Friday, March 27, 2020

Spring? You call this Spring?

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.


  1. It has been a big adjustment for me moving from Colorado and it's four seasons to San Antonio, Texas where it seems like summer all of the time with just the briefest glimpses of fall, winter and spring. Yesterday it was 91 degrees here and incredibly humid. I miss Colorado's mud season ~

    1. 91, in March? Good heavens! It's actually snowing here at the moment -- big fat flakes that melt when they hit the mud!

  2. Same in the Carolinas it's been mom the high 80s
    Almost 90.. all week but not nice and sunny.
    Cloudy and rainy.
    I can't believe you have Snow. That is crazy.
    My lilies are up but NOT blooming.
    I fear mosquitoes will be bad they are already here.
    Blessings to you all for good health & safety

    Kathy levernier

    1. High 80s in late March? Wow -- is that typical? Our snow melted quickly, but it's not uncommon to get a big dump in late spring. While we always need the moisture, to be honest, I'd rather not have to deal with a late spring blizzard this year!

      Stay well, and read a good book!

  3. In SoCal, mid 60's today but in the 80's by Wednesday. That's the way Spring is here. And, we have been getting the rain we didn't get this winter. lkish77123 at gmail dot com