Monday, March 15, 2021

Topped Chef

 This 3rd installment in the Key West Food Critic series is another charming cozy set in the tropical clime of Key West.   What better location to read about when it's winter at home.  This book finds Hayley embroiled in another mystery when her job at Key Zest finds her judging a food contest.  The mystery itself is well constructed and I didn't predict the guilty party until the reveal at the end.  The story also does a wonderful job of continuing to develop Hayley's relationships with friends, family and romantic interests.  The fun quirky interactions make her seem very realistic.

It is kind of funny that I read two different books back to back that centered around cooking programs.  Of course Ree's program was just part of the story she tells in her memoir, Frontier Follies, but the cooking show contest is the focus of this cozy mystery.  It gives a glimpse into the world of "reality" tv shows and how they are still scripted even when they are supposed to be live reality shows.  The cutthroat nature of the shows is revealed as part of the plot line for sure.  

The story does a wonderful job mixing in the culture and uniqueness of Key West.  It is always fun to read about the crowds at sunset in Mallory Square.  This is a flashback to the first family vacation we took when my son was just 6 months old.  I know it sounds strange but it really was a great get away as people are so laid back that they don't mind a kid sleeping in a stroller at the bars on Duval street happy hour or in the restaurants on the beach.  We even met Captain Tony. 
We had a wonderful and relaxing time and I cannot wait to revisit there- perhaps for his 21st birthday :)

I look forward to continuing to read the series and seeing what delicious foodie adventures Hayley has as she continues to find her roots in Key West.

Topped ChefTopped Chef by Lucy Burdette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fun mystery set in tropical Key West. Hayley manages to stumble upon another murder in the course of doing her job as a food critic for Key Zest magazine. The book has some definite foodie moments as well as the drama of a reality cooking show. This book continues to develop Hayley’s personal relationships and the reader continues to feel like they are in the friendsphere of Hayley As always the charms and culture of Key West shone through in this cozy

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Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #27
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021 book #3 in series
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #
  5. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   
  6. Cruisin thru Cozies  free choice #10
  7. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #28
  8. Craving for Cozies  Book #24
  9. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub2021  #41 An Endorsement By A Famous Author On The Cover
  10. The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge  #TMARC21  #51 Mikaele: involves pirates 
  11. Pick your Poison #16-3 A book about pirates
  12. Medical Examiner Challenge 1 Toe Tags
  13. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 1
        • Boat
    • Weapons
      • Row 2 
        • Rock, brick, blunt object
    • Detectives- Hayley
    • Victims- Sam Rizzoli
  14. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #8  Shot #3
  15. 52 books in 52 weeks  #14 swashbuckler

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