When aspiring food critic Hayley Snow moved to Key West, she was eager to get away from New Jersey. And she'd fallen hard, albeit quickly, for Chad Lutz, a charming attorney, whom she had met when he vacationed in New Jersey. In the mystery and thriller section of the bookstore where she worked, of all places! So when he invited her to come with him back to Key West, she didn't think twice.
Maybe that was part of Hayley's problem with relationships. But now she is here in Key West, trying out for a gig at a new magazine called Key Zest...and all she has to do is submit her application by Monday.
As part of the process, she and her psychologist friend Eric are eating at one of their favorite restaurants, Seven Fish. She plans to include a review in her application packet.
But just when she is starting to enjoy the evening, she realizes that Chad and his new girlfriend Kristen Faulkner are also there. Uncomfortable! She is reminded once again of the humiliation she felt when she arrived home early one day to find them in bed together. Which is why she is now sharing a charming, but small houseboat with her college friend Connie.
This is the story of Hayley's life: impulsive choices, bad endings, lots of chaos.
Words are exchanged after their meal, and Hayley and Eric leave. But what happens next turns the next few weeks into one chaotic tangle after another, like the Tarot cards predicted.
Hayley finds out the next day, when two detectives show up on her doorstep, that Kristen Faulkner was murdered early that morning--by consuming a poisoned Key Lime pie. She is now a Person of Interest.
After being questioned relentlessly, and after many subsequent trips to the police station, Hayley decides, since nobody will believe that she was home alone all morning--and nobody saw her--that if she is going to absolve herself, she has to find the murderer.
An exciting and eventful series of pages lead the reader along for the ride. I enjoyed Hayley Snow's impulsiveness, because even though she often falls into a bigger mess, her energy and determination are fun qualities in a character. She felt like someone I would like to know. The settings came alive for me, and there were lots of funny moments, too. I also liked the cat characters: Evinrude, the gray tiger cat; and Sparky, the little black cat that lived next door.
The whole read felt like a vacation that was fun, exciting, and unforgettable. Even though An Appetite For Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery was a wee bit predictable, this series is one that I can't wait to continue reading. Four stars.