Monday, January 25, 2016

Mudpie Interviews...Arf from Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Budewitz (w/Giveaway)

Meows from Mudpie!

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…


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She fell in love with the Pike Place Market as a college student in Seattle, and still makes regular pilgrimages. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. Connect with her through her website and blog,, or on Facebook,

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.)


Unknown said...

It looks great, and thank you for the chance to win :)
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

What a cool interview!! Makes me want to get mom to read the book to me - so of course, we would like a copy!!!

Mickey's Musings said...

Pawsome interview Mudpie :)
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ

We are not in this contest

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Mudpie. That Arf is one smart doggy.

Anonymous said...

This is adorable. Nice job, Mudpie. I need to read some of these kind of mysteries. I used to...not sure why I quit.

bookwomen said...

Thanks for another wonderful interview. gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

Denise Z. said...

Ms. Mudpie, skillfull interview with Arf. I was sad at the end of nook 1 when Arf couldn't go with Sam, but I am glad he found Pepper. I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 and have this on my wish list. An autogrsph would make it extra special dz87507 at gmail dot com.

Denise Z. said...

Ms. Mudpie, skillfull interview with Arf. I was sad at the end of nook 1 when Arf couldn't go with Sam, but I am glad he found Pepper. I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 and have this on my wish list. An autogrsph would make it extra special dz87507 at gmail dot com.

Unknown said...

What a unique name for a dog, Arf. I enjoyed your interview Ms. Mudpie with Arf. It made me want to read the book right now so hopefully I'm the lucky one to win a copy.

Leslie Budewitz said...

Good morning, friends. I am honored to be here with you -- and a little embarrassed at having let a little canine humor fly at the lovely Miss Mudpie's expense.

Miss Denise, I miss Sam terribly, but his sister checks in with us from time to time, and reports that he is thriving back home in Memphis.

Miss Robin, I believe Miss Pepper and our author told the story of how I acquired my name at the end of ASSAULT & PEPPER. Oh--she's picking up the leash! Time to go to work!

Yrs, Arf

The Menagerie Mom said...

What a great interview, Mudpie! More books for my to-read list! Purrs!

Kay said...

Love the interview. What a great partner for Miss Pepper!

Unknown said...

A brilliant interview, as always.
Arf sounds like a fine fellow. It would be delightful to have a tour of the area with him as the guide.
libbydodd at comcast dot net

kim hansen said...

Love a good mystery.

Not really said...

Lovely cover. Great interview with Arf, and post. Would love to read Guilty as Cinnamon
Della at

Debbie S said...

What a fun interview, I love Arf's sense of humor (also love the name). I've read the Food Lover Village series but haven't started this one...yet. I have got to get started on it.
momzillasteel at gmail dot com

petite said...

This cozy mystery sounds intriguing. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

What a delightful interview. Guilty as Cinnamon is very special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Leslie Budewitz said...

So lovely to meet so many readers! Miss Pepper and I often read together at night -- she just finished the Brother Cadfael mysteries, and is starting the Dame Frevisse mysteries by Margaret Frazer. I'm sure many of you love those series, too. The old monk and the young nun have taught her quite a bit about herbs and observation!


rockergoddess2002 said...

Thank you, Arf! You just made my day!

Tracy Shafer

Unknown said...

Great interview Arf! Can't wait to read more of your adventures

Leslie Budewitz said...

My dear Miss Goddess, I would blush if it weren't for my fur.

Yours most devotedly,

Sue said...

As usual, a super interview Mudpie. Yes, he does have a great warped sense of humor---kitties with BBQ sauce indeed! Thanks for the contest.

Barbara T. said...

Meet you in Pike Place Market.

Shelli King said...

I just love these cozy mysteries!!

Anonymous said...

Gweat review Mudpie. Yous duin' such a gweat job. And we luvved yous Cat Lady Box Selfie. You always look so bootyful. Have a pawsum day.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Lexi

Leslie Budewitz said...

You know where to find me, Miss Bobbie. Unless we're out investigating.


Lola The Rescued Cat said...

Great review and interview! You're getting really good! And your selfie is very cute.

pilch92 said...

Great interview, as always Miss Mudpie.

Anonymous said...

Arf as in doggy words?...too cute a name and love the cover of the Book...thanks for the contest.

Leslie Budewitz said...

Miss Marilyn, I do believe that is what Sam had in mind when he named me. It is not my original name -- I can't quite recollect what that was. Thank you for your comments on the covers -- Mr. Ben Perini creates them for Penguin Random House, and Pepper, our author, and I think he does a splendid job.


Jeanetta said...

Mudpie, I always enjoy your interviews. It was nice to know more about Arf for he sounds like a fun companion. Thank you for the giveaway.

Karen B said...

Fun interview! Hope I'm not too late to enter.

Leslie Budewitz said...

Thank you all so very much for the warm, fuzzy welcome. I am rubbing my paws together eagerly to see who wins!

Yrs most affectionately,