Book summary

Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery, #1) ebook review

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 P 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…

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Book author

Dana Mentink ebooks review

Dana Mentink

*Also publishes as Alicia Beckman*
Leslie Budewitz is the three-time Agatha Award winner and bestselling author of the Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. She’ll make her suspense debut, writing as Alicia Beckman, with “BITTERROOT LAKE” (Crooked Lane Books) in April 2021.

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything t *Also publishes as Alicia Beckman*
Leslie Budewitz is the three-time Agatha Award winner and bestselling author of the Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. She’ll make her suspense debut, writing as Alicia Beckman, with “BITTERROOT LAKE” (Crooked Lane Books) in April 2021.

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.



Though I loved living in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, I’m happiest back home in my native Montana. And I’m thrilled to share with you this story of grief and friendship, of loss and loneliness and love. In short, it’s the story of women’s lives told through the lens of Sarah McCaskill, a young widow, who discovers that to heal the wounds of the present she must first tend to the wounds of the past.

It’s also the story of Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake. Though fictional, it draws on my love of Montana’s historic lodges and the families who built them. Grand houses, built by people with grand plans—some dashed, some come true.

And it’s the story of women’s friendships, and how they change over time as life tugs us this way and that. It’s a theme I’ve explored in other books as well, particularly in THE SOLACE OF BAY LEAVES, my 5th Spice Shop mystery (2020). The series is set in Seattle's Pike Place Market, a place I fell in love with as a college freshman and still love to visit for research. (And by research, of course, I mean eat.) I’m also the author of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, set in fictional Jewel Bay, Montana. DEATH A DENTE, first in the series, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First novel. I’m the proud owner of two other Agatha teapots—2018 Best Short Story for “All God’s Sparrows,” set in Montana Territory in 1885, and 2011 Best Nonfiction (2011) for BOOKS, CROOKS & COUNSELORS: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure, drawing on my thirty-plus years as a lawyer. My books and short stories have also won or been nominated for Derringer, Anthony and Macavity awards.

As a lawyer, I’ve represented individuals seeking damages for terrible wrongs, employers looking to do the right thing, and clients ranging from commercial fishermen to radio stations and even a major league baseball team. Currently, I handle mediations and help lawyers in over their heads. I’m a board member of Mystery Writers of America and past president of Sisters in Crime. I love to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint—not necessarily in that order. My husband Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine, our gray tuxedo cat, an avid bird watcher, and I live in northwest Montana.

For seasonal updates, please visit my website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, and click on the newsletter tab to sign up for emails about new releases, launch parties and other fun goings-on, and book giveaways. Subscribers get a free download of "The End of the Line,” a short story inspired by an odd sight on a trip to Greece.

Readers are my favorite people. Drop me a line at [email protected] or [email protected] Join me at my website, LeslieBudewitz.com, or on Facebook at Leslie Budewitz & Alicia Beckman.

Dana Mentink

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