We enjoy reading authors’ efforts at the first in a series. An Appetite for Murder was the first of Burdette’s Hayley Snow series and gave us a lot to think about. We enjoyed it as a funny cozy, along the same lines as Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. Burdette uses the Key West setting to its fullest and readers can almost feel the sun and ocean as Hayley goes tearing around by foot or moped. We found this a great example of the ways in which the setting can be more than a backdrop – Key West is almost another character.
Burdette’s wonderful descriptions of how people move around and her construction of dialogue in ways that are fun and move the story along were very instructive for us. An Appetite for Murder gave us great examples of how to provide details about people without being hackneyed.
The food element is a great idea and, for the most part, did not feel like a gimmick. Using food as the focus gives Burdette lots of possibilities for interesting characters and we wonder how she sustains the food element as the series goes on.
With regard to the plot, we found Hayley a bit too impulsive at times and wanted to tell her to stop and think on more than one occasion. Perhaps that is the point of her character – charging headlong and then thinking afterward. We felt that the last minute reveal was a bit contrived but, overall, enjoyed the story.