by Aimee McGillvray, from the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz
I have always loved weird things. A sepia photograph of one pale ballet slipper, a pincushion shaped like a tomato but discarded because the strawberry sharpener fell off, a silver comb and mirror without their brush.
In design school, some teachers loved that quirk of mine. Others thought it—odd. When I got the job at Pacific Imports and Steen told me to tag along after Joelle Chapman, because she could teach me a lot, I wondered what on earth he wanted me to learn. She was a recognized expert in Asian art and antiques—scrolls and swords and other things I thought were cool but didn’t know the first thing about.
When Steen died, Joelle desperately wanted to open her own shop. But that was never going to happen, not with that husband of hers still in the picture. Honestly, after everything he did? I’d have killed him, had it been me.
And now she’s gone. Pepper Reece, who runs the Spice Shop in Pike Place Market and sits next to me in yoga class, is on the hunt for the killer. I hope she finds whoever it is, because without Joelle, I feel like one lone shoe.
What's one odd thing you love in your home?
From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books, June 2019):
Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.
As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.
Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, 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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