Recapping 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017

You know, dear readers, we Wickeds haven’t been blogging together all that long. Four years this May, is that right? And though Jessie, Barb and Edith (aka Tace Baker) had published books prior to the Wickeds forming, this blog coincided with the launching of several series. 2016 was a bumper crop for all of us, and 2017 promises to top this year. So we thought today we’d celebrate this past year, and give you some books to look forward to in 2017.

WhispersBeyond_FixJessica Estevao/Jessie Crockett/Jessica Ellicott

2016:
Whispers Beyond the Veil by Jessica Estevao, Book 1 Change of Fortune Mysteries, September, 2016

2017:
Body of Water by Jessie Crockett, Book 2 The Granite State Mysteries, Spring 2017
Whispers of Warning by Jessica Estevao, Book 2 Change of Fortune Mysteries, September, 2017
Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott, Book 1 The Beryl and Edwina Mysteries, November, 2017

ALL MURDERS FINAL mech.inddSherry Harris

2016:
All Murders Final, Kensington
“The Lighthouse” in Edgar Allan Cozy
“Anna, Belle, and Lee” in Edgar Allan Cozy

2017:
A Good Day To Buy, April

ClockandDaggerJ.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes

2016:
Clock and Dagger by Julianne Holmes

2017:
Chime and Punishment by Julianne Holmes, August
J.A. Hennrikus will have news soon!

Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day

2016:
Delivering the Truth – April (Quaker Midwife Mystery #1)
Grilled for Murder (as Maddie Day) (Country Store Mystery #2)
Murder Most Fowl – May (Local Foods Mystery #4)
“An Intolerable Intrusion” in Edgar Allan Cozy – January
“The Mayor and the Midwife” in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – September

2017:
When the Grits Hit the Fan (as Maddie Day) March (Country Store Mystery #3)
Called to Justice – April (Quaker Midwife Mystery #2)
“The Tragic Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg” in Malic Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical – April
Mulch Ado About Murder – May (Local Foods Mystery #5)

MurdermostfinickyLiz Mugavero/Cate Conte

2016:
Murder Most Finicky (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery Book 4), January

2017:

Custom Baked Murder, (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery Book 5), December/Jan.
Pawsitively Organic Mystery Book 6, December 2017
Cate Conte’s first, Cat About Town, Aug. 1, 2017

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Barbara Ross

2016:
Fogged Inn
, Maine Clambake Mystery #4, February
Eggnog Murder (with Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis), October

2017:

Iced Under, Maine Clambake Mystery #5, January
Stowed Away, Maine Clambake #6, late 2017

Sheila Connolly

2016:
A Turn for the Bad (County Cork Mystery #5), February 2016
Dead End Street (Museum Mystery #7), June 2016
Seeds of Deception (Orchard Mystery #10), October 2016
Search for the Dead (Relatively Dead Mystery #5), October 2016

2017:
Cruel Winter (County Cork Mystery #6), March 2017
A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11), October 2017

Susannah Hardy/Sadie Hartwell

A Killer Kebab Cover2016:
Edgar Allan Cozy (Susannah, Barb, Edith, Sherry, Sheila)
A Killer Kebab by Susannah Hardy

2017:
A Knit Before Dying by Sadie Hartwell, August

Edgar

Readers: What’s on your docket for this year’s reading? And were you able to keep up with all our 2016 publications? (Don’t worry, it’s not quiz!)

3, 2, 1 Launch!

WhispersBeyond_FixJessie: In NH where we are finally getting some rain!

As many of you know I have been enthusiastically celebrating the release of my latest novel, Whispers Beyond the Veil this month. It has been a great deal of fun to post things here on the blog and over at Maine Crime Writers.

Reviews of the book have been spotted around the web on blogs like Carstairs Considers and Moonlight Rendezvous. Anna Lee Huber featured it on her monthly Sweet Sixteen Giveaway on Facebook. The other Wickeds were even nice enough to take a copy of the book with them to Bouchercon for a little show and tell since I was not able to attend.

And to top off all the long-distance celebrating I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to connect with readers and other writers in the physical world.  I was so delighted to be asked by the charming and gracious, Karen Baker,  owner of The Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, NH to hold a launch party for the book at her shop this past Saturday.

The turnout was wonderful and I got to meet, or to reconnect, with so many delightful readers. There is just something so special about being surrounded by the sight and the feel of row upon row of books. Especially when you are sharing the experience with other people who love them as much as you do.

I hope all of you who have sent well-wishes from all around the web, and those of you I have had the pleasure of seeing in person, know just how grateful and appreciative I am of your support. Books are written in solitude. But they are meant to be shared. Thanks to you all for letting me share mine with you!

Readers, do you ever attend book launches? Writers, do you have a favorite launch story you’d like to share? 

 

 

Wicked Wednesday: Hearing Voices

We’re all so delighted for Jessica Estevao’s (that is, our own Jessie Crockett’s) debut ofWhispersBeyond_Fix a new mystery series. Whispers Beyond the Veil is historical, a little paranormal, and a splendid can’t-put-it-down read.

Ruby Proulx, the smart, strong protagonist, sometimes hears a voice in her head that gives her good counsel, and she learns to trust it – mostly. Wickeds – have you experienced messages of any kind that you can’t explain? Voices, knocks on the wall, apparitions, a whiff of perfume, whispers beyond the veil? Intuition is a kind of message, no matter what its origin, so that counts too.  Please share!

Liz: Of course, my story is animal related. One of my rescue cats died unexpectedly not long after moving to Connecticut, and I was heartbroken. The next morning, there was a whole bed of little flowers outside my window that hadn’t been there the day before, and they were gone the next day. I know Jordy sent them to let us know he was okay. It made me feel a whole lot better, and reinforced my belief that we do get messages from the other side.

Edith: In the year before my father died in 1985 (I adored him, and he was a year younger than I am now, so he was way too young to leave us), I had read a book suggesting a fifth dimension parallel to ours, where departed spirits live – or something like that. The author said a ringing in the ear might be a communication from one of them. After we lost Daddy, the next time I got such an ear ringing I stopped and paid attention. I don’t really know if it’s him or not, but to this day I pause and consider what he would say about my life at the moment. It makes me smile and keeps his memory fresh in my mind and heart.

Julie: I have, many times. My grandmother is a frequent visitor. One example, last year my sister and I were nostalgically walking around Alton Bay in New Hampshire, thinking about her. We’d just paid a visit to the site of their summer cottage, only to find that the owners had torn it down. We were a little heartbroken, but then heard an organ player at the craft fair. A couple of moments later he started to play one of her favorite songs. Gramma was telling us it was alright, we still had the memories. I’ve also had very vivid dreams of friends who’ve passed, letting me know they were all right.

Barb: Like all Victorian B&Bs in all harbor towns the world over, our house in Boothbay has a ghost. She’s a young woman who lives in room #2. I have never seen her. Some guests have seen her, but the only person I know who has was my husband’s late aunt, and she was a total loon. A lovely woman, but a loon nonetheless, and not only because, or even because, of the ghost thing. I will say that one night my husband and I stayed in room #2 with our cocker spaniel Mackenzie and he whined and panted and wouldn’t so much as lie down all night. Finally, in desperation we let him out into the hallway where he went immediately to sleep. I still say there were squirrels in the walls, but…

escalator-metro-stairs-subwaySherry: Two incidents come to mind. About ten years ago we were on a steep escalator descending down to the Metro. My daughter asked for her phone which she’d stuck in my purse earlier. I told her no that it wasn’t safe to text on an escalator. Seconds later the escalator came to a jarring halt. It threw a woman in front of us down several steps and we scrambled to make sure she was okay. She was except for some minor bruises. I’ve always wondered if it was just me doing risk assessments or something else. Another time a friend and I went to a movie. On the way home we were stopped at light under an overpass. We took to reminiscing about our time living in LA and how we didn’t like to stop under overpasses there because of earthquakes. I hadn’t been home fifteen minutes when one of the rare Virginia earthquakes hit.

Jessie: Ruby hears a clear voice directly in her ear because I have been fortunate enough to have had a similar experience.

When I was sixteen, and a newly licensed driver, my parents asked me to take my younger sister to a middle school dance. On the way home I heard a soft voice in my ear urging me to turn into the nearest of the two driveways leading up to my house. Since it was one I had never before used because it was inconvenient, I ignored it. As the driveway grew closer I heard the voice again but much more distinctly. This time it was a command. I remember thinking how weird it was and decided to follow the advice. I turned in and almost immediately saw an oncoming car abruptly swerve into the yard opposite my own and slam into a tree. I went into the house in a bit of a daze and told my parents I thought there had been a car accident.

My father went to the end of the second driveway, the one I usually used, and found fresh skid marks in my lane. Apparently, the car that swerved and I narrowly missed a head-on collision. The phone began ringing off the hook. The pastor of the church, the woman whose children I babysat and a friend’s mother all called, one after another, to say they had a strange feeling I had been hurt and to ask if I was okay. We assured them I was fine. Unfortunately, the college kids in the other car who were driving drunk all were killed by the collision.

Readers: Tell us of your messages, your mystical experiences.

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A Little History With My Mystery

By Sherry, who is astonished my third book is out!

I love using a bit of local history in each of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery books. In All Murders Final! Sarah goes to lunch at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn In Sudbury, Massachusetts. It is one of my favorite places. Thanks to Innkeeper Steve Pickard for permission to use the pictures of the Wayside Inn. Here is what the website says about the Inn:

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn—a nationally significant Massachusetts Historic Landmark—is the oldest Inn still operating in the United States and has been serving travelers along the old Boston Post Road for almost 300 years. What began as a two-room home in 1707, the Howe family ran a successful tavern and innkeeping business on this site from 1716 to 1861. To read more visit their website: http://www.wayside.org/about and don’t miss their Fun Facts page.

wayside2One of the things that fascinated me was the story of Jerusha Howe who lived at the inn from 1797 to her death in 1842. Jerusha fell in love with an Englishman who stayed there, and they became engaged. He left to go home to England to make arrangements for the wedding and was never heard from again. Jerusha never married and supposedly watch out her window for his return.

It’s said that guests staying in her rooms hear piano music, smell perfume, and men actually feel someone cuddle up to them. The story tugged at my imagination from the first time I heard it. I could picture Jerusha sitting in her room that looks towards the road waiting, waiting, waiting for her love to return. Did he die? Was he a fraud? It’s a mystery! Yankee Magazine had an interesting article about Jerusha that you can read here.

wayside3Sarah Winston has had her share of problems with men. In fact she’s sworn off them until the murder of Ellington’s beloved matriarch, Margaret More. It throws her right back into the middle of the push-pull of her complicated relationship with her ex-husband CJ, who is the Ellington chief of police, and with district attorney Seth Anderson. When Sarah visits the Wayside Inn she runs into Jerusha and feels like Jerusha is trying to tell her something but what? Can Sarah solve the murder and her love life? You will have to read All Murders Final! to find out.

Readers: Have you ever encountered a ghost? Or do you have a favorite ghost in a book?

And if a book launch isn’t exciting enough we are thrilled to be featured in the Boston Globe today! Here’s the link: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2016/04/24/murder-they-wrote/asE9zXGm30LUk6vqnalOuM/story.html?event=event25

Here’s another link with a little bit about each of us: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2016/04/24/meet-wicked-cozy-authors/M1gnjBmiIvuWxXXyeka6rL/story.html

Working with reporter Kara Baskin and photographer Jonathan Wiggs was so much fun. Here are two behind the scenes shots of the photo shoot! We felt like rock stars! We were sorry Edith couldn’t join us, but she was on vacation eight hundred miles away.

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Delivering the Truth-Happy Book Birthday, Edith!

Jessie: In NH, where spring has gone back into hiding.

Today the Wickeds are delighted to be celebrating Edith’s newest release, Delivering the Truth! Delivering the TruthCoverThis has been a real passion project for Edith and we couldn’t be happier for this day to arrive!  Since historical fiction acts as a sort of time travel mechanism, I thought I’d ask you all which famous person from 1888 would you like to meet if you could?

Jessie: I would love to meet E.F. Benson, the author of the Lucia books. I re-read them almost every year and would so enjoy meeting their creator!

Sherry: There were a lot of interesting people alive in 1888. I couldn’t settle for just one. First up is Louisa May Alcott. She died March 6, 1888 but oh, to talk to her. She lived a hard but interesting life, and knew so many fascinating people. I’ve been to Orchard House (where she wrote Little Women) and visited her grave on Authors Ridge at Sleepy Hollow cemetery in Concord. And across the pond, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m intrigued not only by his writing life but in his interest in spiritualism. Edith, I’m so happy for you!

Barb: Such a rich cast of characters to choose from. I think I have to go with Edith Wharton. In 1888 she was only 26 and not yet published, so she wasn’t who she was going to be. But that woman was such an amazing talent and bundle of contradictions as a person, I can’t pass up any opportunity to better understand what made her tick. (Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to come back and give some Edith Wharton scholars the straight scoop? Sort of like that scene with Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall.) Good luck, Edith. Delivering the Truth has landed on my iPad. Can’t wait to read it!

Liz: Mark Twain, definitely! In 1888, it would’ve been a few years after Huck Finn was published and the year Twain’s humorous works, Library of Humor, came out. I wouldn’t miss a chance to pick the brain of such a famous writer. Edith, so excited for this new adventure of yours!

Julie: 1888 was such an interesting time. Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglas, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lotta Crabtree were all around, and changing the world. (Who is Lotta Crabtree, you may ask. One of the rich characters in Boston’s theater history.) Any one of those people would be amazing. Do you think they had any inkling of their place in history? Edith, I am SO happy for you on this launch. I love seeing how excited you are, and can’t wait to read Delivering the Truth!

Edith: These are all fabulous. Imagine if we had them all in the same room. Two more are the real female detectives from the 1800s that I’m talking about over on the Mysteristas blog today.

Thank you, my dear blog sisters, for helping me get to this day. I’m thrilled!

The Go-To-Bed

You never know where you’re going to find a story. And this is a particularly true in Ireland.

Cover A Turn for the BadThe fourth book in my County Cork mysteries, A Turn for the Bad, will be released tomorrow. Since I like to get the details right, I travel to Ireland as often as I can, and I end up talking to a lot of interesting people. I’m not necessarily looking for story ideas, but I do enjoy hearing tales and learning how cultures differ from one another, even if you’re speaking the same language.

So this is a story from the Skibbereen Farmers’ Market, which was founded in 1657 when the town was granted a charter. It’s open every Saturday, year round. And for the past several visits I’ve timed my travel so I am sure to be there at least one Saturday.

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As a result I’ve made some friends, which is odd because I see them only once a year at best. But we recognize each other. Apart from the amazing food products, there is a guy who makes magic wands, and someone who sells apple trees, and farmers in the warmer months who will sell you a live chicken or a duck. And there is an antique dealer I’ve been chatting with for several years now. He’s English but he lives in Ireland, and it turns out he’s also a mystery writer and an editor for hire. And, yes, I buy odds and ends from him when I’m there—a book, a silver-plated christening mug, a salt shaker from a defunct steamship line—and a go-to-bed.

Go-to-bed 1

All right, that stopped me. I picked up a small object at his booth (I’m always on the hunt for items that fit nicely in a suitcase!) and said, “what is this?” And he said, “it’s a go-to-bed.” I’d never heard the term. So he kindly explained it to me. In detail.

The simplest definition is that it’s a matchbox. The elaborate description is that it was invented (or popularized) by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, who, being a Scot, was cheap (hey, I’m just reporting what I was told). Rather than taking a candle to hie himself up to the royal chambers to go to bed, he chose a small matchbox, with a rough bottom for striking the match, and a tiny holder on the top in which to insert the lit match. And then he would proceed to bed (which must have been a challenge, since if he moved too fast the match would go out, but if he went too slowly, the match would consume itself before he got to the bedroom).

Go-to-bed 2

Wikipedia kindly informs me: “One specific variety of go-to-bed worthy of mention is ‘Prince Albert’s Safety Vesta Box,’ … a decorated brass tub with an embossed top…ribbed under base for striking matches…a small finial to take a single match on to.”  Well, mine’s not brass, but it is covered in tartan and has that tiny finial on top. Maybe there’s a bit of accuracy in the story.

So in the course of a few minutes I went from never having heard of this obscure but charming item to being the proud owner of one. Not to mention a piece of history, false or not. Even if it’s not true, it’s a charming story that just fell into my lap.

And there are so many more! Of course I’ll keep going back to Ireland to collect them. The stories may not always be quite true, but the Irish love to tell them.

Ireland cell 1 049

Today is Saint Brigid’s Day in Ireland. Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland, and she is also the patron saint of babies, blacksmiths, boatmen, cattle farmers, children of unmarried parents [I am not making this up!], children whose mothers are mistreated by the children’s fathers [go, Brigid!], dairymaids, dairyworkers, fugitives, mariners, midwives, milkmaids, nuns, poets, the poor, poultry farmers, printing presses, sailors, scholars, travelers and watermen.

If that’s not enough, she is said to have the power to multiply such things as butter, bacon and milk, to bestow sheep and cattle and to control the weather. 

How can you go wrong with a saint who can multiply butter and bacon and control the weather?

Where do you find your stories? You don’t need to be a writer–just listen and enjoy!

 

Welcome Leslie Budewitz!

Wicked Cozys at lunch with Leslie Budewitz

Wicked lunch post Crime Bake. From lower left clockwise, Julie, Sherry, Leslie, Barb, Sheila, Liz, Jessie

NEWS FLASH: The winner of Joyce Tremel’s To Brew or Not to Brew is Ruth Nixon! Joyce will be contacting you, Ruth.

Sisters in Crime (SinC) president’s hat at the New England Crime Bake. Since Sisters in Crime (the New England chapter) is one of the reasons the Wickeds know each other, I (Julie/Julianne) thought I’d talk about this wonderful organization a bit.

How long have you been a member of Sisters in Crime?

I joined in 1995, after a friend spotted a piece in the book section of the Sunday paper on SinC and MWA. I lived in rural Montana at the time, far away from other writers and groups, and SinC—which was all by mail then—was my first real introduction to writers’ groups.

Tell us about your writing journey and your path to publication.

I started writing at 4, on my father’s desk. Literally – I did not yet understand the concept of paper. But while l always wanted to be a writer, I didn’t actually think it was something you could do. In my late 30s, I decided I really did want to write seriously, though it took more than fifteen years before I held my first book in my hands. In the interim, I wrote several unpublished manuscripts, although a few were agented and came close, and published half a dozen short stories.

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Elizabeth George and Leslie Budewitz at Crime Bake. Photo: Mo Walsh

As an English major turned lawyer who always preferred research and writing to the courtroom, I started reading everything I could about mystery writing. I went to mystery conventions, and in 1999, took a week-long intensive mystery writing workshop with Elizabeth George, which changed my writing life. It’s not her fault that I didn’t get a book published for another twelve years! And it was super-wonderful to reconnect with her at the New England Crime Bake.

 

Along the way, other writers started asking me questions about using the law in their fiction—how does their fictional police officer get a search warrant, can one character inherit from another, who is Miranda and why are we always warning her? I wrote columns for several writers’ newsletters, including the Guppies’ First Draft and SinC National’s quarterly, InSinC. I was inspired by D.P. Lyle’s Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensics Questions for Mystery Writers to create a book proposal, which eventually became Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure (Linden/Quill Driver Books), winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction.

While I was writing Books, Crooks, I realized that as much as I love helping other writers get the facts about the law write—er, right—I wasn’t through telling my own stories. I love the light-hearted subset of traditional mystery sometimes called the cozy, and decided to try that genre. Foodie fiction is popular, and I love to eat and cook, so I created a village obsessed with food—in Montana, of all the unlikely places. Erin Murphy manages Murphy’s Mercantile aka the Merc, a specialty regional foods market in her family’s hundred-year-old building in the village of Jewel Bay. The village is inspired in part by the town I live in, and while there are even more great places to eat on the page than on our streets, it’s actually not too far from the mark! Happily, the locals have embraced the books. The first, Death al Dente, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, which still gives me the thrills!

And now I write a second series, the Spice Shop Mysteries, drawing on my love of Seattle, where I went to college and practiced law for eight years.

They are both such great series! Several of us are also Guppies, and by that I don’t mean fish. You are one of the founders of the Guppies. Tell us about the creation of the group, and where it is now?

In the summer of 1996, a beginning writer who was part of the Internet chapter put out a call for new writers to form a support and information group. I responded to the call, along with half a dozen others. In those pre-Internet days, we communicated mainly by mail, sending each other round-robin packages crammed with articles we’d found and chapters for critique. Eventually, we grew large enough for a real mailing list and newsletter, and in 1997, went online. The name came at about that time, from the nickname, The Great Unpublished. We formed the first Guppy Steering Committee in 1997, and I was the first treasurer. Official chapter status came a few years later.

The Guppies is now the largest chapter of SinC, typically reaching 600 members by year-end. It’s such a welcoming place that many members stay in the group long after they become published, as I have. When we started, the challenge was finding information about craft and the business of writing. Now, the problem is too much information, and the Guppies, along with SinC National, does a great job helping writers navigate those crowded waters.

I truly would not be published today if not for the support and encouragement of my friends in SinC, especially in the Guppies. I wrote in my essay for the marvelous anthology Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey that, while writers spend a lot of time home alone in our rooms, every opportunity and achievement I’ve had as a writer is the result of something I learned or someone I met in a group. And it’s absolutely true.

It is true! Other writers make the journey a lot more fun, that’s for sure. Tell me, what do you wish you’d understood at the beginning of this journey?

Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t know how long it would take me to get published, or I might not have kept going, and that would have been a sad thing. I’m a happier, healthier person because I spend so much time alone with people who only exist because I made them up. I kinda wish I’d figured that out a few years earlier and gotten started seriously sooner!

Or maybe your timing was just right, since both your series are so much fun. Tell us about the new book!

cover of Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie BudewitzGuilty as Cinnamon is the second Seattle Spice Shop Mystery, following Assault and Pepper (March 2015). I fell in love with Pike Place Market as a college student in Seattle, a squillion years ago, and as a young lawyer working downtown, ate my way through the Market regularly. It’s a marvelous setting for a series—a city within a city, a historic place that’s always new, a place where anything can and does happen.

When one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead—possibly from ingesting the dangerously hot ghost chili, a spice Pepper carries— Pepper is drawn in.

I wanted to explore the relationships between the Spice Shop staff and show Pepper struggling a bit with certain aspects of her business. She’s no longer confident in her personal judgment when it comes to romantic relationships, so I wanted to delve into that. I knew that Tag, Pepper’s ex-husband and a bike patrol officer, does not get along with one of the homicide detectives; this book gave me a chance to find out why.

As in all my books, but especially the Spice Shop series, there’s an underlying social justice issue as well. And I wanted her to have fun with that dog!

It is on my TBR pile! Thank you for coming to visit the Wickeds today, Leslie. Readers: questions for Leslie? Ask away.

More about Guilty as Cinnamon:

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Seattle Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She fell in love with the Pike Place Market as a college student in Seattle, and still makes regular pilgrimages. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. Connect with her through her website and blog, www.LeslieBudewitz.com, or on Facebook.