by Erin Murphy, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries by Leslie BudewitzFinally, Adam let me in on his big secret: where we’re headed for our belated honeymoon. My passport’s ready. I’m packed, although finding a new bathing suit in Montana in January was a bit of a challenge. Shoes are always a pain to pack, but I figured I could get by with a pair of dressy-but-flat sandals, some flip-flops, and lightweight hiking shoes.
The shop is ready, too. January in Jewel Bay is pretty quiet, and Tracy and Lou Mary can manage easily without me. If something totally unexpected pops up, they can always call Fresca, my mother and the Merc’s manager emerita. Jimmy Vang got the soffit out front fixed before the last snow, thank goodness, and my door sweep surgery on our back door seems to have turned out fine. And much as I love the white stuff, I won't mind escaping it for a bit.
But jiminy Christmas, what to read on the plane and the beach? I’m not one of those travelers content to nap the afternoon away, although I appreciate a good siesta now and then. My sister gave me an e-book reader for Christmas, loaded with her favorite food memoirs, including Anthony Bourdain and MFK Fisher. My mother added a couple of foodie mysteries—she’s a big fan of Krista Davis and Cleo Coyle.
I’ve still got room in my backpack for a couple of paperbacks. The beach just screams for a big fat paperback. You can’t charge an e-reader on the beach. Plus, what if the light isn’t right under the umbrella? And tell the truth: You can never have too many books when you travel, right? What if you finish them all, or you don’t like one?
What makes a great vacation read for you? A mystery? A book set in your destination? A nice, fat paperback you can leave behind when you head home? Do tell—we’re leaving in just a few days!
Even on her honeymoon, Erin can’t stay away from murder. Watch for “A Death in Yelapa: A Food Lovers’ Village Short Story,” in the forthcoming anthology Murder Most Edible, published by Malice Domestic and Wildside Press (May 2019).
"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." - Kirkus Reviews
From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink/Tantor Audio, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):
Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.
When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?
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. A 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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