Tuesday, August 27, 2019

One Woman's Treasure

One Woman’s Treasure 

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.

Turned out to be the best mentor ever. She taught me to ask how people live in a space, how to help them identify what colors and objects they love, how to make it theirs, only better. Some designers have a signature style. You go to them, your living room looks like every other living room they’ve ever designed. Who wants that? No one, that’s who. A room should reflect the people who live in it -- their heart, their soul, what gives them energy, what helps them relax.

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.

So when I opened Rainy Day Vintage, the shop of my dreams, she came to work here and taught me and my clients even more. Who would have ever guessed that people on the hunt for a genuine 1965 lava lamp would also adore antique Chinese scholar boxes with chops and inks and brushes inside?

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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10 comments:

  1. I think I have your strawberry sharpener.

    I'm fond of my cast-iron peacock doorstop (with the tail fanned out, of course)--it belonged to my great-great-grandmother.

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  2. My hair stylist would love that doorstop -- she once raised peacocks and they're a theme in her salon!

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  3. I love the very eclectic and beautiful Gaudy Welsh china collection that my Grandmother gave me. She had been given the china by her grandmother and aunt, who emigrated to the U.S. from Wales.

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    1. Oh, I wish Blogger would let you post a picture! Aimee and I would both love to see it!

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    2. I wish I could too! You can Google Gaudy Welsh China and it pulls up good photos of the china and its many variations ~

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  4. Oh, wow -- very cool! What a treasure, indeed!

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  5. I just yesterday finished CHAI ANOTHER DAY. It was superb! I have an Edison record player with about 30 or so records that belonged to my maternal great-grandmother. It's pretty sturdy for all that it has traveled with me before I retired from the Air Force then settled here in Colorado. I love it and its history.

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    1. Oh, that IS a treasure! Does it play actual records? We have a Victrola that plays wax discs and is such a marvel!

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  6. I have a lot of sewing notions from when I was a teen who was learning to sew. I also have the blanket cover that my grandmother made for me when I went to college. I think I would like to shop at a place like that.

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    1. I bet you would, too. I had so much fun describing Rainy Day Vintage -- I hope the details are fun for readers, too!

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