Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ghosts of Pike Place Market

By Pepper Reece, Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries (Assault & Pepper, coming in March 2015, from Berkley Prime Crime)

I’d been coming to Seattle’s Pike Place Market all my life, but I NEVER imagined working down here. Owning my own shop. But when my life exploded two years ago, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty at the time, but I am SO glad to be living downtown and owning the Seattle Spice Shop.

Much as I loved the Market, though, I knew nothing about its ghosts. You come down in the daytime to pick up produce, cheese, fish, hear a little music, grab a bite, what do you know about ghosts? But they are here, believe me. And as a Market merchant, I’ve gotten to hear the stories.

One of my favorites is about Jacob, the name the owners of a bead shop Down Under gave to a youthful specter who regularly jumbled beads or dropped just the right necklace in front of a customer. When the owners unsealed the wall to a small room behind their shop, they discovered piles of beads, notes in their handwriting, and coins. Perhaps Jacob was one of the young stable boys, orphans who worked in the Market in its early days in exchange for blankets and a place to sleep.

The ghosts of Butterworth Mortuary get the blame for a series of failed restaurants in the space—after a while, flying bottles and shot glasses that jump off the shelves by themselves cross over the line between “atmosphere” and “creepy.” They seem to have declared a truce with the owners of the Irish pub that’s thrives there now, on the Post Alley side. Even a ghost enjoys a draft of Guinness or a sip of Scotch now and then.

Far as I know, my building—still called the Garden Center Building, after its original tenant in the 1930s—has no ghosts. But Halloween is coming soon, and I won’t be working late—just in case.

 Assault & Pepper, first in the  Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz, will debut in March 2015 from Berkley Prime Crime. Leslie  is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, second in the series, was published in July 2014.
Assault & Pepper

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter, or join her on Facebook.


  1. Awesome book, Leslie! I was honored to read it to blurb... great atmosphere!

  2. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventures with the Seattle Spice Shop!

  3. Victoria, you just made my day! Well, my author's day!

  4. On my list of gifts to give gramma(me)

  5. I'm looking forward to this book, I've even got it listed in my 2015 release list already.

  6. Love the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries - can't wait to read the first Seattle Spice Shop Mystery.

  7. Anxious to read this debut! Thanks for the preview Pepper!

  8. My author and I thank you all so much! Eager as we are for the debut of Assault & Pepper in March, we're also busy wrapping up Book Two, in which --- well, I'll tell you about that later!

  9. I cannot wait! I love Pike Place. I love the spice shop, the Beechers, the funky hidden gems, the honey, the piroshky place, the place that does those Chinese buns... Oh my!

    1. Lavender, we're in love with the same things about the Market! Oh, I so hope you love the book!

      Leslie, sneaking in for a moment when Pepper's back is turned!

  10. I have always loved going to Pike Place Market! My grandparents lived at Snoqualmie so we would get there every other year or so. It was always so interesting and fun! I look forward to reading about it!