Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes
Leslie Budewitz on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from Assault and Pepper, courtesy of the author's website
The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…
Leslie Budewitz brings reads the first in a new cozy mystery series, Assault and Pepper. This is the first book in the Spice Shop Mystery series and may prove to be quite a favorite for cozy readers. Everything for the trendy Seattle setting to the robust and soothing spiced tea from the Seattle Spice Shop was enjoyable in this book. Budewitz introduces readers to a wonderful new heroine in Pepper Reece and gives them a intriguing and eclectic range of secondary characters. A great first effort in a new series!
I really loved Leslie Budewitz' Food Lovers series and was excited to see what she had to offer in this new series. I don't know about you, but one of the favorite things in my kitchen is my spice rack. I love to use it and I loved seeing how Budewitz decided to use spice in this series. A very interesting idea for a cozy series. Not only do we have regular spices that everyone might know but Budewitz also gives readers spiced tea and different kinds of recipes that are sure to have readers heading for the kitchen, book in hand.
One of the things that made this book so good was the setting. Seattle is one of those iconic cities that readers and foodies alike know for it's rainy days and wonderful markets and sights. Budewitz does Seattle justice in this book, making the reader smell the aromas and taste the wonderful offerings from the shops in Pike Place Market. I think Budewitz did her homework her and it played to her advantage. A fantastic setting for a new series.
Pepper Reece is the new heroine for this series. She was once a corporate HR manager in a stifled marriage with a cheating husband. Now she has her own business and a new life. But the past doesn't seem to be too far away since Tag, her ex-husband is cop whose beat happens to be around Pepper's Spice Shop. I thought Pepper was amazing as a new heroine, though I wanted to shake her a time to two to point out a possible clue, but eventually she got it and it all same to a satisfying end. I liked her attitude and her resourcefulness. A great new heroine.
The mystery aspect of the story centered around a dead homeless man who ended up on the doorstep of Pepper's shop and one of her employee's is nabbed for the murder. I thought Budewitz did a good job of giving Pepper reason and opportunity to investigate. I wasn't too keen on the fact that her ex-husband becomes an important character due to being a cop in the area. I thought that just didn't work, because of trust issues. The homeless denizens of the Pike Place Market were a bit too stereo-typical for me as well. Having lived in a city where there was a high population of homeless people, I have learned that there is far more to the story than most people ever know about them.
I did have a couple of moments of pause, in Budewitz' descriptions of the homeless population around the Pike Place Market and in her references to Pepper's relationship with her ex-husband, but all in all I really liked this book and I think that Budewitz will continue to give readers a lot to look forward to with this series. I think it was a great first effort in a series and I'm looking forward to what comes next for Pepper.
Assault and Pepper is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
National bestselling author Leslie Budewitz writes the Spice Shop Mysteries (Assault and Pepper) and the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries (Crime Rib; Death Al Dente). She fell in love with Seattle’s Pike Place Market as a college student, and still misses prowling its streets and alleys, sniffing out tasty treats and sensory delights. Leslie won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel for Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, and won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure. She loves to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint—not necessarily in that order. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine, and their Burmese cat, Ruff, an avid bird-watcher.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz.
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