Hello, everyone! I’m C.S. Poe! Welcome to the third stop of the Southernmost Murder blog tour, here at Hearts on Fire. This is my first release of the New Year, a standalone mystery-romance set in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West.
Key lime flavored desserts are, of course, very popular and are mentioned in Southernmost Murder. The real history of the pie is a bit murky, as no one can pinpoint for sure who the mastermind behind the delicacy is. Some attribute credit to a cook known only by the name of ‘Aunt Sally,’ who worked for William Curry in the 1800s. An alternative to that is the pie was invented by local sponge fishermen, as the ingredients are sweetened condensed milk, key lime, and egg yolks— all food items found aboard ships, and the original pie did not call for being cooked.
Key West takes particular interest and pride in the flavor, going so far as to host the annual Key Lime Festival every July. An interesting note is that the key lime, is in fact, not native to southern Florida. It originally came from Southeast Asia and likely was introduced to the Caribbean and Keys via Spanish explorers.
I approached, eyeing the menu briefly before saying, “Decaf coffee and—oh my God, is that a maple candied bacon cronut?”
The guy glanced in the glass case. “Yup. It’s pretty good too.”
“That. I’ll take that.”
“For lunch?” Jun murmured behind me.
“Yes, for lunch!” I looked at the employee and shook my head. “I can’t take him anywhere.”
He laughed and motioned to Jun. “For you, sir?”
“Since we’re having dessert for lunch, a regular coffee and the key lime cronut.”
I paid for the… uh, lunch, and Jun carried the tray out to the porch. We sat at a free table among a number of other patrons, enjoying the picture-perfect day, cool breeze, and a very unhealthy meal. For a moment I was able to disregard the fact that we were knee-deep in a murder and long-lost pirate treasure mystery.
Jun was smiling and watching as I wrecked my cronut. “Good?” he finally asked.
“Yes,” I said around bites. “Candied bacon, Jun. This is a gift to humanity.”
He cut his cronut into more accessible pieces. “I figured key lime because, when in Rome….”
“Yeah, if you went ten days without trying at least one of the thousand things we key lime-ify down here, you’d be insulting the entire island.”
01/03 – Divine Magazine
01/04 – MM Good Book Reviews
01/05 – Hearts on Fire
01/08 – Gay Book Reviews
01/09 – My Fiction Nook
Blurb: Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.
But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.
The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.
Author bio: C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited-edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers organization.
Giveaway: (1) bag key lime chocolate truffles & Southernmost Murder swag.
Rules & Regulations: Winner must be able to provide a US shipping address.