Saturday, April 27, 2013
By Claudette Randall, from Death al Dente, Book One of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, by Leslie Budewitz, coming in August 2013
April Showers bring – well, I don’t know. In northwest Montana, April is glorious! The snow is finally gone – except for those wet, heavy dumps we’ve had the last three Sundays, but they melt fast. The grass is greening. The sky is bluing. My daffs, tulips, and hyacinth are coming on like crazy, and the peonies are sticking their brave little red snouts out of the cold, wet earth. Even the cherry orchards along the lake are starting to wake up!
But the Merc may be in for an even bigger change. Francesca Murphy – everyone calls her Fresca – owns the place, and I manage it. Officially the Glacier Mercantile, we’re a gift and food shop in a hundred-year-old building built by Fresca’s late husband’s – grandfather, was it? I forget. The building’s a bit crumbly, but still loaded with charm. I met Fresca just after her husband died, and oh, she was in a rough spot. We’ve been fast friends ever since, and when she needed me to help her out, why I just made a new plan, Stan! (And my old bosses, Ned and Ted Redaway, understood completely. I think.) We carry all kinds of fun local stuff, from pottery and paintings to food to – well, whatever. Fresca is a fabulous cook and makes the best pastas, sauces, and pestos. Frankly, they keep us afloat.
Now Fresca’s daughter Erin is coming home. She’s been in Seattle, working as a grocery buyer for SavClub – it’s kind of like Costco. Fresca hasn’t said, but I think she’s going to work here. She’s a darling girl – lively dark eyes and straight dark hair like her mother’s, with her father’s fair skin, and such fun clothes. I get so tired of winter coats and fleece jackets. And Erin has lots of ideas. I’m sure she’ll have this place hopping in no time.
I wish I were good at planning, like Erin is. Because it might be about time for a new plan ... .
Any changes in your future?