cover image The Solace of Bay Leaves: A Spice Shop Mystery

The Solace of Bay Leaves: A Spice Shop Mystery

Leslie Budewitz. Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-64506-017-8

Agatha Award winner Budewitz’s savory fifth Spice Shop Mystery (after 2019’s Chai Another Day) opens with Pepper Reece, owner of Seattle Spice, a taste-tingling shop located in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, having dinner with her best friend, Kristen Gardiner. Then Kristen receives a frantic text from their mutual friend Laurel Halloran, who has just learned that a handgun used in a recent shooting is a match for the gun used in her husband Pat’s unsolved murder three years earlier. Pepper is shocked to hear that the shooting victim is real estate developer Mattie Petrosian, a childhood acquaintance. Mattie is unconscious, and since there were no witnesses, the police have little to go on. What could Mattie possibly have had in common with a murdered man she barely knew? But as Pepper tries to make a connection between the shootings, she learns that Mattie and her husband may have been unwitting victims of a grievance that has lasted through generations. Budewitz’s affection for Seattle is apparent on every page. Foodie mystery aficionados will love the mouthwatering recipes at the end. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Oct.)