Guest post by Lucy Burdette
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After writing eight installments of the Key West food critic mystery series (the eighth, Death on the Menu, was out yesterday), I’ve developed so many characters that it’s almost hard to keep track of them. “Oh wait,” I’ll say to myself, “what the heck is Lorenzo or Miss Gloria or Officer Steve Torrence doing when all this is happening?” The one thing I never forget to include is the cats. In my real life, I begged for my first cat for my thirteenth birthday, and I haven’t been without one since. So my series wouldn’t feel right without them either.Continue Reading
From time to time I’m asked if I’d be willing to auction off a character naming opportunity in one of my mysteries to benefit a charity. I’m always happy to do so and enjoy figuring out how the new character will fit into the story. A few years ago, I was asked to contribute this kind of item for the Key West SPCA. Of course I agreed. The highest bidder chose to immortalize her schnauzer, Schnootie. So in Death With All the Trimmings, the dog became a character on the houseboat adjacent to the one where my food critic lives in the Key West mysteries.
Schnootie was a lot of fun to write, and so I offered the same opportunity to the SPCA the following year. Schnootie’s mother bought the naming rights a second time, and asked that her elderly black feline, Dinkels, be added to the mix. But later I heard that a couple in my neighborhood was distressed that they hadn’t bid high enough to win for their elderly feline, so I layered Jack into the story, too.Continue Reading
Key West (both my home town and the setting for my mystery series) can be a magical island. But with 3 million visitors a year, many coming for the giant street parties during big events like New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s day, spring break, and Fantasyfest, it also can be crowded, noisy, and dirty.
And yet, a few places provide peaceful getaways, even in the busiest conditions. My favorite is the Hemingway House on Whitehead Street.Continue Reading