Thursday, March 27, 2014

Keeping Mum

by Phyl and Jo, of Rainbow Lake Garden, from The Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, by Leslie Budewitz

The last pockets of snow are melting, and the sun is growing stronger every day. In the greenhouse, we’ve got tomatoes and herbs sprouting. Basil, parsley, and tarragon are annuals in these parts. Thyme, chives, and oregano spread like weeds—thank goodness they’re popular with cooks. Cilantro’s a good seller, too, growing off last year’s wind-sown seed, so we start a few new plants every year. The onions are up, and we’re about to start the cukes and squash as well.

Don’t think for a moment we don’t know Erin’s plan. She drops by, starts a casual conversation, and tries to get us to tell her “our story,” as she puts it. We admit, we’re a bit of a surprise around here: a Kiwi and a Swede, living out in the woods, raising fruit and vegg, and goats. We spend the good weather tending our crops and the bad spinning and dying wool. Occasionally, we’ll knit a cap or a new sweater, but mostly, we sell the stuff through Dragonfly Dry Goods. It’s not that we don’t actually want Erin to know how we met and how we got to Jewel Bay. The story’s not so unusual, or such a secret. But it’s kinda fun to tease her, let her think up all kinds of possibilities, no doubt more interesting than the real story. She’s a bit of a snoop, in a sweet way. We sure are glad she solved the murder last summer. Just hope she doesn’t have to make a habit of it.

What about you? Do you like to keep a secret now and then, just for fun?

Drop by Leslie's Facebook Author page --- everyone who "likes" the page and helps her reach 750 "likes" will be entered in a drawing for a box of notecards featuring paintings by the fabulous Montana artist Nancy Cawdrey! (Shown: Another Day in Paradise, French dye on silk.) 

Death al Dente is the first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime in August 2013—and nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The series is set in a small, lakeside resort community in Northwest Montana, on the road to Glacier Park. Guess where my author, Leslie Budewitz, lives! Watch for Crime Rib, coming in July 2014.

Leslie is also a lawyer and won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books). Visit her at or


  1. I look forward to my herb garden...but it's 13 degrees at the moment, so I guess I have some time! They say it's supposed to reach close to 50 today though...we'll see.

  2. Everything is late in Threadville, but I'm sure the weeds, if nothing else, will catch up.

  3. The seed catalogs are keeping us believing! Stay warm!

    Phyl & Jo