from the Spice Shop Mysteries
by Leslie Budewitz
Pepper: So, here we are, nearly a month in to the New Year. How you doing on those resolutions?
Sandra: Resolutions, schmesolutions. I gave up setting them ages ago. Instead, I pick goals. First on the list? Appreciate Mr. Right more every day. Success! He makes it so easy.
Kristen: I resolved to never be late for work. Oh, well. There’s always next month.
Cayenne: I resolved not to snap and get annoyed when people ask about my health. It means they love me, and I want to respond lovingly. Not a perfect score so far, but it’s worth the effort.
Reed: My psych teacher says resolutions don’t work. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never made one. But for Chinese New Year, two days ago, I decided to ask the guy who sits two seats over from me if he’d like to grab coffee after class. He said yes. Now what do I do?
Sandra: And come back and tell us all about it!
Matt: When I started working here last spring, I knew how to cook exactly two things: Mac ‘n Cheese from a box, and frozen pizza. You guys and all your food talk, and all the spices that smell so good, have got me fired up, so I’ve been learning. Got the omelet mastered, thanks to Cayenne and the Jacques Pepin videos I’ve watched so many times I’m surprised YouTube didn’t send someone to check on me. Then it was on to soup last fall. (See CHAI ANOTHER DAY for a few of the crew’s faves.) This year, I resolved to try cooking one new thing a month. For January, it was homemade pizza. My best effort wasn’t exactly a success, but I ate it anyway. The thing about homemade pizza is that even if it fails, it’s better than the frozen stuff. For February, McMuffin, we’re done! I’m figuring out how to make my own egg sandwiches!
And you, dear readers? If you make resolutions, how are you doing? And if you don’t, do you set a goal, or choose a word for the year, or devise some other plan to make this year your best ever?
From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books):
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. 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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