by Kristen Hoffman Gardiner, from the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz
To celebrate the release of KILLING THYME, book 3 in the series, on October 4, Leslie is giving away TWO signed copies!
I’ve been coming to the Market since I was a small child. Back then, our mothers would bring Pepper and me to the Market as a special treat when they shopped for our joint household. They’d let us sip sample cups of spice tea—she loved it even then, so I suppose we should have guessed she’d end up working here. (I confess, I found it a bit strong and even now, I’d rather drink coffee. “Oh, surprise,” Pepper would say, but we just won’t tell her.) Our parents were active in the Friends of the Market group that got the ballot initiative to save the place passed, and they always believed in putting their money where their mouths were. One visit, they’d buy us doughnuts, another week baklava or sweet Vietnamese rolls. We’d watch the artists, the buskers, the produce hawkers, and the butchers, reveling in the hustle and bustle. And now we work here—who would ever have imagined that?
So what do I love most?
5. The unpredictability. You never know what will happen here. From magic to murder, you really never know.
4. It’s a microcosm of the city. Pepper says the Market is the city’s stomach, but it’s also the city’s spirit. In the Market, we embrace weird and old and new. Especially weird.
3. The food. You can eat lunch at a different restaurant, stand, or stall for weeks and never repeat. Although I do repeat, often. Pepper razzes me about that, but hey, I’m a creature of good habits.
2. The characters. The Hmong flower sellers, the guys who throw the fish, Vinny the wine merchant, even the men who wander the streets—Jim and Hot Dog, and Sam who moved back to Tennessee and left Pepper his dog. The butchers, the bakers, the candlestick makers. And okay, maybe we’re characters sometimes, too.
1. Working with my best friend. What could possibly top that?
What do you love best about where you work, or where you spend most of your time?
To celebrate the release of KILLING THYME, book 3 in the series, on October 4, Leslie is giving away TWO signed copies! Leave a comment below to enter, with your email address by midnight, Wednesday, September 28.
At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…
Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun.
While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. After Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth.
But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?
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. The 2015-16 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.
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