Death Al Dente
(Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
A Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 6, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 813 KB
The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as a Food Lovers’ Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare.
Erin Murphy has come home to Jewel Bay to manage the family general store and revitalize it by providing what the community wants, products made in Montana. She even convinces the town to add a festival to start the summer season, Festa di Pasta. She chairs the committee and organizes the first evening’s party featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.
The party takes an awful turn when a woman is found dead behind the store just outside a gate where the party is being held. The woman, Claudette, is a former employee of Fresca’s, who left town recently with a married man. Rumors start to fly. Fingers are pointed. People start to take sides. Erin’s friend Kim is the officer in charge of the investigation. Erin can’t believe Kim actually thinks Fresca is the prime suspect.
Erin decides to do a little investigating of her own. She better be careful or she could be the killer’s next target…
Glacier Mercantile (The Merc) sounds like a perfect small town store going through some growing pains as Fresca still wants to do things her way and Erin is trying to modernize both the store itself and the bookkeeping. Change is always hard. A murder certainly adds some unneeded pressure to the situation.
I have to say Erin is a wonderful protagonist. She has layers that are just starting to be revealed. She couldn’t wait to leave Jewel Bay behind a few years ago but working side by side with her mom is just the place she needs to be now. She is excited about the opportunity to use what she learned as a buyer for a huge grocery chain to make The Merc and the other shops in Jewel Bay a place were locals and tourists will want to shop.
The author has surrounded her with an eclectic group of supporting characters. Fresca’s recipes will make your mouth drool!! Erin’s friend Kim is in a bind trying to stay impartial. I think she is going to have that problem a lot because with cozy mysteries you know the next book is going to put Erin in the middle of another crime. Tracy works at The Merc and sure loves her Diet Pepsi and she keeps a can right on the counter next to the register. Diet Pepsi is not a home grown product so it drives Erin crazy. I can’t wait to get to know her better. Several other Jewel Bay residents were introduced to us readers as well.
Budewitz has also written a great mystery. There were clever twists that keep me engaged. It is hard to to delve deep into a whodunit and lay the proper foundation for stories going forward but this author has pulled it off. I can’t wait to shop again at The Merc!!
Want to know more about Leslie Budewitz. Check out her webpage here.
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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.”