It's Key Lime Pie martinis with a side of murder in Lucy Burdette's latest Key West Mystery...
In my tenth Key West mystery, THE KEY LIME CRIME, food critic Hayley Snow is covering the action at a Key West key lime pie contest, and writing articles on where to find the best pie in the city. Of course a murder ensues, and Hayley is on the case.
David Sloan (a real person who allowed me to use him as a basis for a character) served up these little gems at his booksigning at Key West Island bookstore, during one scene in The Key Lime Crime. Here’s a small snippet of that scene where Hayley is chatting with the bookstore owner and then David:
“Make sure you try one of David’s martinis. Christopher’s a wonderful bartender—executes a recipe perfectly. David’s borrows him for events when he’s not working a shift at the library. Beware, they do pack a punch. Don’t drink these if you’re driving your detective somewhere, or likely to get pulled over.”
We both laughed and I walked over to the man tending the table at the end of the fiction bookshelves. Now I recognized him from the library event the other day. He’d been trying to contain the pie-throwing damage, along with Michael, the administrator.
He raised his eyebrows and smiled. “Martini?”
“Why not?” I said, thinking this could be another round-up article for Key Zest during the high season: Key lime drinks were as hot as Key lime pies, it seemed. He mixed Stoli Vanil, Liquor 43, and heavy cream in a shaker with ice, shook it, and then poured it into a plastic martini glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs. I took a sip.
“Wow,” I said, as the heat of the booze blazed a path down my throat. “She wasn’t kidding—that packs a wallop.
This recipe can be found in the real David Sloan’s cookbook, The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook. I’ve reprinted it here and in THE KEY LIME CRIME with his permission.
2 oz. Stoli Vanil
1 oz. Liquor 43
1.5 oz. heavy cream or half and half
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice, plus a little extra
Crushed graham crackers
Add the first four ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Dip a martini glass into a plate containing Key lime juice and then into the crushed graham crackers. Strain the vodka mixture into the glass and enjoy!
About THE KEY LIME CRIME:With her intimidating new mother-in-law bearing down on the island and a fierce rivalry between Key lime pie bakers to referee, food critic Hayley Snow is feeling anything but festive…
It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s and Key West is bursting at the seams with holiday events and hordes of tourists. Adding to the chaos, Key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his Key Lime pie extravaganza and contest. Hayley Snow can’t escape the madness because her bosses at Key Zest magazine have assigned her to cover the event. Every pie purveyor in Key West is determined to claim the Key lime spotlight—and win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City.
Another recipe for disaster—Hayley’s hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that his mother will be making a surprise visit. Newlywed Hayley must play the dutiful daughter-in-law, so she and her pal Miss Gloria offer to escort his mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island's holiday lights. But it's not all glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos--the unlikely trio finds a real body stashed in one of the elaborate displays. And the victim is no stranger: Hayley recognizes the controversial new pastry chef from Au Citron Vert, a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.
Hayley must not only decipher who’s removed the chef from the contest kitchen, she's also got to handle a too-curious mother-in-law who seems to be cooking up trouble of her own.
"Charming characters, an appealing setting, and mouthwatering bonus recipes make this a perfect choice for foodie cozy lovers." Publishers’ Weekly, May 2020
“The well-described Key West setting nicely complements the foodie frame in this satisfying cozy, which is a natural for fans of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen mysteries.”
ABOUT LUCY: Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 18 mysteries, including THE KEY LIME CRIME (Crooked Lane Books,) the latest in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a past president of Sisters in Crime and the current president of the Friends of the Key West Library.