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Guilty as Cinnamon By Leslie Budewitz: Review/Giveaway

IN THE December 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore.

Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for spring brides, with a new bridal registry that includes cookbooks, gadgets, and exotic spice blends; and they’re planning ahead for the next season as well. Things are running smoothly except for Lynette. She has no social skills in dealing with the customers. Pepper had to give her a warning when Lynette got snippy over a return. It’s time to look for more help, just in case.

Pepper also sells to restaurants. Tamar works for Pepper’s ex-boyfriend, Alex, but like many good sous-chefs, she wants to be her own boss. Now things have finally come together and she’s got a space, an investor, and a ton of recipes in the works. She’ll open next door to an Indian restaurant, hoping they’ll bring each other business.book

After a consultation with Pepper, Tamara leaves with some sample spices, including the bestseller, cinnamon and ghost peppers, the kind so hot they can blow the top off a volcano. Her visit is followed by one from a reporter. He’s there for a quote, but Pepper’s employees think he has potential on a personal level, too. The next visitor to the shop isn’t so nice. It’s Alex and he’s as mad as a chef can get. He’s heard Tamara plans to leave and that Pepper knew but didn’t tell him. The question in Pepper’s mind is: how did he know?

The answer becomes obvious from Lynette’s behavior. To get even with Pepper for criticizing her lack of skill with customers, she called and ratted out Tamara. Well, that little bit of revenge just cost her a job.

Things only get worse when Tamara’s body is found in her restaurant-to-be. Poor Pepper, she’s the one to find her. The police suspect Alex because of his screaming display at his restaurant and Pepper’s shop. Even getting arrested doesn’t make him tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

Before Pepper can find Lynette’s replacement, longtime employee Zak gives notice; he’s been given an offer too good to pass up. Tag, Pepper’s ex-husband, is still coming around. He’s a bicycle officer in the market, which gives him a good excuse. Brad the reporter is showing interest, but Pepper’s pretty sure he’s much too young for her. To keep her mind off all that, Pepper does a bit of investigating herself—but the more information she gathers, the more questions she has.

Pepper is a woman who knows what she wants and what kind of people she wants to be around, and is a good businesswoman besides. There are a couple of homeless men she’s been kind to, and they keep an eye on things for her. Arf, her dog, inherited from another homeless man who left the area to live with family, is a delight. Her backup employee who’s been at the shop as long as it’s been open is a fun character—as are Pepper’s friends.

The mystery is a complicated one but Pepper manages to figure things out in the end. The spice shop’s a must-see, of course. Pepper will give you a tour so you can see vendors send salmon flying aisle-to-aisle in the market. Arf will give slurpy kisses, Alex will cook, Brad will be good company, and you can watch Tag bike past (Spandex bike shorts). Pepper’s included recipes for making your own curry powder, garam masala, falafel burgers with lemon-tahini sauce, arugula fennel salad with double mustard vinaigrette, spicy sausage, a Cosmopolitan, a Negroni, roasted nuts, and orange cinnamon crème brulée.

This is the second in the series. Budewitz also writes the Food Lovers’ Village series.

To enter to win a copy of Guilty as Cinnamon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “cinnamon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 19, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara December 12, 2015 at 3:43pm

Looks Good


2 Dianne Casey December 12, 2015 at 4:45pm

Would really like to know more about spices and this sounds like a good series.
A recent post from Dianne Casey: Dead To the Last Drop By Cleo Coyle: Review/Guest Post/GiveawayMy Profile


3 Peggy December 12, 2015 at 8:40pm

Guilty as Cinnamon sounds like a fun read. Thank you for the review and introducing me to Leslie Budewitz books.


4 Karen Hansen
Twitter: @ponkle
December 13, 2015 at 8:11am

Sounds great, would love to win and thank you for the article and giveaway. kphans08@gmail.com


5 Debbie Hazelton December 13, 2015 at 8:36am

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win.


6 Amy Bryant December 13, 2015 at 9:25am

Guilty as Cinnamon sounds like a thoroughly delicious read! I really enjoy discovering new books and authors to read. Thanks for the chance!!! Amy-Bryant@live.com


7 Mary Marcincin December 13, 2015 at 11:49am

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.


8 Valerie December 13, 2015 at 1:56pm

How about a hint of cinnamon embedded in the pages?!?


9 Kathleen Bylsma December 13, 2015 at 3:11pm

I’ve read others in this series and they are fun…not to mention, I’ve been to the spice shop upon which the stories are based, as a former Seattlite!


10 Joanne Kocourek
Twitter: @servedogmom
December 13, 2015 at 5:44pm

This book is on my “wish list”!


11 Jeanetta December 14, 2015 at 2:04am

Sounds like a delightful cozy mystery. Thank you for the chance to win.


12 sara hyman December 17, 2015 at 8:37pm

Spices and mystery – sounds like a good idea


13 Jill Broussard December 18, 2015 at 2:38am

Sounds like a great bunch of characters! Would enjoy reading this one. Thankyou for the opportunity! Jill, minishoes@msn.com


14 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
January 4, 2016 at 9:54am

We have a winner!


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