What’s on Pepper’s bookshelf in Killing Thyme?

IMGP3441In ASSAULT AND PEPPER, the first Spice Shop mystery, Pepper discovers the joys of the Brother Cadfael mysteries by the late, great Ellis Peters. In later books, she dives into the Dame Frevisse mysteries by Margaret Frazer—one of my very favorites—and the Sister Fidelma mysteries by Peter Tremaine.

In KILLING THYME, just released on October 4, 2016, Pepper’s mother, Lena, visits and introduces her to several newer historical mysteries series. As Lena says, “Now you know why I love historicals. Life could be harsh, and people haven’t changed a whole lot. But reality is easier to take when it’s dressed in period clothing.”

KillingThyme_FC.inddOf course, Pepper’s Seattle Spice Shop carries a wide range of cookbooks and food fiction. Readers have asked me for a list of the books Pepper mentions. Here’s Part One.

And here’s what’s on Pepper’s bookshelf in KILLING THYME:

Rhys Bowen, the Molly Murphy Mysteries, including Murphy’s Law and Death of Riley

Victoria Thompson, the Gaslight Mysteries, including Murder on Amsterdam Avenue and Murder in Morningside Heights

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames, the Cheese Shop Mysteries and the Cookbook Nook Mysteries

World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by World Spice Merchants owner Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne

Essays by the late novelist and food writer Laurie Colwin and the late food writer MFK Fisher

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War, by Annia Ciezadlo, a tour of Middle Eastern food during the wars in Iraq and Lebanon

Laura Childs, the Teashop Mysteries, Gunpowder Green

Krista Davis, the Domestic Diva Mysteries, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme

Happy reading and eating!

 

E-book sale on Assault & Pepper!

assault and pepper

Great news for readers who prefer to start a series at the beginning, or who haven’t yet taken the trip to Seattle with me! The e-book version of ASSAULT & PEPPER, first in my Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, is on sale for 1.99 at Amazon,KillingThyme_FC.indd B&N.com, and Kobo!

Not sure how long this bargain will last — but I can tell you the fun continues this fall with the third installment, KILLING THYME, to be released in paper, ebook, AND audio on October 4!

Update: For those of you who love reading on paper, there’s also a price reduction on the 2d book in the series, GUILTY AS CINNAMON! 

What book is that again? Pepper’s bookshelf

IMGP1761Like me, Pepper, the main character in my Seattle Spice Shop series, is a mystery reader. She often mentions books she’s reading. One of her updates to the Spice Shop has been to expand the book section, adding more cookbooks, memoirs and chef lit, and even foodie fiction. When Pepper drops into the Seattle Mystery Bookshop (a real place), to consult with Jen, a former paralegal who now sells books, Jen gives her several recommendations.

By reader request, here’s Pepper’s reading list:

assault and pepperPepper’s bookshelf, in ASSAULT & PEPPER:
Salt, Mark Kurlansky
Salted, Mark Bitterman
Skippyjon Jones: Lost in SpiceJudith Schachner

Pepper learns a lot about herbs and investigating from Brother Cadfael, created by Ellis Peters, reading A Morbid Taste for Bones, One Corpse Too Many, and Monk’s Hood, as well as the Cadfael Companion, Ellis Peters and Robin Whiteman, and Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden, Rob Talbot and Robin Whiteman.

The Spice Shop also carries the Teashop Mysteries by Laura Child, the Domestic Diva Mysteries by Krista Davis, the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle, and Key West Food Critic Mysteries by Lucy Burdette. Jen recommends a reader traveling to Erin consider Sheila Connolly’s County Cork series, Erin Hart’s archaeological mysteries, and when Pepper nears the end of the Cadfael series, Jen suggests the Sister Frevisse mysteries by Margaret Frazer and Sister Fidelma mysteries by Peter Tremayne.

Guilty as CinnamonPepper’s faves in GUILTY AS CINNAMON:
In her second outing, Pepper is celebrating cinnamon, and displays several mysteries in the shop: Cinnamon Skin, John D. MacDonald, Cinnamon Kiss, Walter Mosley, and The Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke.

She draws inspiration from The Servant’s Tale and The Outlaw’s Tale by Margaret Frazer. Her friend Callie, a law librarian and avid baker, drools over a cookbook called Sugar Rush.

And after she’s solved the crimes, Pepper’s staff gives her a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating, by Steven Kerry Brown. What, they couldn’t have given it her before she found—nevermind. No spoilers here!

In GUILTY AS CINNAMON, Pepper also discovers music by the Portland Cello Project.

Wrapping up the CINNAMON fun

IMGP2110Thanks to all of you for celebrating with me the release of GUILTY AS CINNAMON, and for making it so much fun!

This week, I’ll be at the Fresh Fiction blog, revealing my 10 Favorite Things About Seattle — or at least, my 10 top faves on the day I wrote the post! I think the publisher is offering a giveaway, so check it out!

And speaking of giveaways, the Book Bitch’s December giveaway runs through Dec 31. Enter for a chance to win 4 signed books — GUILTY AS CINNAMON, TRICKY TWENTY-TWO by Janet Evanovitch, and the latest from Lawrence Block and the trio who write the winemaking detective mysteries, set in France!

Untitled-5A couple of guest blogs are still waiting in the wings, including one on what I’ve been reading recently — I’ll let you know when it’s up. And I’ll post a list of some favorite reads from the past year shortly.

Many of you have sent me kind notes, by email or on Facebook, saying how much you enjoyed GUILTY AS CINNAMON. I’m so happy! Would you please take a few minutes and post a short review on Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N.com? Your help can make a difference in how the recommendation algorithms work, and in helping other readers find my books. THANK YOU!

IMGP2188And now, life returns to normal. I’m working on the fourth Food Lovers’ Village mystery, still unnamed, and expecting edits on the third Seattle Spice Shop Mystery, KILLING THYME (October 2016), and the cover any day now. I’m working on a couple of other projects as well, along with this blog, and my regular gigs at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen (1st, 3d, and 5th Tuesdays) and Killer Characters (the 27th of the month.) We’re working on several new projects at Sisters in Crime. And I hope to get out and enjoy that snow — or maybe stay inside and curl up with a good book.

Thanks for joining me! Keep it spicy!

Oh, what fun it is to celebrate a new book!

ChampagneThanks to all of you for making GUILTY AS CINNAMON another national bestseller! I’m considering that an early Christmas present—but that doesn’t let Mr. Right off the hook!

And I’m delighted to report that the large print edition will be available in July 2016.

Readers and bloggers continue to be very good to me. Jennifer at Moonlight Rendezvous calls it an “exciting mystery that has the perfect recipe of charm to entice cozy readers.” And Kings River Life gives a spot-on recap.

cabinMy favorite bad boy, Alex Howard, and I are Dru Ann’s guests at Dru’s Book Musings on Friday, December 25, giving the chef’s-eye view of GUILTY AS CINNAMON—and thanks to my publisher, there will be a giveaway!

Stacy the BookBitch is including a signed copy of GUILTY AS CINNAMON in her December giveaway—along with the latest by Janet Evanovitch (TRICKY TWENTY-TWO), Lawrence Block, and the authors of the French winemaker’s mysteries. One lucky winner gets all four books!

My thanks again to all of you for sharing the CINNAMON spirit!

(Photo: Our new cabin in the woods!)

The CINNAMON Celebration Continues!

IMGP2086Cold and wet and downright yucky outside these days, but your comments and notes have me feeling all warm and fuzzy. My favorite note this past week has to be the Facebook post from the reader who said she bought GUILTY AS CINNAMON on Tuesday, release day, only to have her sister snatch it up. “Please write books my sister doesn’t like so much,” she pleaded.

Well. I love my readers, but I’m not going to promise THAT!

 

Untitled-5The reviews are delicious! I hope you’ll let me share a few quotes from reviews. Suspense Magazine will review CINNAMON in an upcoming issue. The reviewer calls it “s a zesty mix of a mystery with all the right ingredients to keep readers turning pages as quickly as possible. Delicious!”

The Open Book Society’s reviewer calls CINNAMON “[w]itty and at times intense,” saying “[t]he author’s love for the Seattle Marketplace, cozy mysteries, cooking, and spices comes through every page.” “The plot is rich with as many twists and turns as the alleys in the Marketplace, one that kept this reader revising her suspect list with each new twist. … The author has flawlessly executed a plot that had many twists and interrelationships I could not have anticipated. The main characters have a depth this reader also would not have anticipated in a relatively young series; I can’t wait for the next one to see how much better it will get!  I highly recommend ‘Guilty as Cinnamon’ to foodies who enjoy exploring new tastes and ideas (with many recipes included), cozy mystery lovers who appreciate an exceptionally well-plotted and written novel, and those who enjoy the Pacific Northwest area.”

And at the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore in Toronto, CINNAMON is one of bookseller Marian’s picks for December. She loves mysteries that cook up murder, and picked up ASSAULT AND PEPPER because she loves spices and knows and loves Pike Place Market.I was delighted to hear that she quickly snatched up CINNAMON, and says of the pair, “A well written series with all sorts of info on spices.”

King’s River Life gives a fun recap of the story, and courtesy of the publisher, a giveaway!

Next week in the blogosphere: On Monday, December 14, I visit Auntie M Writes to talk about how movies set in Seattle influence my writing. Tues, December 15, is my day on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen—we’re sharing ideas for Christmas celebrations. I’m pouring Pepper’s new favorite cocktail, the Negroni, and serving up Sandra’s Spiced Nuts. I’m also a guest that day on the Gotta Write Network, with a post titled No Chance of a Ghost. And on Friday, December 18, Moonlight Rendezvous will offer a review and a book giveaway.

deskcat on deskThe supervisor—aka Ruff the Cat—and I are staying home this week. No events to report. I’m planning to write. He’s planning to nap, and dream of mice. And then, I’m summonsed for jury duty in state court. Will I finally be picked for a jury—I would love to serve, but maybe not during Christmas week—or will the combination of a lawyer and a mystery writer in one woman have the lawyers scratching me off the list and taking their chances with the next pick? Stay tuned …

See you on the page —

Leslie

 

Thanks for sprinkling a little CINNAMON!

IMGP2188THANKS SO MUCH to all of you who bought GUILTY AS CINNAMON in its first week out, spread the word, and visited with me on my blog tour. CINNAMON reached #2 in Cozy Mystery on B&N.com, and garnered some great reviews. It was a real treat to meet so many of you Friday night in Kalispell at Think Local on the Holiday Art Walk, and Saturday afternoon at Fact & Fiction in Missoula during the Author Extravaganza. Signed books will be available both places, as well as the usual haunts in the Flathead and Missoula valleys.

Untitled-5Reviews are coming in—and they are sweet! CINNAMON garnered some lovely reviews in its first week in the world. Booklist said “This engaging cozy makes the most of its Seattle location, effectively weaves facts about spices and their uses throughout the narrative, and boasts the feisty Pepper at its center. Sure to appeal to fans of Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles herbal mysteries.”

Fresh Fiction said: “Charming second installment in this cozy mystery series. . Leslie Budewitz is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery writers! I love how she blends together world building and character development to create just the perfect atmosphere for her stories.”

Reader reviews matter a great deal, so I hope you’ll take a moment to post your thoughts on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N.com, or whereever you read and share reviews. THANK YOU!

Next week in the blog-O-sphere:  Thursday, I’ll be at Club Henhouse, the Henery Press blog, talking about writing with my inner Interior Designer—putting my childhood as a furniture salesman’s daughter to work for my characters!

On my own blog—right here, on Tuesday—I’ll be sharing a list of my favorite writing books.

Meanwhile, I’m working on the next Food Lovers’ Village mystery, currently titled FLV #4. We’ll brainstorm later!

deer heart

 

See you on the page —

Leslie

 

Time to celebrate a new book!

Guilty as Cinnamon

What a crazy year this has been! By year’s end, I will have finished three books, and published three—and taken on the wonderful, daunting responsibility of serving as president of Sisters in Crime. Thanks for joining me on this crazy ride!

GUILTY AS CINNAMON, second in the Spice Shop Mysteries, arrives this week, on Tuesday. Here’s the scoop, from the cover:

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Seattle Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

You can find the book at all the usual outlets, including your local independents and several locations in Western Montana. Links here, on my webpage, along with an excerpt.

Events: I’ll be signing all my mysteries and chatting about books this Friday, December 4, at Think Local in downtown Kalispell, from 5-8 pm, as part of the Kalispell Holiday Art Walk, and Saturday, December 5 at Fact & Fiction in downtown Missoula, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, as part of the annual Author Extravaganza!

tea infuserBlogs and giveaways: On Monday, November 30, I’m participating in a blog hop starting Club Hen House, the blog of Henery Press, which publishes WRITES OF PASSAGE, the award-winning SinC anthology that I’m part of. More than two dozen authors are participating, with fun posts and giveaways. My offering? This adorable gingerbread man tea infuser—something I’m sure you could find at Pepper’s Seattle Spice Shop!

On Tuesday, release day, I’ll be celebrating in two places, at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, where I’ll be sharing a recipe from GUILTY AS CINNAMON and giving one lucky reader a signed copy. I’ll also be a guest of the delightful Jungle Red Writers, talking about the memories triggered by what I’ve found in old books, and offering a signed copy of the new book and a tea infuser!

SinC

On Thursday, Dec 3, I’ll be interviewed at Wicked Cozy Authors, a super-fun group of New England writers, about Sisters in Crime and its impact on my career.

On Friday, Dec 4, I’ll be sharing spice trivia at Lori’s Reading Corner, where my publisher will be offering a copy of GUILTY AS CINNAMON.

And CINNAMON is one of the featured titles for December at BookBitch, where Stacy Alesi and the members of International Thriller Writers team up for a month-long giveaway of signed books!

I hope you’ll join me this week as this writing adventure continues, and remember, keep it spicy! 

ASSAULT & PEPPER — Publication Day!

assault and pepperFriends, we mostly talk about the law here, but occasionally, we burst out in fiction. I’m delighted to celebrate with you the release of ASSAULT AND PEPPER, first in my new Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries.

From the cover:

“Pepper Reece, owner of the Seattle Spice Shop, thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars.

But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on her doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest Tory Finch, one of Pepper’s staffers, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!”

I’m super-excited about the book. The cover is probably my favorite so far, and I’ve had such a blast going back to Seattle, where I went to college and practiced law for several years, on the page. I hope you enjoy the story and story people as much as I do.

My book tour will take me to Missoula, Bigfork, Seattle, Portland, and Billings. Details here. The book is available at all the usual online and brick-and-mortar shops, and the shops I’ll be visiting — Fact & Fiction in Missoula, Seattle Mystery Bookshop and Third Place Books, Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland, and B&N in Billings — will be happy to send you a signed, personalized copy; just call before I get there and they’ll make sure we get the job done.

I’m also doing a blog tour, which will include a few giveaways. The list is longer than I can type out at the moment — I’ve been editing the next Food Lovers’ Village mystery, BUTTER OFF DEAD (July 2015), and my hands are tired — but if you’re interested, join me on Facebook where I’ll be announcing each day’s guest blog and any giveaways.

Thank you, as always, for your friendship and support. For people who spend most of our time home alone with people who only exist because we made them up, we writers are sure blessed with a wonderful community!

 

Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Assault and PepperThis week, I’m joining the wonderful, stupendous, utterly delicious blog Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, alternating Tuesdays with Cleo Coyle, whose Coffeehouse Mysteries I have drunk down thirstily for years. If you love cozy mystery like I do, you’ll know the other authors who blog there — or if you don’t, you want to! Krista Davis, Avery Aames aka Daryl Wood Gerber, Lucy Burdette, Sheila Connolly, Peg Cochran, and Victoria Abbott (Mon-Sat; guests on Sunday). I hope you’ll join me there — you can sign up on the website (link above) to get yummy illustrated recipes, often with a link to a mystery novel, in your e-mail inbox or RSS feed.

IMGP2026 IMGP2029And here’s an enticement: Broccoli Potato Frittata, inspired by my character Pepper Reece’s daily walk through the produce stalls of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, inspired by my own many strolls through the aisles and arcades.