Assault and Pepper
A Spice Shop Mystery #1
Berkley Prime Crime
March 3, 2015
Available in: Paperback
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…
After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars. But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, for murder.
Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…
Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and her native Montana in The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. New York Times best-selling mystery writer Sofie Kelly calls it “A delicious new series.” Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan says of Death al Dente, first in the series, “Clever, charming and completely yummy.”
Leslie is also a lawyer. She graduated from Notre Dame Law School, practiced in Seattle for several years, then returned to Montana, where she still practices civil litigation and employment law. Her first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction and was nominated for the 2012 Anthony and Macavity awards.
A true believer in the power of writers helping other writers, Leslie is an active member of Sisters in Crime and is a founding member of the SinC chapter for new and unpublished writers, the Guppies. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Authors of the Flathead, and Montana Women Writers.
Leslie 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 musician, writer, and doctor of natural medicine, and their Burmese cat, Ruff, an avid bird watcher.