If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied


Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson


Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson













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E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.


Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).


Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!


Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.


Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.


Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!


Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.


KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!


Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

An Interview with Lucy Burdette by E. B. Davis

When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef's murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.

During the week between Christmas and New Year's, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn't help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.

Meanwhile, Hayley's home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley's new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan's crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island's holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim--Au Citron Vert's controversial new pastry chef--was a frontrunner in Sloan's contest.

It's bad enough that Hayley's too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer's kitchen?

The Key Lime Crime is Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery. Main character, Hayley Snow, is a food critic with Key Zest magazine. Hayley is a likable character because she cares about people, especially victims of murder. Solving cases introduced her to Nathan Bransford, a police detective who serves on the on the Key West force.

She also befriends Miss Gloria, an octogenarian and houseboat owner, who invites Hayley to be her roommate. When renovations on Nathan and Hayley’s own houseboat are delayed, the newlyweds and Miss Gloria are forced to cohabitate making for cramped quarters and a stressful situation. And then there are two cats, a dog, and one bathroom. And then there’s the murder of a pastry chef. And then, Hayley’s mother-in-law, who refused to attend their wedding, drops in for a visit. Can anyone not have sympathy for Hayley?

If you’ve ever tried to make Key Lime Pie, you’ll also have sympathy for those who make it regularly. Key limes are the smallest dang things. To get the amount of juice needed for one pie, I squeezed over twenty of the itty-bitty things by hand.

Here’s a link to my previous interview with Lucy when her fourth book in the series was released. Please welcome Lucy Burdette to WWK.                                                                                  E. B.  Davis




I keep trying to envision Key West with all of the tourists and attractions. How many square miles is the Key? Does the city encompass the entire area of the Key? How many people are residents? How many visitors does it get?

The island of Key West is four miles by about two, depending where you measure. It makes up the City of Key West along with a couple small islands and part of Stock Island, the next one north. There are about 24,000 residents, but this can swell to 75,000 during a busy event like Fantasy Fest, which was featured in Killer Takeout.


Miss Gloria gives Hayley marriage advice. Was Miss Gloria ever married?

Yes, Miss Gloria was married to her husband Frank for many years. They had two sons who live in Michigan, and are greatly relieved to have Hayley looking out for her. (Don’t ask me exactly how many years she was married because I am terrible at keeping track of details!)

I love Hayley’s cat. How did he get his name, Evinrude?

Evinrude is the name of a motor, and it seemed like a good choice when we were looking for something nautical. He is modeled after my gray tiger Jack the cat, who was a wonderful guy who accompanied me on many moves during my 20’s and 30’s.

I like my Key Lime Pie to have a graham cracker crust, tart filling (preferably green) with lots of browned meringue. What do you think is the most important part of Key Lime Pie? The crust, filling, or topping?

We agree on the first two—graham cracker crust and tart filling. It should be pale yellow however, if it’s made from real key limes. The green pies are usually doctored with food color. I prefer whipped cream, but I’ll eat any of them. And my hub and I did eat many while I was writing!

How was Key Lime Pie developed by a sailor?

This may be an old wives’ tale, but some people say sponge fishermen developed the first key lime pie when they were out at sea with few fresh ingredients available. Those included eggs, condensed milk, citrus, and soda crackers. Others say that Aunt Sally created the first pie in the late 1800s in Key West. I will leave that argument to the food historians.

Are Key Lime martinis any good? They could be cloying.

Of course, I tried the recipe from David Sloan which he allowed me to print in the back of the book. It was quite delicious, but I wouldn't advise more than one of them! And probably not too often ...

Where are key limes grown?

As with other citrus fruits, they require a tropical environment. So that means they can be grown in places like Florida, Texas, and California. Probably more frequently they come from Mexico.

You begin each chapter with a quote. Are they real quotes? I loved the one by Julia Child.

Thanks for noticing! I spend a fair amount of time looking for these. Since I read a lot of novels involving food and also read nonfiction food writing, it's not so hard to find them if you are watching. However, I also try to arrange them so that each quote has a little connection to what's going on in that chapter. Some are a better fit than others.

I was relieved for Hayley when her mother offered to put up Nathan’s mother in her guestroom. Are mothers and mothers-in-law equal if opposing forces even at the best of times?

I think that’s a good point, if they feel as though they are fighting over the couple. In this case, Hayley’s mom has a big edge. However, Nathan's mother was a lot of fun to write. A number of readers have mentioned that they don't know Nathan very well, and that they couldn't quite understand how taken Hayley is with him. So, it was fun to think about what in his background had molded him into the person he is now. And I hope that he is evolving along with Hayley. Hayley's own mother has grown a lot over these books as well. This is my favorite part of writing a series, watching the characters grow and change.

I was miffed at Nathan. Every time he was supposed to spend time with his mother, he bailed. Work was his excuse, leaving Hayley to occupy his mother and try to do her job. Doesn’t he like his mother? Why did he expect Hayley to entertain his mother when she also has a job?

Honestly, I think that Nathan is a little bit afraid of his mother. They have not been terribly close up to this point. And we shouldn't underestimate the stress of having the New Year's Eve crowds descend on the island. It's an astonishing feat for the Police Department to watch over this mob of people who have come to party, often more seriously than is good for them. I did want a believable reason for Nathan to leave Hayley and his mother to solve the mystery, and this seemed like a reasonable solution. You'll see more of the two of them in the next book!

Hayley finds common ground when Nathan’s mom has a premonition as she approaches what ends up being a murder scene. I was surprised by this because Nathan’s mom is a scientist. I thought the science types wouldn’t have premonitions. Is Nathan’s mom atypical?

I suspect that you are right, often science and spiritual leanings are not found together in one person. But who says characters should follow anybody's rules?

Nathan always tries to keep Hayley out of his investigations. But Nathan’s mother criticizes her for not asking enough questions. Is Nathan’s mom a detective? Is she competing with her son?

I want to be careful about answering this so I don't give spoilers for people who are looking forward to reading the story. I will say that there is a trauma in their background that has led Mrs. Bransford to become a sort of detective. And like her son, she is not naturally at ease with people the way Hayley and her mother are. I was very pleased with how everyone ended up working together and look forward to having you read the rest ...

What is Fantasy Fest? How does it result in naked, painted people?

The initial idea was to have an event that would attract visitors in the slow season. A king and queen are elected based on how much money they raise for the Aids charity, and there are parades and parties and even a zombie bike ride. My husband and I participated in that one year (research!)—it was a lot of fun involving face paint and costumes with hundreds of very creative zombies. Some people enjoy the exhibitionist nature of the events, but we prefer the creativity.

Outdoor tables come with heat lamps to ward off the chill—how cold does it get in Key West?

The coldest I’ve experienced was in the 50’s. For Key West natives, that’s the occasion for coats, hats, and even mittens. In the summer, it remains pretty much in the high 80’s, but very humid. Not for the faint of heart!

Nathan’s mom is picture perfect. She doesn’t seem to enjoy most of the things people enjoy, like tasting food or being adventurous. There’s a saying, “Adversity is what makes you.” But adversity also can break you or make you behave in the extreme. Is this Nathan’s mom’s problem?

I envisioned her as a very buttoned up and well-mannered southern lady. After the trauma in her family (see above avoiding spoilers,) she tended even further in that direction. I think that it's true that some people don't care that much about food. Of course, I am not one of them! But Nathan's mother is, and that became a way to set up conflict between Hayley and her new mother-in-law.


What is a pie drop?

I pictured it to be about as silly as it sounds. Contestants would walk to the top of the Key West lighthouse (across the street from the Hemingway house) carrying their pies. The contest involved dropping them and seeing which ones splats on to the ground first. More silly Key West fun!

What is Florida’s stand-your-ground statute?

This is a law stating that a person who is attacked where he or she has a right to be, has the right to stand his or her ground and use force to defend themselves if needed. That’s a very simplistic summary—it’s complicated and controversial!

You provide recipes, but no Key Lime Pie recipe. Why?

I don’t have a key lime pie recipe that’s different enough to call mine, so I thought I’d leave that one to the experts.

What’s next for Hayley, Nathan, and Miss Gloria?

I’m finishing the 11 book in the series right now, and a lot of it takes place in Scotland. Last summer we had a wonderful trip to Scotland, and this book has been a way to relive those memories since we aren’t going anyplace else!

                                          

Painting by Karen Beauprie

11 comments:

Susan said...

You’ve inspired me so that I’m baking a pie. But I’m making it an apple pie. Good luck with your launch!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Congratulations on your new release! A key lime pie sounds luscious during August heat and humidity.

Jim Jackson said...

Congrats on #10 Lucy. I'm with you: if I see green key lime pie I run away.

~ Jim

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Thanks so much for hosting me on the blog today! And for your kind comments. You may not see a lot of me as our power is out from the storm and Internet of course. So I won’t be making any pies until everything comes back. Fingers crossed for later today. Thanks again! XO Lucy

Kait said...

So looking forward to meeting Nathan's mother. Lucy, as a former resident of Cudjoe Key, your books are like a trip home and I eagerly scoop up each one.

Key Lime pies are spectacular. When I bought my first house a friend gave me a key lime tree for a housewarming. That tree was prolific in every month except November/December. I used to have to freeze the lime juice for Thanksgiving/Christmas pies. Elaine, a hand reamer is the best to quickly juice those tiny fruits.

I have several historic Key Lime recipes and used to have one that did not require cooking - the original recipes did not they set up in the "ice box". My favorite? The one on the back of Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice bottles. It's my go to :)

Marilyn Levinson said...

Great interview! Roberta/Lucy, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS sounds like a wonderful addition to your series. Wishing you many, many sales!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Oops! I mean THE KEY LIME CRIME!

Shari Randall said...

Congratulations on the new book! I adore key lime pie - like you, mine must have graham cracker crust and whipped cream.
Hope your power comes back soon - CT is a mess!

KM Rockwood said...

Now I have to make a key lime pie with graham cracker crust, as soon as I can manage to find key limes...

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Kait, I loved hearing that the books bring you a bit of home...and how lucky you were to be gifted a key lime tree. That could be the best housewarming gift ever!

thanks Marilyn and Shari! we still don't have power and they are warning that it might be out until Sunday. Yikes, what a crazy storm!

KM, try the key lime juice that Kait mentioned. Or even regular old-fashioned green limes.

and thanks so much to all of you for hosting me today--loved visiting!

Grace Topping said...

You had me at key lime pie. Sounds like an intriguing book with lots of food references. My kind of book.