Saturday, July 16, 2016

(Save Our Cozies!) Book Review: Death With All the Trimmings by Lucy Burdette

Next up on my Save Our Cozies reading list is:

Title: Death with All the Trimmings (A Key West Food Critic Mystery #5)
Author: Lucy Burdette
Genres: Mystery| Amateur Sleuth| Culinary| Cozy
Print length: 320 pages
Publisher: NAL
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Source: Library
Format: Paperback
Author website:

The only snow in Key West this Christmas is Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, who is not getting time off for the holiday…or time off from murder. 
It may be Christmastime, but thoughts of peace on earth, good will toward men, don’t seem to extend to the restaurant biz. Hayley has been assigned to interview Edel Waugh, chef/owner of Key West’s hottest new restaurant. But off the record, Edel reveals someone’s sabotaging her kitchen and asks Hayley to investigate.
Things heat up fast when the restaurant is set on fire—and a body is discovered in the charred wreckage. Is someone out to destroy the chef’s business—or actually kill her? Amid holiday festivities like the lighted boat parade and visiting relatives who stir up mixed emotions, Hayley needs to smoke out an arsonist and a killer who may turn up the heat on her next…
The plot: It's Christmastime in Key West, but all is not jolly for Hayley Snow, struggling food critic, and our series sleuth. Her job security is shaky at best, her mother pops down for a surprise visit with her boyfriend in tow, her love life isn't looking any brighter, and the famous chef she's assigned to interview has a boatload of issues.

Edel Waugh, the owner/chef of the hot new restaurant in Key West, is desperate for her restaurant to be a success after breaking away from her established restaurant in New York, co-owned with her philandering ex-husband. However, a series of sabotage, arson, and a dead body are threatening her livelihood. She turns to Hayley to figure out who's behind all this and save her restaurant.

The characters: I have to confess to yet again picking up a series in the middle. However, my lack of knowledge of the previous books didn't hamper my reading enjoyment at all. The cast of characters felt fully realized to me, and I loved Hayley's relationships with the people within her community. 

Hayley is a very likeable character. That usually isn't necessary for me as a reader, but fairly important in a cozy series.

The mystery: I really enjoyed all the mysteries and plot twists, but when we got near the end, I found it a little...anti-climactic. It wasn't bad, but I definitely enjoyed the journey way more than the destination.

Final bite: The bits of food description were tantalizing, and I craved a Cuban sandwich and good cup of cafe con leche the whole time I was reading. The book was fun and interesting, and while I didn't love the ending, I enjoyed it enough to want to read the other books in the series.

Rating: 4/5 

Saturday Review of Books Hosted @ Semicolon


  1. Great review! I have this on my TBR as well, and I'm hoping to get to it during the #SaveOurCozies #Readathon this weekend!

    Brooke at Brooke Blogs

    1. It was such a fun, easy read that I finished it in one night. Definitely happy I picked it up for the #SaveOurCozies #Readathon

      Thanks for stopping by!