Today I'm interviewing Arf, the canine star of the Spice Shop mysteries by Leslie Budewitz. The latest book in the series, Guilty as Cinnamon was released in December.
It's a good thing I found Arf to be a really nice guy, because he has a wicked sense of humor! You'll find out what I mean when you read the interview :)
Welcome Arf, thank you so much for chatting with me today! Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Pepper?
Thank you for inviting me, kind lady. I am an Airedale, the King of Terriers. (There may be a touch of the smaller Welsh Terrier in me as well – they, too, are a most excellent breed.) The humans seem to think I’m about five years old, in their terms; age does not matter to me. I came to live with Pepper last fall, when Sam---the street name of the man known officially as Winfield Robinson III---decided to leave Seattle and return to Memphis, where his humans are. I am not familiar with Memphis, but I believe I would have enjoyed the opportunity to explore its streets and smells---I hear they serve very fine barbecue. But Sam thought the long bus ride would be too much for me. I am not sure why---I have always gotten along well with greyhounds. Sam knew Pepper to be a generous and loyal friend, and she does indeed have those admirable qualities. She is a delightful companion who values my presence in her life, and rubs my ears. She is also well-acquainted with the butchers in the Pike Place Market, where we spend much of our time.
What is a typical day like for you?
I rise early and take Pepper for a walk. She is occasionally a little grouchy in the mornings, so I make sure she has her coffee, and that improves her mood tremendously. Most days, we go straight to the Market, a few blocks from our loft in a downtown Seattle warehouse. We greet the farmers, vendors, craftspeople, and merchants as they set up their stalls and stores for the day. Pepper owns the Seattle Spice Shop, and we prepare to open it. Then I keep an eye on things while she works. Occasionally, trouble arises and she is called upon to investigate. I often assist in her inquiries---she often refers to me as Mr. Ambassador. On occasion, she leaves me in the shop to assist her employees, which I do from my bed behind the front counter. (I have heard rumors that dogs are not officially allowed in the Market, but the Golden Retriever who supervises the Market managers’ office tells me not to worry.)
It must be fun getting into mischief at the Pike Place Market!
It is a glorious place, full of crooks and crannies, sights and smells, and many friendly people. And a few bad apples, but we know what to do with them, don’t we?
What kinds of mischief do you get into in Guilty as Cinnamon?
I run, I jump, I sniff and chase! I nibble and nap. I stick my nose into people’s---pardon me, dear lady, I forget myself. Suffice to say, a dog’s life is wonderful.
Do you help to solve the mystery in any way?
Gentle lady, I know you do not expect me to spoil the fun for readers. Let me say simply, he got what he deserved. And it was deliciously good fun.
How do you feel about kitties?
I hear they’re very good, with barbecue sauce. Pardon me, Miss Mudpie. Just a little dog humor. There are few cats in the Market, and I have not spent much time with your species of late, but in my youth, I shared a home with a lovely calico named Phoebe. She once perceived that I was misbehaving, and swatted me on the nose and knocked me off the front porch, but that aside, we were great friends. I miss her dearly.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming adventures?
In KILLING THYME (October 2016), Pepper and I don capes and fly through the city---no, wait, that was last night’s dream. We investigate a suspicious death linked to Pepper’s childhood home, uncovering decades-old secrets that put her family and dearest friends in danger. Pepper once again proves herself smart, loyal, and courageous---and I her most faithful companion.
Thank you, Miss Mudpie, and Miss Melissa, for so kindly inviting me to visit with you and your friends.
Yours most sincerely,
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…
Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, January 29th for your chance to win an autographed copy of Guilty as Cinnamon. (US entries only, please.)