Assault and Pepper

Spice Shop Mystery Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Dara Rosenberg
Series: A Spice Shop Mystery, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (776 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Assault and Pepper

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great easy listen

I enjoy series related books with a mystery theme. When I found this one, I was pleased. A lot of mysteries are heavy and can be dark in nature. This one is not heavy nor dark, just good clean mystery. Like the game Clue. I kept trying to figure out 'who done it'. Now I am on to the next one in the series.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nice cozy mystery

I read some other reviews and was quite surprised by some of them after I listened to the story. Someone complained about the in depth descriptions of spices, IT TAKES PLACE IN A SPICE SHOP, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!!! Another complained about how a Southern Gentleman addressed Pepper as Miz Pepper. The reviewer is from Texas so I'm surprised by that as well. I have lived in New York, California, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and presently live in Virginia. It is considered a respectful manner of address to people older than yourself. Miz/Miss Jane or Mr. John is not uncommon in these states in present day. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. When our daughter was young, I preferred for her young friends to address me as Miz/Miss Sonia verses the more formal Mrs. Hagenberger. The South Eastern United States still maintains that genteel manner of living, I hope it never changes.
Now as far as this story, it was as described. A nice cozy, easy, breezy mystery, read very well and was very entertaining. It deserves a 4.5 but since there's not a 4.5 , I gave it a 5.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I'm a little late to the party

Where does Assault and Pepper rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's above average but not the best. The story makes me want to visit the market.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Assault and Pepper?

I like the descriptions of the market and the surrounding areas.

Which character – as performed by Dara Rosenberg – was your favorite?

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.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Narrator

Unfortuately 'Great Narrator" is the best thing I can say about this book. The main character Delaney is SOOOO obnoxious I had a hard time making myself read this book to the end. The story line is kind of OK but again the main character is so annoying it is difficult to get past it. I will definitely not be reading more in this series or by Leslie Budewitz.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Light plot and slow paced

The narrator did a decent job with the story; however, the plot took a long time to get started.

We have Pepper Reese who, after losing her corporate job, bought a spice shop. The first few chapters spend way too much time on that aspect before we finally get a murder victim.

Reese comes back to her shop to find the body; one of her employees is arrested and she set out to prove the employee is innocent. That is a pretty standard format with plots about someone who is an unlikely sleuth.

This type of story can be good and fun to listen to but this one moves too slowly and spends way too much time on lengthy descriptions of various spices and recipes. Its also pretty easy to figure out who the guilty party.

Overall, its very average.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Listening!

Would you listen to Assault and Pepper again? Why?

I might enjoy it again as I am familiar with the locations and I liked the way it was referenced.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Well thought out.

What about Dara Rosenberg’s performance did you like?

I appreciated the change of tone and performance

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The consideration shown to the "unhoused"

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SO
  • 12-09-16

Good read :0)

Great listen too
Hope to hear more with these characters
Loved it!!!
Didn't want to stop the story.
Keep writing and keep narrating
The narrator had a good feel for the characters and was able to bring that to the reader/listener

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love a good cozy mystery!

Usually I find myself rolling my eyes a couple of times as the protagonist makes a plot driven choice. Not so with this audiobook. Her life choices (although different from mine) seem to be just that, life choices and personality traits. The narrator was great and channeled the main character perfectly. It’s a solid cozy mystery and a series I’ll continue.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to Get Through, Maybe Better in Print

I'll be honest this was hard for me to get through I actually managed to get through 15 other audible novels before I was able to get through this one. I kept starting and stopping and starting and stopping. The start of the story was slow and somewhat confusing and slow to build despite there being immediate action. I really am curious if this would have been better as a story read in print instead of listened to. There are several issues I had with the story that made having it read to me difficult and hard to follow.

The story at times feels almost stream of conscious style writing. The protagonist drifts from thing to thing without giving the audience her intention, purpose, or plan and transitioning without ending any one event. So for instance there is a moment when the protagonist is being hugged compassionately by another local business owner, than suddenly her ex-husband who is a bicycle cop is calling out to her trying to talk, then she is described wandering shopping stalls talking to vendors, then she is reading a warrant at her place of business to have her shop searched O_O A bit of a whirlwind when I am not even clear why she was doing what she was doing. This is difficult with so much description and constantly having new characters throw at me as I am never sure if anything is important or if it's all throw away splashes of color.

There was random quotes at chapter starts that did not add anything to the story as well as random occasional suggestions about how to use spices in your home. A very brief peripheral love interest that falls flat and feels confusing in how it is randomly thrown into the story itself. There are so many descriptions of the area which although I do like the world I am in to feel real and fleshed out becomes distracting from the story itself. The description seems to fight the plot for importance and focus of the story. There will also occasionally be sudden tangents into philosophy about things that interrupt the actions and direction of the character and plot. So in the middle of surmising about which characters had motives there is a long missive on Starbuck's and their effect on the town and local business.

I often found myself listening and suddenly wondering had I accidentally hit my phone and fast forwarded because I kept feeling lost and confused about what the main character was doing. Almost like I am chasing this woman around trying to understand where she is going and why while tagging along as she shops and blogs a tourist guide to Seattle. I was also totally annoyed with one line in particular that I actually looked up on the kindle to see if I had heard it correctly which I had. Page 107, "Surely Tory would not have such strength and self-possession if she'd had an abusive childhood." I know this is a personal irk but I was really put off by this comment.

The overall mystery and story was not as compelling because of my struggle to follow the narrative. I found myself feeling not fond of the narrator but I think this was not her fault or lack of talent but my annoyance with the text she was reading. I really pushed myself to complete this listen and by completion felt more relief about it being over and no excitement over discovering the ending. But I want to be fair and say it might be that this story with the intense amount of description would have been easier to follow if I had read a print version instead of listening. But as I am reviewing the audible version I can only say this one wasn't for me. The dance between spending time on establishing world, characters, motivations, and plot development is a tricky one and in this case I feel like the book missed the mark. I will not be continuing with this series, but completely understand this is sure to be someone else's perfect cup of tea.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun for all and drama gallor!

Great audio book! It's fun and full of drama! The characters are fabulous! Lots of twists and turns that cannot be guessed!

3 people found this helpful