Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz


About the book: The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who 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 the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, 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…


Assault and Pepper, the first book in Leslie Budewitz's Spice Shop mystery series, introduces us to Pepper Reece, an especially strong lead character who is rebuilding her life following a divorce and job loss by taking ownership of a spice shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market. She ends up embroiled in murder when a mysterious panhandler ends up dead on the shop's doorstep - poisoned by a cup of her spice tea - and a valued employee is arrested for the crime.

I always get a little nervous when a book begins with a character list; usually it means there are so many characters you will need a guide to keep them all straight. I didn't find that to be the case at all here. The cast of characters is an eclectic group of people that I really enjoyed meeting, especially the main suspect, Tory, a young woman of many talents and many secrets. A hallmark of cozy mysteries is setting being a character all it's own, and that is especially true here. The author paints such a vivid picture of the famous Pike Place Market that I felt like I was experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells in person.

Armchair travelers and fans of culinary cozies will find much to appreciate in this "spicy" debut.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, March 13th, for your chance to win a copy of Assault and Pepper. (US entries only, please.)

34 comments:

  1. A series set in Seattle - YAY! This should be fun.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  2. Assault and Pepper sounds like a great book, and the cover is cute. I have this book on my TBR list. :)
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. I love mysteries featuring dogs and/or cats!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  4. This is now on our list to read - sounds like a pawesome book!

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  5. Love the name of the book...........VERY clever!!!! I bet it's a fun read........ junekimm AT aol DOT com

    Hugs, sammy

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  6. such a cute cover, love the dog, thanks for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  7. Love the cover and the story line. I just cleaned out my spice rack of all the old spices and after the next round of Jewish Holidays I'll be restocking. I wish there was a shop like this in my area.

    I'd also love to be the lucky winner.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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  8. I love this writer's work—can't wait to read Assault and Pepper!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  9. How do you find all these great books?

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  10. Friday the 13th may be a day of bad luck for some but hopefully not for me. I'd love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  11. A delightful book and great feature and giveaway. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. I would enjoy this great book. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Congrats, to Leslie, on this new series! Truffles' "Tortie Shorties" pic always makes me want to give her a tummy rub! :) patucker54 (at aol dot com)

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  15. love cozies especially ones set in seattle thanks for sharing have a great day

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  16. A spice shop sounds so interesting, I love the food lover's village series so I'm sure that I'll love this one too.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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  17. Thanks for the warm welcome, Melissa -- and I'm so glad you enjoyed Pepper's first outing! Seattle is a great city -- I hope you all enjoy the trip as much as I enjoyed taking you there!

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  18. Looking forward to this series. Love Leslie's books. Awesome giveaway. Fingers crossed! :)
    Scouts579 (at) aol (dot) com

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  19. I really want to read this book.

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  20. It does sound like a tasty read.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  21. Love the title and the cover! Thanks for the chance! angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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  22. I love going to the Pike Place Market, I love their Market Spice Tea

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

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  23. Sounds like a fun book! Love cozies!
    marthajane1@hotmail.com


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  24. And you simply MUST make the Salty Oat Cookie recipe in the back of the book!
    xoxo
    Leslie

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  25. I love cozies, and I am particularly looking forward to this new series because I love love love the Food Lovers' Village series by Leslie. llcejka at gmail dot com

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  26. I think Pepper's new job and the setting of the spice shop sound great! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. I'm not sure this went thru-- delete if a dupe
    This book sounds like it's right up my alley. I hope I win!
    JenniferAnne74 @ aol.com

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  28. Truffles, what a great review! You know how I value your opinion, and I want to read this even more now. Thanks for the chance to win! jeaniedannheim ( at ) ymail ( dot ) com

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  29. Truffles, what a great review! You know how I value your opinion, and I want to read this even more now. Thanks for the chance to win! jeaniedannheim ( at ) ymail ( dot ) com

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  30. Looks like great cozy mystery.
    xzjh04@gmail.com

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  31. I like cozy mysteries. ..my faves. A spice shop setting sounds intriguing.

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  32. I would love to start reading this series. It sounds like a good one! Thank you!

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  33. Looking forward to reading this one.

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