Between a Wok and a Dead Place is out today!

It’s the Lunar New Year, and fortunes are about to change.

Between a Wok and a Dead Place -- book cover, showing shop interior decorated for the Lunar New Year, and an Airedale terrier
Book cover for Between a Wok and a Dead Place

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?

Out today in paperback, ebook, and audio. Links here.

Sending a new book into the world is always exciting — and a little scary!

I’m sure you understand. We work for something, look forward to it, and then all of a sudden — after what seems like ages — it’s here!

Between a Wok and a Dead Place is the 7th Spice Shop mystery. I love giving readers a tour of Pike Place Market, a place I fell hard for on my first visit as a college freshman. But I love taking readers to other parts of Seattle, too. The Chinatown-International District has a long history, and its residential hotels — some dating back to the 1880s — played a vital role in the city’s economic and cultural development. When Mr. Right and I toured one several years ago, I was struck by their rich history. What secrets did they hold? I could only imagine . . .

And so I spent months imagining. Reading. Poring over pictures and maps and more. All so I could bring my fictional Gold Rush Hotel to life, for me and you.
I hope you enjoy another visit to Seattle with me.

And if you would, friends, please spread the word, in person, on social media, any way you can. Publicity, interviews, events are very effective, but nothing is more powerful than passionate word-of-mouth.

LB Author

My thanks, always,


If you’re in Western Montana, here’s where I’ll be the rest of the summer. Let’s get together!

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