Pepper Reece, owner of the Seattle Spice Shop, 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 her 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.
©2015 Leslie Ann Budewitz (P)2016 Tantor
A world without books is a world without life.
It's above average but not the best. The story makes me want to visit the market.
I like the descriptions of the market and the surrounding areas.
Pepper was great. A heroine who is kind and smart. The only thing that bothers me about these kinds of books is the propensity of the main characters to leave their places of business for large chunks of time to run around chasing clues. That spice shop is a major investment for her. It makes no sense that she would leave it to search for clues for someone who won't even talk to her.
If this was a tour guide for Pike's Peak I could give it more stars. But, since this book is a murder mystery, the multiple wordy descriptions of Pike's Peak wore me out. The story was very slow and I started skipping ahead to get back to the mystery. The characters are not very well developed and I also didn't care for the stereotypes. One of the homeless characters in the story is described as big but gentle, black homeless man with the Southern accent, who addresses Pepper as "Miz Pepper". I guess because he's from the South he addresses white women this way? Really???!!! What century is this? The character was completely inappropriate. I also had a problem with the way Pepper's ex husband, Tag was portrayed. Through out the book there are multiple examples of Tag being smug, dismissive and somewhat of a stalker. But, by the end of the book, the audience is expected to see him as a decent guy. I will not be reading the next book in this series and I won't recommend it to anyone else.
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