I love the holidays in the Market. Yes, this is Seattle’s rainy season, but all the warmth around us makes up for the chill. Warm cinnamon rolls, hot lattes and chai, even warm ginger beer drinks and ciders! And of course, our hot spice tea.
When customers come in for a gift, I love showing them our boxed spice sets—grilling rubs, international blends, and so much more. Salt and pepper grinders. Teapots, mugs, and aprons. Oh, the gift-giving possibilities!
But we all like giving what we like receiving, right? So for me, the perfect gift is a book.
When I bought the Seattle Spice Shop—just over two years ago, can you believe it?—we had a shelf of books on herbs and spices, and another on cooking. That was not enough. Heck, I owned twice as many cookbooks as that! The staff and I put our heads together and expanded our stock—and boy, am I glad we did! Sandra, no surprise, loves chef lit and food memoir. Kristen is a big fan of foodie fiction. And my pal and former law firm staffer, Jenn, now runs the Mystery Bookshop and turned me on to foodie mysteries. With her blessing, we’re selling scads of them—it’s been a treat to turn my customers on to mysteries with characters as obsessed with food as they are!
And I’m thrilled to have a stack of new releases for their holiday gift-giving. A few I’m looking forward to:
EGG DROP DEAD, by Laura Childs, in her Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Deliciously good fun!
MURDER ON ST. NICHOLAS AVENUE, by Victoria Thompson -- new in paperback. My mother, Lena, turned me on to these historical mysteries on her recent visit. Not foodie fiction, but I snuck a few copies into the store's order just because I love them!
And of course, KILLING THYME by Leslie Budewitz. Set in a spice shop -- how could I possibly resist?
What books are on your holiday gift list—to give or receive?
Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of KILLING THYME, my third Seattle Spice Shop Mystery, AND a gingerbread man tea infuser! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, November 29. (US and Canadian addresses only.)
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 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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