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.)
Labels: Tortie Shorties