New book: An Appetite for Murder, by Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib ’75) (Obsidian)
The author: A clinical psychologist turned murder-mystery writer, Roberta Isleib has written a golf mystery series — featuring a professional golfer and a sports psychologist — and an advice column mystery series — featuring an advice columnist and a psychologist. Working under the pen name Lucy Burdettte, Isleib has launched a new food-critic mystery series.
The plot: Hayley Snow, a freelance journalist and foodie, moved from New Jersey to be with her boyfriend in Key West, Fla. While the weather is great, life hasn’t worked out as she had planned. Before long, she finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman. And when she applies to be a food critic at a new magazine, Key Zest, she realizes that themagazine’s co-owner is her boyfriend’s new girlfriend, Kristen Faulkner. When Faulkner is found dead, Snow becomes a suspect and sets out to find the real killer to clear her name.
Opening lines: “Lots of people think they’d love to eat for a living. Me? I’d kill for it.
“Which makes total sense, coming from my family. FTD told my mother to say it with flowers, but she said it with food. Lost a pet? Your job? Your mind? Life always felt better with a serving of Mom’s braised short ribs or red velvet cake in your belly. In my family, we ate when happy or sad, but especially, we ate when we were worried.”
Reviews: “An excellent sense of place and the occasional humorous outburst aren’t the only things An Appetite for Murder has going for it,” wrote Ed Irvin of The Florida Book Review. “There is a solid mystery within its pages.” Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post called the novel “fast and fun — a 291-page read perfect for a ride in and out of New York City on Metro North — and full of great local color that will provide New England readers with a perfect vicarious winter vacation.”
Read more: PAW’s story on Isleib in the June 9, 2004 issue.