by Erin Murphy
from the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz
I hear it’s spring. By the calendar, yes, and by all the emails I’m getting from the Merc’s suppliers advertising spring specials and urging me to stock up on everything from bottles and jars for our pasta sauces and jams to shipping labels and packing tape.
Spring. Bah. You can call it that if you’d like, but here in Northwest Montana – or Montuna, as my brother Nick’s taken to calling it – it’s Mud Season.
And it doesn’t seem to matter how big the door mats are, or whether I put one outside as well as in. It’s as if no one knows how to use them. My great-grandfather built this building, home to Murphy’s Mercantile, in 1910, and the floors are wide planks well-worn with the feet of time. Who knows how many times they’ve been sanded and varnished? I just hope I don’t wear them clean away, with all the mopping we’ve had to do the last couple of weeks.
Whatever brings you to Jewel Bay, do stop by the Merc to see what’s new. Cherry jam. Bunny-shaped soaps. Pots of daffodils, and all the wonderful new products our vendors have been cooking up over the long, cold winter. We welcome you. We really do.
Just wipe your feet.
How is the season changing where you are?
During this difficult time, I'm celebrating independent booksellers. Order a book from an indie -- online or locally -- then pop over to my Facebook Author page and tell me about it. When the chaos ends and bookstores reopen, I'll choose a winner of a book of mine or a bookstore gift card.
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.
Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.