The Gulf Today - Panorama - - BOOKS - By Lucy Bur­dette

Re­la­tions and his­tory be­tween the US and Cuba fu­els the plot in this light, but well-plot­ted culi­nary mys­tery. While pol­i­tics aren’t usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with am­a­teur sleuths, au­thor Lucy Bur­dette well han­dles the se­ri­ous as­pects of her eighth novel while keep­ing the over­all tone light in Death on the Menu. And this be­ing a culi­nary mys­tery, Bur­dette also in­cludes some mouth­wa­ter­ing recipes. Death on the Menu delves into the va­garies of Cuban-amer­i­can pol­i­tics while not over­whelm­ing the plot. Those who may not be fa­mil­iar with the di­vi­sions be­tween the two coun­tries will get a begin­ner’s primer.

A tour of Key West keeps Death on the Menu grounded — from a be­hind the scenes look at the Lit­tle White House, Hem­ing­way’s House and area book­stores. With all the at­ten­tion on Hem­ing­way’s writ­ing, it’s easy to for­get how won­der­ful his de­scrip­tions of food and drinks were. Bur­dette re­minds us with care­fully placed quotes. Read­ers are re­warded by Bur­dette’s lov­ing de­scrip­tions of var­i­ous dishes with easy to fol­low recipes.

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