Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Cut Above -- @LeslieBudewitz

Music a Cut Above

By Dave Barber, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, by Leslie Budewitz

I’ve lost track how many times a day people ask me about my name. It usually goes something like this: “You change your name when you got your barber stripes? Ha, ha, ha,” or “Your folks destined you for this job, didn’t they? Ha, ha, ha.” Like I hadn’t heard it all before.

I laugh and pretend it’s the first time. Because for them, it is. And for me, well, that’s the price of an aptonym, a name that suits my job—or a job that suits my name.

I took over the Jewel Bay Barber Shop when I was a kid, after my dad had a heart attack and had to retire, and I was a married-to-young man with a kid of my own on the way. It suits me, it really does. I enjoy helping people feel better, and figure out how they want to look. How they want to present themselves to the world. I swing that barber’s apron over them and bend my ear, and let them rip.

But what I really love is making music. Even if I hadn’t become a father at eighteen, I probably wouldn’t have made it in the big, wide world of music—too cut-throat for a small-town guy like me. When I see the pros, like Gerry Martin and Jackson Mississippi Boyd, I can’t help but think about what they’ve given up to get where they are. ’Course, you don’t have to be a son-of-a-gun to succeed, thank goodness, as one of them proves. The other, well, the less said about that, the better.

Me, I’m as happy behind my barber chair as I am on stage. And that’s saying quite a lot.

The annual Jewel Bay Jazz Festival is about to start. Come on out and take a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

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 past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

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  1. I love the title of your book, and have learned a new word -- aptonym! I look forward to reading TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST ~

    1. Thanks, Celia! Aptonyms are so much fun. Enjoy the trip to Montana -- on the page!

  2. In the small town my cousin lives in, the head of the police department had his last name legally changed to Lawman. Once he retires/leaves that job I wonder if he'll change his name back or to something else.

  3. I like the back story about Dave. Do you have one for all your characters, or just when they make an appearance in this segment?

    1. Oh, good question, Jane! I do create a "series bible" with key info about the major and recurring characters. Dave had a minor role in the background of books 1 and 2, and came to the fore in #4, which is where I learned a lot more about him.