A Florida caterer’s plans to build her reputation are complicated by murder.
Hayley Snow (Killer Takeout, 2016, etc.) is the food critic for Key Zest, a magazine that covers all things having to do with the exotic island—including the Cuban-American conference at the Harry S. Truman Little White House for which her mother has just landed a three-day catering job. The food is Cuban-themed and delicious, but disaster strikes when Gabriel, one of the kitchen helpers, is stabbed to death just after the surprise appearance of Barack Obama and Jimmy Buffett. Gabriel had been suspected of stealing Ernest Hemingway’s gold Nobel Prize medal, which has never left Cuba since Papa brought it there. Already Mayor Diaz of Havana and Turner Markham, one of the Key West commissioners, have been at each other’s throats over the United States’ “wet foot, dry foot” policy concerning Cuban refugees. The loss of the medal throws more fuel on the fire. Hayley’s overprotective boyfriend, Key West cop Nathan Bransford, wants her to butt out of the whole mess, but she’s already agreed to help Gabriel’s sister Maria, who has no confidence that the police will properly investigate the death of a Cuban immigrant. Stretched thin among her own job, hunting for clues in the death and theft, and helping her mother continue catering the conference, Hayley is totally stressed. But she’s still determined to find Gabriel’s killer.
Burdette’s loving descriptions of food and the appended recipes are an added fillip for readers who enjoy some history and romance with their mysteries.