Crime RibComing July 1, 2014
Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana's scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town's big break is interrupted by murder…
Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she's organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay's hottest chefs to be featured on the program.
But Erin's plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it's hard to figure out who didn't have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town's rep from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer…
Winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel!
Death al DenteThe town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as the Food Lovers’ Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might turn rotten when a former employee turns up dead…
Murphy’s Mercantile, known as the Merc, has been a staple in Jewel Bay for over a hundred years. To celebrate their recent makeover as a gourmet food market, Erin has organized a town festival, a Festa di Pasta, featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.
But Erin’s sweet success is soured when the shop’s former manager, Claudette, is found dead behind the Merc on the Festa’s opening night. With rival chef James Angelo stirring up trouble and rumors swirling that Fresca’s sauce recipes were stolen from Claudette, Erin’s mother is under close scrutiny. Now Erin will have to hunt down some new suspects, or both her family and her store might wind up in hot water…
Includes fresh, delicious recipes!
"Leslie Budewitz has cooked up another exciting and scrumptious mystery with Crime Rib, the second book in her clever new series about small-town chef Erin Murphy, who’s sleuthing skills are matched only by her gourmet cooking. With a well-crafted plot, believably eccentric characters, and a flowing style, Crime Rib is a mystery to be savored. And if that’s not enough, there’s a special selection of Erin’s recipes at the end. Chocolate mousse cups! Mmmmmm… " --John Clement, author of the Dixie Hemingway Mysteries
“Budewitz’s latest is deliciously appealing. A strong sense of community among the villagers creates a feel-good setting. … Erin is a spunky and tenacious heroine and a fighter who won’t let anyone bring down her business or her beloved village. Cozy mystery lovers and foodies alike will enjoy this story of good neighbors, luscious food, and a bag egg (or two) who is capable of murder.” --RT Book Reviews
Praise for Death al Dente:
“Small town charm and big time chills. Jewel Bay, Montana is a food lover’s paradise - and ground zero for murder! A dizzying culinary delight with a twisty-turny plot! I’m totally enamored of Leslie Budewitz’s huckleberry chocolates, Shasta daisies, and Cowboy Roast coffee. More please!” –Laura Childs, New York Times best selling author
“Death Al Dente is the first book in a delicious new series. Leslie Budewitz has created a believable, down-to-earth heroine in Erin Murphy, who uses her sleuthing skills and the Spreadsheet of Suspicion to catch a killer. The supporting cast of characters from Erin’s mother Fresca, to her cat Sandburg, are charming. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Jewel Bay.” –Sofie Kelly, New York Times best-selling author of the Magical Cats mysteries
“Clever, charming and completely yummy. Leslie Budewitz cooks up a delectable mystery! A tempting concoction of food, fun and fatalities that will have you racing through the suspenseful pages...then heading for the kitchen to try out the irresistible recipes.” –Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity winning author
“An intriguing sleuth, who loves gourmet food, family, and her hometown, plus recipes to die for distinguish a delectable mystery.” –Carolyn Hart, Agatha-winning author of What the Cat Saw and Letters from Home
“Seldom does a new author hit all the right notes in a first book, but Leslie Budewitz does. Convincing characters, a believable plot, the right dash of romance, and a deft use of words all come together to create a seamless and satisfying read." - Sheila Connolly, NYT Bestselling author of Golden Malicious and Buried in a Bog
More praise for Death al Dente:
From Fresh Fiction-naming Death al Dente a "Fresh Pick:" "This is Budewitz's first novel-length mystery, and it's a good one. She has avoided the pitfalls of contrived plots, pushy amateur detectives and shallow connection to the deceased that plague a number of long-running cozy mystery series and has produced a book even a non-mystery reader will find engrossing and satisfying.
As a reader, you will come to care deeply about Erin and her family as well as the cast of characters, each with their own backstory and niche they fill in the small town of Jewel Bay, Montana.
Leslie Budewitz also deftly handles the expressions of grief the murder victim evokes from her friends and acquaintances, helping you become even more enmeshed in Erin's desire to find the killer. Although romance and dating plays a certain role in Erin's life, her core relationship outside her family is one with the town's sheriff's detective, Kim Caldwell, an estranged friend who was as close as a sister when they were children. This is a hallmark of the maturity and care with which Death al Dente is crafted. It is not simply a formulaic cozy mystery, it is a novel strong enough to stand beyond the confines of its genre. I highly recommend it." - Fresh Fiction
From Mystery Scene: "A scrumptious new season opener. .... I encourage you to savor this new culinary mystery that offers a unique taste of Montana. Author Budewitz has created an engaging character, a charming town, and a whole new perspective on the state." - Mystery Scene
Stream or download an interview with Leslie on "The Write Question," a program of Montana Public Radio.
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