Monday, July 27, 2015

On a Winter's Day...

By Nick Murphy, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to leave Jewel Bay. Loved my family, loved our home—a house my grandparents built in n orchard my great-grandparents planted back in the homestead days. Loved the lake and the mountains—kayaking, hiking, skiing. Loved the wild animals—everything from three kinds of chickadees to grizzly bears, and these days, the gray wolf.

Don’t tell my sister Erin this, but I even kinda like that box of rocks in the Village where she’s created the Merc, a modern version of our great-grandpa Murphy’s general store.

But this was my parents’ town. My dad grew up here, and when my mother married him and moved here, she dove right in and made it hers, too. Raised the three of us. Helped create the Summer Art and Food Festival when I was a baby—she likes to call it her other oldest child—and helped establish half a dozen other annual events that keep this community thriving.

So you get that I needed to strike out on my own. Find my own path.

And darned if it didn’t lead me right back here. Yeah, I’m a wolf biologist and they’ve moved in to the neighborhood. Yeah, now that I’m a little older, the draw of home and family has gotten a little stronger. I especially love it here in the winter, when the town is as quiet as the woods. And yeah, there’s a woman...

I hope it’s not too strange to curl up on a long, hot summer day with a book set in the deep mid-winter! What’s your favorite season—and why? 

From the cover: As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.
 
But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…


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 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 on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

10 comments:

  1. A book set in winter is a perfect way to cool off--this week is supposed to be hot!

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    1. And there's a terrific recipe for chocolate-Cabernet sauce that is perfect over ice cream -- perfect for beating the heat!

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  2. Read this book, everybody! Great characters and a wonderful sense of place (I've never been to Montana, but now I want to go).

    I love fall in New England. Maybe people see that as an ending, but the trees put on such a great show as they go!

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    1. Oh, Sheila, thank you! Fall in New England is legendary --- loved my one brief visit.

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  3. The first book in the series is actually next on my to read list! My favorite season is autumn - I love the cool, crisp days, the changing colors, the smells of leaves burning and apples cooking, and the hint of snow in the future! :-)

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  4. Thanks, Nicole! Good thing autumn will be here before too long -- it's got a lot of fans!

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  5. Winter is my favorite. I love walking on a snowy day - the sounds are all muffled and it is pretty and white and quiet! I can go geocaching and not have to worry about mosquitoes or gnats or deer flies or snakes. I don't get all sweaty when I am outside. I definitely need this book.

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  6. Elaine, yes! Except when it's blustery or super-cold, I love winter, too. Geocaching -- how interesting. That might be a good mystery subplot....

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  7. I love every season but summer. I can't walk outside when it's dripping, sweltering hot! I'm looking forward to the gorgeous fall in E. TN.

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  8. Depends where you live, doesn't it? Summer here in NW Montana is (mostly) glorious. The first two books in the series are set in mid June and early August, so it was great fun to turn that around and write them in a winter setting.

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