Thursday, November 4, 2021

Aunt Susan‘s Macaroni and Cheese @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I have a new book coming out very soon in a different genre, a thriller called UNSAFE HAVEN. (Actually it's out already in the ebook version, but the hardcover is coming soon...) This book feels risky--it's so different from the cozy-ish mysteries I've been writing. I'm sure hoping some of my Key West series fans will give it a try. In fact, this nerve-wracking book launch could make a writer turn to comfort food...such as macaroni and cheese!

There is very little food in Unsafe Haven, other than leftovers from a spoiled wedding. This feels so different from writing a very foodie mystery series like the Key West books where food is central to the characters and the plot. Actually the setting too, now that I think about it. And there certainly are no recipes at in the back of the book! But one of the main characters, Elizabeth, who has just been jilted by her fiancé when nearly at the altar, comes home to lick her wounds. Her mother's sister makes this macaroni and cheese because everyone craves comfort food at a time like this. Here's her secret recipe...


1 pound good quality Italian pasta

4 tablespoons butter

About 3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sharp mustard

2 cups milk, whole if you have it

2 cups good quality cheese (I used 1 cup Prairie Lights cheddar and one cup mild Swiss)

Breadcrumbs for the top

Melt the butter, and mix in the flour until it is well absorbed. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth and thick. Stir in the cheeses.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta until almost done and drain well. Mixed the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce. Pour this into a well boiled pan. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs. You could get fancy mixing the crumbs with melted butter and grated Parmesan, but it’s pretty rich in its current iteration.

Bake the macaroni and cheese at 350 for half an hour until bubbling and beginning to brown. Serve with green vegetables. We had a salad and fresh green beans.

About Unsafe HavenA chance meeting on the New York subway leads to the destinies of two very different women becoming intertwined with terrifying consequences in this nerve-jangling thriller.

Sixteen-year-old Addison is on the run. She's leaving her life on New York's streets behind for a new one with Rafe, armed with just his phone number on a scrap of paper. She's taking the subway to meet him in New Jersey. He'll take care of her. Or so she thinks . . .

Elizabeth Brown's world has fallen apart and she's thinking about her newly ex-fiancé. Until she locks eyes with a teenage girl while waiting for the train doors to open, and a bundle is thrust into her arms as she leaves the subway. A baby, wrapped in a dirty coat.

Elizabeth phones the number she finds in the coat pocket. Then wishes she hadn't. Someone wants Addison and the baby. And they'll do whatever it takes to get them . . .

In a major departure from her lighthearted Key West mysteries, Burdette invites readers into the world of a chilling thriller. (Unsafe Haven is) a page-turner highlighting the problem of exploited runaways.

—Kirkus Reviews

If you'd like a nibble before you buy, read the first chapter here. And if you'd like to read more about the genesis of the book, read this post from Jungle Red Writers yesterday.

Ways to buy your copy of UNSAFE HAVEN:

Book depository 


Barnes and Noble 


Severn House 

And if this is not in your budget (which I totally get,) you can invite your local library to order a copy!


  1. I'm eagerly waiting for my copy of Unsafe Haven to arrive, Lucy, and the day it arrives, I'll make Aunt Susan's macaroni and cheese to celebrate.

  2. "Pour this into a well boiled pan."
    I had to read that twice to realize you (probably) mean "well oiled".

    Cheesy good stuff.
    I look forward to the newest book.

  3. That recipe looks really good! I've never thought to add dijon mustard, but I bet it adds another layer of flavor beyond the cheesey goodness. Congrats on the new release!

  4. What exciting news, Lucy!! Love the Key West series and this one looks equally fabulous!