In small towns and big cities alike, secrets abound …
Whether in my cozy mysteries, written as Leslie Budewitz, or my suspense novels, by Alicia Beckman, I write to explore women’s lives, using crime to dive into the mysteries that unsettle us and the truths that lie beneath them. I love taking readers to memorable places, introducing you to their intriguing inhabitants, and digging into the hearts and minds of my story people. And if I can make you think, laugh, and rumble your tummy all at the same time—well, then, we’ve got the perfect author–reader friendship!
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries — check out the special editions of the historical novella, An Unholy Death, and the short story, The Christmas Stranger, that my publisher created as part of the celebration! And I’m sharing a new Spice Shop mystery with you.
Pour a cup of something tasty and come on in!
TO ERR IS CUMIN
A Spice Shop Mystery, #8 ISBN-13: 978-1645060857 Seventh Street Books: July 16, 2024
In paperback, ebook, and audio!
One person’s treasure is another’s trash. . .
Pepper Reece, owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, wants nothing more than to live a quiet life for a change, running her shop and working with customers eager to spice up their cooking. But when she finds an envelope stuffed with cash in a ratty old wingback left on the curb, she sets out to track down the owner.
Pepper soon concludes that the chair and its stash may belong to young Talia Cook, new in town and nowhere to be seen. Boz Bosworth, an unemployed chef Pepper’s tangled with in the past, shows up looking for the young woman, but Pepper refuses to help him search. When Boz is found floating in the Ship Canal, only a few blocks from Talia’s apartment, free furniture no longer seems like such a bargain.
On the hunt for Talia, Pepper discovers a web of connections threatening to ensnare her best customer. The more she probes, the harder it gets to tell who’s part of an unsavory scheme of corruption—and who might be the next victim.
Between her quest for an elusive herb, helping her parents remodel their new house, and setting up the Spice Shop’s first cooking class, Pepper’s got a full plate. Dogged by a sense of obligation to find the rightful owner of the hidden treasure, she keeps on showing up and asking questions.
One mistake, and she could find herself cashing out. . .
BETWEEN A WOK AND A DEAD PLACE
A Spice Shop Mystery, #7
Seventh Street Books: July 18, 2023
In paperback, ebook, and audio!
It’s the Lunar New Year, and fortunes are about to change.
Pepper Reece, owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, loves a good festival, especially one serving up tasty treats. So what could be more fun than a food walk in the city’s Chinatown–International District, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit?
But when her friend Roxanne stumbles across a man’s body in the Gold Rush, a long-closed residential hotel, questions leap out. Who was he? What was he doing in the dust-encrusted herbal pharmacy in the hotel’s basement? Why was the pharmacy closed up—and why are the owners so reluctant to talk?
With each new discovery, Pepper find herself asking new questions and facing more brick walls.
Then questions arise about Roxanne and her relationship to Pepper’s boyfriend Nate, away fishing in Alaska. Between her worries and her struggle to hire staff at the Spice Shop, Pepper has her hands and her heart full. Still, she can’t resist the lure of the Gold Rush and its tangled history of secrets and lies stretching back nearly a century.
But the killer is on her tail, driven by hidden demons and desires. As Pepper begins to expose the long-concealed truth, a bigger question emerges: Can she uncover the secrets of the Gold Rush Hotel without being pushed from the wok into the fire?
Crooked Lane Books: October 11, 2022
In hardcover, ebook and audio!
Long-buried secrets come back with a vengeance in a cold case gone red-hot in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s second novel, perfect for fans of Laura Lippman and Greer Hendricks.
For decades, the unsolved murder of Father Michael Leary has haunted Billings, Montana, the community he served. Who summoned the priest late one autumn night, then left his body in a sandstone gully for the ravens and other wild scavengers?
And it’s haunted no one more than Lindsay Keller, who admired and confided in him as a teenager. Compelled by his example to work for justice, she became a prosecutor. But after a devastating case left her shattered, she fled the rough-and-tumble for the safety of a desk, handling real estate deals and historic preservation projects. Good work, but not what she’d dreamed of.