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Ascender, Volume 4: Star Seed by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
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COVID-19 in Three to Five Words by April Murphy
Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle
Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette
Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe and Tina Wolstencroft (narrator)
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert and Suzie Althens (Narrator)
Friends Forever by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
Gone but Not Furgotten by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon
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A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire and Emily Bauer (Narrator)
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A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 13 by Adachitoka
Okoye to the People by Ibi Zoboi
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Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie, Volume 1 by Keigo Maki
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A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
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Death in Four Courses: 09/08/22

Death in Four Courses

Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette (2012) is the second book in the Key West Food Critic mystery series. Hayley Snow and her visiting mother are attending the annual Key West literary conference. The theme this year is writing about food. Keynote speaker Jonah Barrows's insistence on brutal honesty and transparency angers enough people that he ends up murdered on the first day.

Hayley's primary goal for the conference is to prove herself as a food critic as her recent hire to Key Zest has come under scrutiny. If she can land the right interviews and write enough snappy restaurant reviews she'll prove her worth to the magazine.

But she found Barrow's body and a long time family friend and dear neighbor is the prime suspect. She's therefore compelled to investigate. Her mother also wants to help. Hayley's worried she might be more in the way than actual help.

As I happen to read quite a few books featuring food both as fiction (primarily cozy mysteries) and non fiction (memoirs), I found the tangents on incorporating food into writing fascinating. I should also note that I have degrees in narrative analysis (film, not literature but there's a lot of overlap in technique). Other readers might find these asides as a distracting filler.

The mystery itself, beyond the misdirection involving the family friend, was pretty straightforward. It was another one where I spotted the murderer instantly. Waiting though for the motive and evidence to catch up with my literary analysis, took the rest of the novel to catch up. But it was fun to follow along as Hayley and her mother worked to solve the mystery.

The third book is Topped Chef (2013)

Five stars

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