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As the Christmas cookie crumbles : a food lover's village mystery
2018
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Author Notes
<p>Leslie Budewitz is passionate about food, great mysteries, and her native Montana, the setting for her national-bestselling Food Lovers Village Mysteries. The first, Death al Dente, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also writes the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle's Pike Place Market. A practicing lawyer, Leslie is the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, Leslie loves to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint--not necessarily in that order. She lives with her husband, Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine and musician, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.</p> <p>Visit her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com, where you can find maps of the village and surrounding area, recipes, and more.</p>
First Chapter or Excerpt

Excerpted from As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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  Publishers Weekly Review

In Agatha Award-winner Budewitz's inviting fifth Food Lovers' Village mystery (after 2017's Treble at the Jam Fest), Merrily Thornton returns home to Jewel Bay, Mont., after a nearly two-decade absence, which included a short stint in prison for pleading guilty to embezzlement from Sally Grimes's children's shop, where she worked part-time in high school. With the exception of her mother, most of the townsfolk welcome Merrily back; she's even hired to help with the books at her school chum Greg Taylor's building supply store. But when the store's bank deposit comes up short and a stash of cash is found in Merrily's desk drawer, it appears she hasn't learned her lesson. When she's found murdered, it looks as if someone decided to teach her one. Erin Murphy, the manager of Murphy's Glacier Mercantile, takes time to investigate, even though her greatly anticipated Christmas Eve wedding to Adam Zimmerman is just three weeks away. Clean-as-a-whistle dialogue, endearing characters, and a solid plot make this cozy a winner. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p>"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan."--Kirkus Reviews</p> <p>"Clean-as-a-whistle dialogue, endearing characters, and a solid plot make this cozy a winner."--Publishers Weekly</p> <p>"Cozy readers will relish the small-town,Christmastime frame accompanying details of frenzied wedding planning and running a family food business. And, of course, recipes, too."--Booklist</p> <p>Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit--and herself--alive till Christmas?</p> <p>In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy's Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.</p> <p>When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he's been robbed, fingers point to Merrily--until she's found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer--and keep herself in one piece--in time for a special Christmas Eve?</p> <p>Includes delicious recipes!</p> <p>Praise for the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries:</p> <p>"A lighthearted and amusing story with the added bonus of several yummy recipes."--Mystery Scene</p> <p>"Treble at the Jam Festhas all the necessary elements to satisfy cozy mystery lovers: likeable, believable characters, a fast-moving plot, and a logical ending. Great fun!"--Suspense Magazine</p> <p>"A pleasing read with a thoughtful heroine, a plethora of red herrings, and some foodie tips."--Kirkus Reviews</p> <p>"A delicious mystery as richly constructed as the layers of a buttery pastry. Wine, enchiladas, and song make for a gourmet treat in the coziest town in Montana!"--Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries</p> <p>"Leslie is a fellow foodie who loves a good mystery and it shows in this delightful tale!"--Cleo Coyle, New York Timesbestselling author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries</p> <p>"Music, food, scenery, and a cast of appealing characters weave together in perfect harmony in Leslie Budewitz's latest book."--Sheila Connolly, author of the Orchard Mysteries and the County Cork Mysteries</p>
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