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Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley's boss signs her up to help judge the Key West Topped Chef contest. Stakes are high as the winner could be the next cooking-show superstar. Hayley shows up for the filming nervous but excited, until she sees who's on the judging panel with her: Sam Rizzoli, big shot businessman and owner of the restaurant she just panned in her first negative review. When Rizzoli turns up dead, the police assume his killer is one of his business rivals. But Hayley wonders whether someone is taking the contest a little too seriously. With the police following the wrong recipe, it's up to Hayley to find the killer before she's eliminated from the show permanently.… (més)
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Es mostren totes 4
Well, this book was the one that decided whether I continued with the series or not. I was left feeling disappointed by the first two - the main character was just scatter-brained and a bit of a mess. Not the heroine I want to rally behind. So I figured, one more book, if it's as disappointed as the first two, it's gone.

I'm happy to say this book is a marked improvement over the first two. Marked. Hayley isn't a ditz and she's finding her groove and her backbone. The plot was very well laid out with no clear path to who the killer was until then end. Some might not appreciate the lack of 'clues', but it does make for an ending I personally didn't see coming.

I'll admit to being bone dead tired when I read most of this book, so there might have been a fourth star had I been more alert, BUT, the lack of any kind of romantic tension and the over-usage of internal dialogue/introspection would have taken that fourth star away anyway. So, definite signs of improvement, and I'm actually curious about the fourth book and what it will bring. So, we'll see. ( )
  murderbydeath | Sep 20, 2014 |
“Topped Chef” by Lucy Burdette
Most of us love those television food shows. I know I do. But “Topped Chef” puts a fatal spin on lime cupcakes, shrimp and grits, chefs, judges, and the idea of a reality show and its winner when a judge—Sam Rizzoli—is murdered and the other critics begin to worry about their safety.
Hayley Snow works for Key West’s Key Zest—a magazine of which Hayley is a food critic. She is assigned to be one of the judges for “Topped Chef” and it could end up being her last assignment. Choosing the right dish, eliminating cooks from the show, and commentating on film what she likes and doesn’t like are the easy duties of this competition for Hayley. The hard parts for her are staying alive and trying to find out who murdered Rizzoli, while balancing a sort-of relationship with one of the detectives investigating Rizzoli’s murder.
A delightful read filled with yummy recipes at the end with tangy suspects sprinkled throughout. ( )
  StarrReina | Aug 11, 2013 |
Lucy Burdette’s “Topped Chef,” the third Key West Food Critic mystery, begins with protagonist Hayley Snow awakening to a day that is predicted to be “glorious and whimsical.” It quickly turns into anything but when a mentally unstable homeless man she knows threats against a nearby dock worker. Next, she’s called to work early to deal with the owner of a restaurant she panned in her latest review. Just when Hayley thinks her day couldn’t get worse, she’s assigned as a judge for a new reality TV cooking show titled Topped Chef.
When one of the judges is murdered, the police assume the killer is a business rival of the victim. But, Hayley has seen how competitive the Topped Chef contestants are and wonders if someone has decided to improve their odds of winning. She is convinced that the police are looking in the wrong direction and begins her own investigation. Things get complicated when the police tell Hayley to let them do the investigating, but she’s convinced that she’s on the trail of a killer and won’t let up. It doesn’t take Hayley long to wind up in hot water and in danger of becoming the next victim.
Lucy Burdette combines food, fun, and murder in a tasty and entertaining recipe that will keep cozy mystery readers guessing. Hayley’s interest in the murder case is logical, and her investigation path believable. Burdette’s creates a strong sense of Key West with clean and precise writing. Her characters are varied, interesting, and fun. At times, the diversions to the cooking contest felt a bit slow, but they created a wealth of possible suspects for Hayley to investigate and added to the local flavor. Cooking up trouble appears to be Hayley Snow’s specialty, and one that cozy mystery readers should relish. ( )
  suspensewriter | May 23, 2013 |
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Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley's boss signs her up to help judge the Key West Topped Chef contest. Stakes are high as the winner could be the next cooking-show superstar. Hayley shows up for the filming nervous but excited, until she sees who's on the judging panel with her: Sam Rizzoli, big shot businessman and owner of the restaurant she just panned in her first negative review. When Rizzoli turns up dead, the police assume his killer is one of his business rivals. But Hayley wonders whether someone is taking the contest a little too seriously. With the police following the wrong recipe, it's up to Hayley to find the killer before she's eliminated from the show permanently.

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