Jul 102015

special guest blueI am so excited to Welcome Leslie her today for a visit!
The latest Food Lover’s Village Mystery, Butter Off Dead, came out on Tuesday and I gobbled it right up!


By Leslie Budewitz

Days before my first mystery, DEATH AL DENTE, came out, I walked into my favorite local art gallery to chat about the details for my book launch party. (I cannot believe that was nearly two years ago!) Christine, the co-owner, started bouncing up and down, the long red hair piled on top of her head waving precariously. “Will you kill me? Will you kill me?” Her business partner—and former husband—stood behind her and mouthed “I have ideas.” (In truth, they’re very good friends, and have one of the best divorces I know.)

I agreed, of course. How often does a victim simply volunteer? And she’s such a character—as you can tell—that I knew she’d be a lot of fun on the page.

Even dead.

CrimeRib_CV.inddThe second book in the series, CRIME RIB, was in progress and already had a victim. I slipped Christine in as a minor character so I could flesh her out in the third book,
BUTTER OFF DEAD, just out from Berkley Prime Crime.

I borrowed a handful of details from the real woman. Both live and fictional Christine are red-headed painters who work in bright acrylics, were raised in Vermont, and wear glasses of many colors. Everything else, I made up. I felt no restrictions on what I could do, helped by knowing that both she and her former husband are great readers who came up with the idea to hold my launch parties in their gallery. (The real town, alas, is bereft of a bookstore, a lack I remedied on the page.)

The real Christine’s effusive, quirky personality gave me free rein to weave her in and out of the fabric of Jewel Bay, Montana, a fictional lakeside resort community on the road to Glacier National Park clearly influenced by our own vibrant village. Although she dies early in the book, Christine remains very much a part of the story, as Erin Murphy, my main character, attempts to unravel the mystery and free her brother Nick from suspicion.

The woman on the page repeatedly surprised me. She drinks beer. She plays pool. She has a cat. She lives and paints in an old church—something I’ve always wanted to do. (Creating characters can be a blissful bit of wish fulfillment.) She has a painful past, and more than a few secrets.Butter Off Dead (final)

It was great fun to use a real person as a starting point for play. Might it have been more difficult had I known her better? I don’t think so. Another character, the beloved elderly artist Iggy, was inspired by my late mother-in-law, and it gave me great pleasure to think of her back among us. Three characters in BUTTER draw their names from local folk who bought naming rights at charity auctions; while one appears as herself, a local couple lent their name to a burly young bartender, and a supporter of a women’s shelter became a teenage boy again. (Whether that’s wish fulfillment or a nightmare, I don’t know!)

My only regret is that the real-life Christine moved back to Vermont last year and couldn’t be here to share the fun of celebrating BUTTER OFF DEAD. That only proves that made-up people are like the real thing in yet another way: on and off the page, characters are full of surprises.

About The Author
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, , or on Twitter.

Butter Off Dead (final)Butter Off Dead
(Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Montana
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425259566
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana, try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local vendor…

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, filled with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin has to find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. But the closer she gets to the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…


Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this third installment Jewel Bay is hosting another event. This time a Food Lovers’ Film Festival, showing movies like Chocolat and Ratatouille. Sounds like a lot of fun until one of the organizers ends up dead.

The author knows the key to a great mystery series is having characters that continue to grown and evolve and story-lines that put them in precarious situations. She dishes up perfection in Butter Off Dead. Erin’s brother, Nick is hiding something and it is making him look mighty guilty. Erin has to prove his innocence and find out who the heck he is protecting and that puts her right in the killer’s sights. We also meet some high school students who have volunteered to help with festival. They are also hiding something.

This story is so well written. It kept me captivated from the first page until the very last. It was filled with many clever twists that left me guessing whodunit until the final reveal. Erin ran her butt off in this story while running the Merc, running the festival,  and keeping community and family members in check, all while trying to figure out who killed her friend. She was always off doing something making the story pretty fast paced.

I know some of the residents of Jewel Bay are not pleased with all the festivals and events but I can’t wait to return to this food loving town for the next one.  I also look forward to shopping again soon at the Merc and trying more of those tasty recipes.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Leslie for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 24, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  41 Responses to “Special Guest – Leslie Budewitz – Author of Butter Off Dead – Giveaway too!”

  1. Love Montana authors! Great Stevensville library. Judy D.

    • Judy, are you in Stevi? Ask your librarian to invite me — I LOVE visiting libraries, and it’s not too far away!

  2. This sounds so interesting that I can’t believe I am learning of the series only recently. Would love to start reading it. Thank you for the chance to win!

  3. Looking forward to reading this one.

  4. this sounds interesting.

  5. The book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. looks today, thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  7. Sounds good to me!

  8. I’ve read the first two and am looking forward to this one. Congratulations!

  9. Congrats on the new release! A film festival sounds like a great new premise for the series!

    • Now to convince the real town to start a film festival! We’ve got the Playhouse, and the stage manager kindly walked me around, showing me all kinds of places where things could go wrong… The locals are so supportive and helpful!

  10. Great giveaway and feature. A talented and creative author.

  11. I can’t wait to read it.

  12. Oh, my gosh, what a lovely review to wake up to! Thank you, Lori. And thanks to all of you for the kind words.

    I’m headed across the mountains to see my mother, so I’ll check back in with you tomorrow. Meanwhile, remember: Everything’s better with butter!

  13. This series is so much fun! Congratulations on your new release and thank you for continuing the series!

  14. I’m sure this book will be as good as Leslie’s prior books. Thanks for the review and the chance to win a copy of it. robeader53@yahoo.com

  15. I love this series and this one sounds like I’m going to love it too. Congrats on your new release!

  16. That is so cute that you’ve got people volunteering to be “killed” for your books! This sounds very good.

  17. Thank you for the review! The book sounds like a great mystery, and I am looking forward to reading it. 🙂

  18. What tremendous fun to have real people as the basis for so many of your characters. I look forward to meeting them all.

  19. Yay! for a new one in this series….. 🙂

  20. Sounds like a great new addition to this series!

  21. I can’t resist the titles on cozies. This one made me grin:) Might have to start another blog just for cozies. LOL

  22. A new series to try! My TBR pile grows again…

  23. I love this series, and this sounds like it could be the best installment yet. First off, I would LOVE to go to that film festival. Great movies! Second, it is such fun that the victim is based on a real person who not only volunteered to be killed in the book but who is so excited about it. Awesome. Terrific post and review, and thanks so much for the generous giveaway.

    • Thanks, Michelle! I am hoping to inspire a local film festival. There’s been interest for a while — since well before this book made local news — but it turns out not to be as easy as you’d think. Even without a murder!

  24. This author is amazing.

  25. Love the setting! Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. You have to give it to the author’s of these series. Coming with with such clever titles that keeps everything in the theme and all. Great share ladies!

  27. Food lover mysteries are the bomb.

  28. The titles always make me laugh. Books to follow.

  29. This book is on my tbr list.

  30. What an interesting book! Love the title.

  31. This looks like a good series.

  32. sounds good.my kind of book

  33. I like to read mysteries set in places I haven’t been to.

  34. Interesting interview. The book sounds really good! I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy 🙂


  36. This series is new to me and sounds like a lot of fun!

  37. I enjoy reading mysteries that revolve around food. I hope I win this.

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