Topped Chef (Key West Food Critic Series #3)

Topped Chef (Key West Food Critic Series #3)

4.9 13
by Lucy Burdette
     
 

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Hayley Snow loves her job as the food critic for Key Zest magazine, tasting the offerings from Key West’s most innovative restaurants. She’d rate her life four stars, until she’s forced into the spotlight…and another murder investigation.

Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley’s boss signs her up to help judge the Key

Overview

Hayley Snow loves her job as the food critic for Key Zest magazine, tasting the offerings from Key West’s most innovative restaurants. She’d rate her life four stars, until she’s forced into the spotlight…and another murder investigation.

Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley’s boss signs her up to help judge the Key West Topped Chef contest. Stakes are high as the winner could be the next cooking-show superstar. Hayley shows up for the filming nervous but excited, until she sees who’s on the judging panel with her: Sam Rizzoli, big shot businessman—and owner of the restaurant she just panned in her first negative review.

When Rizzoli turns up dead, the police assume his killer is one of his business rivals. But Hayley wonders whether someone is taking the contest a little too seriously. With the police following the wrong recipe, it’s up to Hayley to find the killer before she’s eliminated from the show…permanently.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Key West, Food Critic series praise:

“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 Davis

“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, national bestselling author of the White House Chef mysteries and Manor House mysteries

“[A] yummy sequel to An Appetite for Murder...anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy.”—Publishers Weekly 
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451239709
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Series:
Key West Food Critic Series , #3
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
186,032
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
Key West, Food Critic series praise:
“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 Davis   “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, national bestselling author of the White House Chef mysteries and Manor House mysteries

“[A] yummy sequel to An Appetite for Murder...anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy.”—Publishers Weekly 
 

Meet the Author

Clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib, aka Lucy Burdette, has had ten previous mysteries published. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards.

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Topped Chef 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
IYamVixenBooks More than 1 year ago
I love this series and TOPPED CHEF is the best of the batch. I love the Cooking Channel an Food Network, so when I read that main character, Hayley Snow, was going to be dragged into judging a reality cooking show competition, I knew this was going to be fun. I like how Hayley is drawn into the investigations of each murder in this series. It doesn't always play well when amateur sleuths start rooting around. And that her relationships are kind of rocky and not immediately satisfied with a hunky cop sits better with me. Hayley is a sweetheart and deserves happiness. She is good to her friends and cares what happens to possibly wrongly accused murder suspects. Can't wait for the next in the series. Let's get writin' Lucy
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Who Toppled the Chef Judge?  Hayley has been roped into becoming a reality TV show judge.  Someone has decided to do a search for a TV chef from Key West, and treat the search itself as a reality competition.  Hayley is less than thrilled at the prospect, but she is willing to dive in and make the best of it.   Hayley’s resolve waivers when she learns one of her fellow judges is Sam Rizzoli, a man whose new restaurant she had just deservedly panned that morning.  However, she is shocked when he is murdered that evening.  Suddenly, Hayley is left wondering just what she’s gotten herself into.  Did Rizzoli’s local political stands play a part in his death?  Does someone want this TV chef job enough to kill?   Being a fan of a few reality TV shows, I thought I’d enjoy this mystery set behind the scenes of a fictional one.  Unfortunately, that aspect overshadowed the plot a bit, slowing the mystery down, especially in the beginning.  The ending was also weaker than I like.  Fortunately, Hayley is a fun main character, and she carried me through the book easily.  Miss Gloria, her boatmate, comes into her own here, and I loved seeing how she was developed.   Even if this isn’t the strongest entry in the series, it is still very fun.  Fans of the series or culinary cozies in general will enjoy reading it.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
In Key West, Florida, Hayley Snow is tooling around town on her little pink motorcycle, tasting and reporting in the KEY ZEST MAGAZINE, on all the restaurant meals she has eaten there. Too bad that she had to pan the last restaurant, but Sam Rizzoli was a selfish councilman and an even worse restauranteur. She loves her new job and her life with elderly, Miss Gloria, and their two cats aboard Miss Gloria's docked boat. The hope of great dates with dreamy detective Bransford kept her blood warm also. But when her boss all but forced her into the roll of Topped Chef judge for the new reality TV show, trouble brews when Sam is murdered.  This third book in the Key West Food Critic series is a real treat, full of references to true life chefs and wonderful sounding foods, plus literary references to foods from other books that head every chapter. My favorite is a take on the French phrase for preparing individual ingredients before putting a food dish together--mise en place.  The quote from Pete Wells that Lucy Burdette used was: " Mise en place ( meez en PLASS) comes from restaurant kitchens, where a brigade of helpers spends the day gathering everything ready for the dinner rush.  It comes from the French phrase meaning 'make the new guy do it."   Loads of humor, food references, and a delicious mystery fill the pages.  Her interesting characters return in this book, including her homeless characters that Burdette wonderfully humanizes, her Tarot card reading friend, her gay psychologist best friend, and her take-charge mom from New Jersey. This mystery draws you in immediately and keep you on a merry chase through food exploits and near dangerous escapes till the culprit is finally captured In the end.  I think this book builds interest with the great fun of food and mysteries in Key West.  
kayek1 More than 1 year ago
Hayley Snow's boss signs her up to be a judge in a TV reality cooking competition show Key West Topped Chef contest to get some positive publicity. When Hayley shows up, one of her fellow judges, Sam Rizzoli, owns the restaurant Hayley just panned. She just knows things aren't going to turn out good. However, when things go from bad to worse and Sam turns up dead, Hayley begins to investigate. I like this series, Hayley lives on a houseboat with a roommate, who is charming, her friends are colorful, and the background is beautiful. Add the recipes in the book and this is a win-win series for me.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
I just want his series to go on and on I am totally hooked!  I love the covers, I love the food, I love feeling like I am in Key West, and I love Haley's adventures and how they are the top story but the understory is how Haley is building her new life - and growing up.  
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Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Hayley’s boss has volunteered her to be a judge for the Key West Topped Chef contest hoping to score some extra publicity for his magazine.  Hayley is both nervous and excited until she realizes one of the other judges is Sam Rizzoli. She just slammed his restaurant in her very first negative review. When Rizzoli ends up dead speculation is one of his business rivals is responsible but Hayley has a feeling maybe someone is taking the chef contest a little too seriously. Hayley sees the police are not following the right leads so she decides it is up to her to serve up the actual killer. Dollycas’s Thoughts Lucy Burdette has me in love with Key West. Life on a boat in nice sunny Florida eating her way through all the delightful cuisine the area has to offer. Hayley better watch out I want to steal her job! Burdette is such a strong writer and creates really lively characters and puts them in spectacular situations. The plots are tight and the twists are plenty. The murder takes us from the docks to the inner workings of a reality tv show and even into the world of drag queens. I absolutely loved it. The new characters turned the story on its ear while they recurring characters continue to steal out hearts. Hayley’s mom even appears in Key West via Skype and Gloria becomes Hayley’s sidekick in the investigation..  A new character to this story is someone returning to Key West. She has disrupted Hayley’s life with her return and I am very interested to see how she effects it in future installments. Maybe a new direction is just what Hayley needs.  Add this one to your Summer Reading Lists! An impressive read that will tickle all of your senses. There are recipes included too!! so you can actually tickle your taste buds!!
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Lucy Burdette has written a fast-paced mystery that has it all. Haley Snow, a food critic for Key Zest magazine, has a knack for getting involved in murder and mayhem. When she is assigned to judge a reality TV cooking competition, murder is on the menu. Sam Rizzoli, another judge, is killed. With Key West as the background, Haley investigates and interrogates as she tries to find the killer and learn why the chef competition is involved. To further complicate her life, Haley has hit a rough patch in her fledgling romance with Detective Nathan Bransford. Good thing she has her friends to provide support and comfort. The author does a great job in keeping you in the dark as to the killer's identity. If you love a good mystery, read Topped Chef. It won't disappoint.
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
Chefs, Culinary Creations and Crime in Key West” Red-sneakered Food Critic, Hayley Snow has done what she has dreaded since she was hired—write a bad review on a local restaurant. She had given the place three tries with mediocre to poor meals each time. She had to be honest, for “Key Zest Online Magazine’s” sake as well as her own integrity. This added more stress to her already “full plate”. She goes to scope out the “Key West Food and Wine Festival” for a future article but has the upcoming date with the off-times sarcastic, “I’m-to-sexy-for–my-badge” Detective Nate Bransford in the back of her mind, as well as her duties as “Maid of Honor”in her best friend, Connie’s wedding. When her boss, Wally, hoping for some good publicity for the magazine as well as some “Inside Skinny”, assigns Hayley to be a judge for the reality cooking show “Topped Chef”, being filmed in Key West, she agrees, figuring it will be fun as well as help her career. Little does she know that one of the judges is the owner of the sub-standard restaurant she just reviewed! You’ll enjoy the zany and sometimes pompous chefs vying for this thrust into culinary stardom as well as the varying personalities of the judges. Everything seems to be going along fairly smoothly until, in a bizarre twist of fate, one of the judges is murdered, followed by several strange coincidences. Would one of the chefs want the honor of “Topped Chef” that badly, that they would kill for it? Or is another judge at fault? Or are the remaining judges in danger also? Will Hayley and Nate finally “find each other”? Will Connie and Ray have a “Pirate-themed” wedding? I enjoyed this book immensely. I want to hug the “sequined/bejeweled” Miss Gloria and have a reading with sweet, kind Lorenzo, but most of all, I want to re-visit the houseboat on Tarpon Pier soon again and see what’s cooking with Hayley. (and Evinrude the cat too!) The Author has included a section of recipes (I’m definitely making the yummy-sounding granola!) and a snippet of the next Hayley Snow Adventure, due out in 2014. I can’t wait! Be sure to make room on your bookshelf for this enjoyable cozy you won’t want to miss! Nancy Narma
RobynKFLNJ More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Hayley Snow, a food critic for a local Key West magazine, is asked to judge a reality television cooking show looking for the next big star. When one of her fellow judges gets murdered and other mysterious things happen surrounding the show, Hayley starts to investigate. The way the characters interact and help each other out is wonderful. This book has lots of great twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end. Lucy Burdette has written another winner! I highly recommend this book and this series!