Guilty as Cinnamon – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars

GuiltyCinnamonCover

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Photographed line of various spices - author not sure WHICH spices

Synopsis

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

Photograph of bags of spices - Author unsure what they all are - peppercorns, chili powder, and star anise for certain

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment in the Spice Shop series.

The characters in this series are wonderful and I love each of them. I believe them to be well-rounded and yet, so far in the both books in the series, we see development amongst the main charcters, so they’re not stagnant.

The plot was much better than that of the first book. It had lots of twists and turns in it that kept me guessing right up until the end. I didn’t have a clue who had actually committed the crime until it was finally revealed. I made a few guesses, but I was completely wrong on all of them, which I like. I don’t like it when I can figure out who the villain is half way thru the book and then I have to sit there while the police fumble thru the evidence that seems so obvious to me.

I’ve never been to Seattle, but I can envision the market place from the descriptions given. I find the setting information to be “just right”, enough description given to help me form a blueprint in my head but not too wordy so nothing is left to my imagination.

I look forward to the next book in the series. In the meantime, I will definitely recommend this series to other cozy mystery lovers!

Photographed line of various spices - author not sure WHICH spices

Assault and Pepper – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars

Picture of shop with canisters on shelves, teapots on other shelves, spilled cups on floor and a brown terrier dog

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Photographed line of various spices - author not sure WHICH spices

Synopsis

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 Pepper’s 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…

Photograph of bags of spices - Author unsure what they all are - peppercorns, chili powder, and star anise for certain

Review

Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz is the first in the Spice Shop Mystery series. As far as a first book in a series, it rocks. The setting initially drew me to the book as I’d never read one set in a spice shop before.

While I felt that the mystery itself was a little weak and not particularly engaging, I enjoyed the book. I didn’t particularly care about the victim and I knew very early on who killed him, but that didn’t spoil the story for me like it sometimes does.

However, I found Pepper and her employees to be interesting and well-rounded characters. I’m looking forward to seeing how the author continues to develop the characters in this series. The setting is Pikes Place Market in Seattle as well as other parts of the city. I’ve never been to Seattle, but the author provided such vivid descriptions of various places that I feel like I *have* been there before. I believe that when I do visit someday, I’ll be able to recognize many of the places in the book without problem.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

Photographed line of various spices - author not sure WHICH spices