An Unholy Death—A Novella: A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
Prequel – Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries
Setting – Montana
Beyond the Page Publishing (August 29, 2023)
Paperback : 104 pages
ISBN-10 : 1960511262
ISBN-13 : 978-1960511263
Kindle ASIN : B0CF6474VX
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, we’re bringing out stand-alone editions of readers’ favorites from Carried to the Grave and Other Stories. Our first selection is the novella An Unholy Death, a historical prequel to the Agatha Award-winning series opener, Death al Dente.
It’s 1910 and newly married Kate Murphy arrives in Jewel Bay, Montana, with her husband Paddy, proprietor of Murphy’s Mercantile, intent on building their life together in this unfamiliar place. The conditions are rough—as are some of their clientele—and get even rougher when Kate discovers the dead body of the widowed local preacher. She’s determined to keep his young daughter safe, but the task takes all the courage Kate can summon as she faces the first of many mysteries unfolding in her new home . . .
In the first book in the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery Series, Death Al Dente, we learn Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store and turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. In this book, An Unholy Death, author Leslie Budewitz takes us back in time to Murphy’s Mercantile when Erin’s ancestors, Kate and Paddy, were just starting to build their lives in Jewel Bay.
Kate is stunned when she finds the body of a local preacher. He had been raising his daughter alone after his wife’s death and now she is alone. Kate takes her under her wing while she and others try to find out who killed the preacher and why.
I really enjoyed this novella. I love getting the backstory for a series and learning the beginning of life in Jewel Bay, Montana was very interesting. Ms. Budewitz’s descriptive storytelling really brought the place to life. Kate Murphy has come to join her husband Paddy from my home state of Wisconsin so I loved all of her references to home and how different it is from there to Montana and the frontier town of Jewel Bay.
Katie helps at the mercantile but she also gives piano lessons. This helps her get to know her new neighbors and make some friends. Grace, the daughter of the local pastor, is one of Kate’s students. After the girl loses her father you see how kind-hearted and caring Kate is. She is a strong woman and with the need to get to the truth. Even in a book of just over 100 pages, we get to know both Kate and Grace very well and care about their future. That is a true credit to the author.
The mystery unfolds very quickly. There are several theories and secrets that need to be revealed to gain focus on who killed the pastor. I was totally caught off guard when the mystery was solved.
In An Unholy Death, Ms. Budewitz gives her readers a look at a difficult time in Jewel Bay. It appears that Murphy’s held on through the years passing the family business along and now to Erin in the current time. I can’t believe this was the only mystery Kate Murphy was part of and solved. This novella may just be a one-time thing, but I sure wouldn’t mind visiting Kate in her Jewel Bay again.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Leslie Budewitz
Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana, where she lives. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake in April 2021 and continuing with Blind Faith in October 2022. A three-time Agatha-Award winner, she is a board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.
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.”