. The cupcakes meet an untimely end thanks to Evinrude, Sparky, and their new neighbor, Schnootie, and unfortunately, their destruction marks the beginning of a series of unpleasant events. Hayley's family, who happen to be Connie's surrogate family, arrive bringing a last minute addition, Hayley's step-brother, Rory. When the surly teenager is given some freedom he leaves the wedding shower, but doesn't return as scheduled. Wedding plans are put on hold as everyone searches for the missing teenager. What trouble could a 15 year old boy get into in Key West during Spring Break? A lot! Connie has lost her mother and is accepted as part of Hayley's family. But when Connie's biological father shows up at the pre-wedding dinner, problems arise. Is blood thicker than water? Or is the bond of family you've chosen and who chooses you even stronger? At the heart of it, Murder with Ganache is all about family, the biological family you're given, the family that's chosen for you, and the family you choose for yourself. Hayley has been dealing with both her mother and stepmother for some time; now her stepbrother is added to the mix. No longer the sweet toddler, Rory has become a sullen teenager-one who manages to land himself in a great deal of trouble. Although the relationship between Hayley and Lieutenant Torrrence has cooled...dare we say died...romance is blooming with the looming wedding of Connie and Ray. Author Lucy Burdette brings some of the harsh realities of Key West to light in this edition of the Key West Food Critic Mystery series; survival methods of the street kids who flock to the islands running to or away from something. My review thus far could be describing a very sombre book-but that's truly not the case. Issues of homeless youths, miscommunication, and family give the book depth but there's also an intriguing mystery (complicated by all of the above) and lightness. The opening scene still has me giggling-key lime cupcakes, an unsocialized dog, and two cats-need I say more? I thoroughly enjoyed my recent visit to Key West and I urge you to pick up this book and enjoy life in Key West. Recipes included.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kayek1 More than 1 year ago
Hayley Snow, the food critic for Key Zest magazine, has a full plate, not just with work, but with her best friend Connie's wedding. If that isn't enough, when her family comes into town for the wedding, her stepbrother, goes missing in the Key West spring break scene. When she finds him, he is barely conscious, and he is accused of murdering the girl he was seen with. With the setting of this series in Key West I enjoy the locale. Hayley is always running into difficult people, and often hilarious situations. Her friends and family are a charming collection of interesting characters. I also love the recipes in the back of the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I won this book with a request for an honest review.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
I'm all caught up and I can't wait for the next book I can't say enough about how much I am enjoying this series.  It's such an easy read - because it is so well written that you don't even notice.  The murders are woven in to the on-going development of Haley's life in Key West.  The danger and suspense seem real, but are not dark and do not overwhelm to rest of the story.  All of the characters are well developed; even if you don't like them you want to spend more time with them to see what happens to them next.  Even Evinrude - maybe especially Evinrude! In every book Haley becomes a little more grounded in her life and in her relationships with her family and those around her.  She has setbacks and of course always ends up in danger, but she has successes as well and we celebrate them with her. Waiting anxiously for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookishLF More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful, delicious food critic mystery series with great characters, intriguing  plot lines, and en hanting settings with recipes!!!
Sue_Carver More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed each one of this series even more than the last! Excellently written...engaging characters...yummy recipes! Can't ask for more...except the next book in the series!
WendyB More than 1 year ago
In one lovely package we get a clever mystery, exotic locale, tasty food and characters we care about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book in a wonderful series! Enjoy stories set in Key West and the fun characters who transport you there! I have even gone to the restaurants recommended in this series and had amazing experiences!
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Haley Snow is one busy lady. She is baking for her friend's wedding as well as being Connie's Maid of Honor, working at her day job as a food critic at Key Zest and managing her parents and their new partners. She doesn't need anything else, but when do things go as we want. Now she has a murder with her step-brother as a suspect. Will Haley be able to handle all this? Can she solve this crime? The author has written a complex and suspenseful mystery. I love that Haley keeps growing as a person. This is what I want and expect when I read a series. I couldn't stop reading Murder With Ganache. The story is well written and the characters are solid. The interwoven storylines merge and create a compelling mystery. Lucy Burdette is a wonderfully talented author. I never miss one of her books. She just keeps getting better.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Connie and Ray are getting married. Connie’s family is Hayley’s family since her mom passed away and she hasn’t seen her father in years. So Hayley’s parents and their significant others have arrived in Key West for the wedding and brought all the family drama with them. That includes Hayley’s teenage stepbrother Rory. The last thing a teenage boy want to do is attend a bridal shower or go sightseeing with his mother and stepfather. He convinces his mother to let him go off my himself for just a couple of hours but of course he misses his curfew. In fact he still has arrived back my morning. This sets off a search for him and leads to all kinds of trouble. Will Hayley be able to get Rory out of the hot water he has gotten himself or will be extending his stay in a Florida jail cell. Dollycas’s Thoughts Oh I would love to be in Key West right now instead freezing here in Wisconsin. Thanks to Lucy Burdette I was able to have a mini escape there. She really has outdone herself with this installment. Hayley is a super strong character that just jumps off the page but really struck me with this story was the interaction between her mom and step-mom. The usual angst was there of her mom being jealous of the relationship Hayley has with her step-mom but the way a tragedy brings these women together just warmed my heart. In this day and age it is sometimes hard for divorced couples to put their children first whether the children are 2, 15, or 30. I was really happy to see the two sides of the family come together. The story had a wonderful mystery and plenty of twists in both the main plot and the subplot. There were a lot of characters in this story but it was very easy to follow. I missed the tarot card reader that was prevalent in the previous books. We had a glimpse of him but not the usual Hayley visits. Lucy Burdette is a great cozy author. I look forward to my visits to Key West. I can’t wait for my next trip.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Lucy Burdette is back with her fourth book in the Key West Food Critic series, Murder with Ganache. What does a beach wedding, a stolen Jet Ski and a missing set of teenagers have in common? A really good whodunit! Burdette's passion for Key West is evident on every page as she describes not only the sites and sounds but the people and their exotic culture. Murder by chain is afoot and Hayley's step brother may be right in the middle of it. Readers who love this series are in for a real treat with the latest addition to the series. What I liked: The Florida Keys have always seemed like one of those exotic junglesque locales right out of a movie to me and Lucy Burdette continues to strengthen that idea in my mind. With every Key West Food Critic book, I sink a little deeper in my fantasy of living on the beach, eating usual foods and reading a good cozy mystery, probably one of Burdette's. Her descriptions transport the reader into a different world really. Key West is so unique. The attitudes the laid back way of life. Burdette will have most readers under her spell in no time. She has a real gift for setting and time and place. Hayley is in the middle of preparing for her best friend Connie's wedding when her very immense and unconventional family roars into town. I loved the fact that Hayley's blended bunch had their issues but still pulled together when the needed to. Her step-brother, Rory has turned into a typical teenager who gets himself into a bit of trouble. If you want to call being accused of murder a little trouble. I thought the whole idea of Rory taking off and trying to impress a girl was extremely realistic. Spring break crowds, a big party and too much time on his hands. I thought Burdette really showed her strength in characterization with Rory.  I loved the idea of Rory's companion being from Project Lighthouse. I thought that was a nice touch and it added to the overall mystery in a lot of ways. It gave the story some unusual suspects besides Rory and Hayley's visit was interesting and gave the reader another angle and perspective to the mystery. Hayley is always trying to help people out and she and the director have become close. I liked the tie in with this one and hope they work together again in the future. The Food Critic angle always gives these books a great food related back story. The cupcakes for the wedding are only a few of the goodies described here and you've got to try some of the recipes in the back. I have got to try me some, Spanokopita, what a name! What I didn't like: Some readers who are new to the series, may have some issues with following along and figuring out who everyone is and how everyone is related or unrelated. Why this person doesn't like this person or does like this other person. In other words it can get a little confusing. I recommend reading them as a series in stead of stand alone's for just that reason. Bottom Line: This is an excellent addition to the series. I find myself liking this one more with each new book. Murder with Ganache isn't my favorite, but it definitely gave me a reason to continue reading this series. I look forward to what's to come for Hayley, maybe even a little romance.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Murder With Ganache is the fourth book in A Key West Food Critic Mystery series. Another fine addition to this fun series. Hayley Snow is busy baking wedding cupcakes for her best friend Connie and trying to work in an interview out at the Hemmingway home for Key Zest, the magazine she is also food critic for. Add to this, her father and stepmom and her mother and her boyfriend are also coming for Connie's wedding. Everyone get ready for the Jack and Jill shower and after a while, Rory, Hayley's stepbrother and a young teenager, gets bored and wants to walk Duval Street and take in the sites of Key West. Finally he gets permission and is out of there. As the shower is beginning to break, nothing has been heard from Rory or is he answering his cell phone. While the police are looking for Rory, Hayley finds a picture of Rory on Face Book. Then they find out that possibly Rory and a teenaged girl have stolen a jet-ski. The next morning, Hayley with the help of some friends starts searching the waters near where they were last seen. They first find the dead body of the girl, who was apparently strangles with a chain. They soon find Rory near by, unconscious and with a chain similar to the used to strangle the girl. Hayley knows that he's no angel, but then she doesn't think he is a killer either. She ends up visiting a shelter for runaway teens to learn more about the dead girl and to seek clues as where to look to clear her step-brother. A great story that was both exciting and informative and with a cast of interesting characters. A perfect book for me to read on these snow days. I will be looking for the next book in the series.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
A cozy mystery with a familial twist. Add a sprinkling of food and you have a delightful read. The main character is dealing with a friend's wedding and the arrival of a less-than-comfy assortment of family members. In particular, her teen-aged, angst ridden step brother. The brother disappears, the wedding is off (or is it?), and the search for answers is on. "Visit" Key West by reading this book and have a good time.