Pepper’s Bookshelf — The Solace of Bay Leaves

Pepper Reece loves a good mystery — on the page, or in real life! She also enjoys selling culinary cozies along with the cookbooks and chef lit on the shelves in the Spice Shop, the shop she owns in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. So when Assault and Pepper came out and a reader asked for Pepper’s reading list, I was happy to oblige. Here’s Part One and Part Two.

In The Solace of Bay Leaves (out in ebook and audio on July 21, 2020 and in paper on October 20), Pepper once again mentions her love of the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, triggered by the discovery of a book of the books and videos among the things her parents stored with her before decamping to Costa Rica. Sadly, the Seattle Mystery Bookshop is closed in real life, but I’ve kept it alive on the page, and Pepper credits a former law firm staffer now working there for feeding her love of medieval mysteries with the Sister Fidelma mysteries by Peter Tremayne and the Dame Frevisse mysteries by Margaret Frazer. She’s also enjoying the Crispin Guest Medieval Mysteries by Jeri Westerson, which she discovered herself, and is just finishing the first, Veil of Lies.

Another series she’s recently discovered, through her friend, Seetha, are the Perveen Mistry series by Sujata Massey, set in 1920s India and featuring the first woman solicitor in Bombay. The series starts with The Widows of Malabar Hill and continues with The Satapur Moonstone. When Pepper visits Maddie in the hospital, she takes her two UK historicals, In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen and the latest in the Dandy Gilver series by Catriona McPherson.

Pepper also mentions Drinking French, a new cookbook from David Lebovitz, an American living in Paris, and new foodie mysteries from Cleo Coyle, Laura Childs, and Vicki Delany.

And the book about the Armenian genocide that she remembers reading in high school is the much-acclaimed Passage to Ararat by Michael J. Arlen, originally published in 1975.

PS: Looks like I may not have done a post on Pepper’s Bookshelf for CHAI ANOTHER DAY. Here’s what she was reading there:

— Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner

— Soul of the City: The Pike Place Public Market, by Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan

A Rare Benedictine by Ellis Peters, a trio of Brother Cadfael short stories

— Murder in Union Square, Victoria Thompson, the Gaslight Mysteries

— Edith Maxwell’s Quaker midwife mysteries

— The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating, by Steven Kerry Brown

— The latest culinary mysteries by Barbara Ross, Ellie Alexander, Cleo Coyle, and Lucy Burdette