Here you’ll find descriptions and links to featured books by our authors.
Books by Leslie Budewitz
AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES (June 2018, Midnight Ink, 5th in series)
The Agatha-Award winning Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries continue.
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’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.
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?
KILLING THYME (October 2016, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; 3d in series)
In Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer in the latest from the national bestselling author of Guilty as Cinnamon.
Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun.
While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. After Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?
GUILTY AS CINNAMON (December 2015, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; 2d in series)
Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.
Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Seattle 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…
ASSAULT AND PEPPER (March 2015, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; 1st in series)
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 her doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest Tory Finch, one of Pepper’s staffers, 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…
TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST (June 2017, Midnight Ink, 4th in series)
Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.
BUTTER OFF DEAD (July 2015, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; 3d in series)
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 mover and shaker …
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, popping 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 must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.
But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…
CRIME RIB (July 2014, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; second in series)
Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder…
Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.
But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s rep from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer…
DEATH AL DENTE (August 2013, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House; first in series)
WINNER OF THE 2013 AGATHA AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL!
The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as a Food Lovers’ Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead…
Murphy’s Mercantile, known as the Merc, has been a staple in Jewel Bay for over a hundred years. To celebrate their recent makeover as a gourmet food market, Erin has organized a town festival, Festa di Pasta, featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.
But Erin’s sweet success is soured when the shop’s former manager, Claudette, is found dead behind the Merc on the Festa’s opening night. With rival chef James Angelo stirring up rumors that Fresca’s sauce recipes were stolen from Claudette, Erin’s mother is under close scrutiny. Now Erin will have to hunt down some new suspects, or both her family and her store might wind up in hot water…
FISH TALES, THE GUPPY ANTHOLOGY
Fish Tales, The Guppy Anthology, casts a wide net across the mystery genre, delivering thrills, chills, and gills. This water-themed collection features locked room puzzles, police procedurals, cozy characters and hardboiled detectives. With a pool of motivations ranging from greed and revenge to loyalty and justice, these stories will lure you in with killer hooks and fishy characters.
Come on in, the water’s fine. But be careful, or you might find yourself sleeping with the fishes.
INTRODUCTION, by Chris Roerden
THICKER THAN BLOOD, by Leslie Budewitz
BOOKS, CROOKS AND COUNSELORS (September 2011, Linden Books/Quill Driver Press)
WINNER OF THE 2011 AGATHA AWARD FOR BEST NONFICTION!
Addressing the misunderstood and misrepresented aspects of the law in today’s writing, this reliable guidebook demonstrates how to use legal concepts, terminology, and procedure to create fiction that is true to life and crackling with real-world tension. Examples from actual cases are provided along with excerpts of authentic courtroom dialogue. Topics covered include criminal and civil law; differences between federal, state, and Native American jurisdiction; police and private investigation; wills and inheritances; and the written and unwritten codes that govern the public and private conduct of lawyers and judges. Providing a quick and simple legal reference, this handbook is the key to creating innovative plots, strong conflicts, authentic characters, and gritty realism.
Books by Deborah Epperson
Set in rural Georgia in the 1960s, BREAKING TWIG is a coming-of-age novel about Becky (Twig) Cooper, a young woman trying to survive the physical and emotional abuse of her mother, Helen, a beautiful, calculating woman who can, with a mere look, send the meanest cur in Sugardale, Georgia running for its life.
Not even Twig’s vivid imagination, keen wit, and dark sense of humor is enough to help her survive the escalating assaults of Helen and a new stepbrother, but help comes from an unexpected source–Frank, her stepfather. Sometimes, having one person who loves and believes in you is all a girl needs to keep hope alive.
Often raw and irreverent and sprinkled with all the Southern flavoring found in a good bowl of chicken and dumplings, BREAKING TWIG, is about finding love where we least expect it, destroying lives with easy lies, and realizing each of us determine our own truth.
Books by Betty Kuffel
EYES OF A PEDOPHILE
Personal coded writings, life-long behaviors and victim testimony reveal how he operated and the difficulties law enforcement experienced stopping him. Eyes of a Pedophile follows Bar-Jonah’s evolution from religious beginnings to hunting children.
Extensively researched medical and psychological details explain what is known about child predators and show you how to recognize pedophile behavior and protect children.
YOUR HEART: PREVENT & REVERSE HEART DISEASE IN WOMEN, MEN & CHILDREN
Real-life patient experiences are woven into facts on fats, sugars, diabetes and their relationship to heart disease. Food choices and exercise options proven to contribute to health and longevity are included. This is a reference about cardiovascular diseases and treatments for lay people, caregivers and medical practitioners.
Books by Marie F. Martin
Unexpectedly widowed and left destitute, Arianne Hollis retreats to a remote area of Montana and struggles to build a new life. She becomes acquainted with clannish mountain people and newcomers, only to find herself sucked into a feud between them. Then she becomes a target. Will Arianne give into the same vengeance that corrupts the clan?
In May of 1935, Blinny Platt’s homestead shack burns to the ground forever leaving her family asunder, scattering them like the embers flew on the Montana wind. She was only eight-years-old, sent away and in charge of her little sister. She could handle that because Platts take care of Platts.
However, it is the hidden secrets of her parents smoldering beneath the charred remains that haunts Blinny until 1982. She once again leaves the home place to build a house for herself. As the foundation is poured and the walls go up, each of the hurtful memories are uncovered. Finally the mystery, left in the ashes of the burned home, is revealed. How could her mother do what she did?
Could an accidental friendship put your life and your newborn child at risk? Could a well-intentioned promise turn you into a fugitive? Teagan O’Riley befriends three single moms at a Seattle OB clinic. Now, two of them are dead and the third is close on Teagan’s heels, intent on eliminating the last obstacle to a monstrous plot. And Teagan cannot risk entrusting the three infants to the police with her fingerprints all over one crime scene and her footprint smeared into blood at another. She flees with the babies to the only refuge she can think of − the wilderness cabin of her lost love’s grandmother. But is even this remote location safe?
Books by P.A. Moore
Murder dogs Jack and Paige Defalco from their days as California prosecutors to their newfound careers as Montana defense attorneys. Never mind that they’ve uprooted their kids, caravanned 2,000 miles to the hinterlands of Kootenai County, kissed goodbye to their fat salaries, or vowed to avoid homicide.At Deer Lodge State Prison in 1999, murder sits before Paige in the guise of a skeletal, bloody-lipped, broken-nosed teenager who grins out one side of his mouth as he stares at her through a swollen eye. Evidently his fellow criminals brook no mercy for a convicted killer, regardless of his age or feeble intelligence.This kid’s parents have no money and the local legal eagles have warned Paige to let the conviction stand … or else. Yet that threat, a gauntlet thrown down, fuels her addiction to criminal law. It makes her flip the bird at those in authority and go to trial anyway. So, as she returns the kid’s stare, her nod conveys her agreement to defend mentally disabled Ben Stagg.Is it coincidence that soon thereafter anonymous callers threaten her? That the local media excoriates her? That the State Bar investigates both Defalcos? Is Paige crazy to rat out the corrupt criminal justice system to the ACLU and the Montana Supreme Court? Is she foolhardy to challenge the powerful judges, lawyers, and cops who comprise the Courthouse Cowboys?And with the discovery that Ben Stagg suffers from Klinefelter’s syndrome, a common but rarely diagnosed genetic disorder, will a jury acquit him of murder when presented with a never-before-used insanity defense?
This legal thriller rocks the reader with suspense, gallows humor, and a finale filled with redemption.
Books by Kathy Dunnehoff
THE DO-OVER (A Romantic Comedy)
PLAN ON IT
BACK TO U
Serita goes off her brain-numbing medication to reclaim her old pizzazz and find love. And it works until…Serita’s Shelf Life gives us a peek inside the head and heart of a crazy, loving character you’ll never forget. She’s a vivacious six-foot redhead, plump fashionista, and a shameless flirt who never meets a stranger.
Come ride the emotional roller coaster with Serita.
After all, what’s a good-looking middle-aged woman to do, Hon?
Hannah Dyer’s crazy mother was abusive and an alcoholic. At the age of sixty she adopted an infant, and now that she’s dead, Hannah must raise the child. But fighting the effects of severe burns sustained in childhood may be all that Hannah can manage. Defined and alienated by both emotional and physical scars, Hannah fears that she might be abusive and crazy, too.
Burden of Breath alternates between the intervening years since the fire and the present as Hannah struggles to separate from her mother’s crippling influence – even from the grave. Anger and isolation force Hannah to confront her emotional and physical damage, and she transforms her life in ways she could never have imagined.
Books by Karen Wills
Sepphoris, Israel, 1995: Henry and Alice Cross, Harvard scholars leading an archaeological dig, discover clay tablets recording a family’s epic history from Moses through Mary, the mother of Jesus. The tablets raise serious questions about the foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Was Moses a servant of God or a charlatan? What did Jesus want? What were Mary’s secrets? The discovery holds many answers. Henry and Alice call their find the Jesus Tablets.
News of the discovery leads to behind-the-scenes conflicts among world powers, some willing to kill either to suppress or reveal the evidence. The American President, the Israeli Prime Minister, the Pope, a Hamas commander, Jesuits, and agents with unknown allegieances all scheme to control the Tablets. Henry and Alice’s struggle to protect what they’ve unearthed takes them from Israel to Washington, D.C. as they survive shocking murders of innocent friends. Will they and the Tablets survive? How important is the truth? Will a Machiavellian solution to conflict in the Middle East actually work? You are invited to enter the complex labyrinth of Remarkable Silence.
Books by Nan McKenzie
Young widow Zoe Zahn moves with her dog Wizard into a beautiful secluded cabin in the Montana wilderness. She gets a terrifying wake-up call when Bigfoot arrives! Pinned by a fallen tree, the furry creature is rescued by Zoe, who wades through heavy snow to cut the tree with a chain saw and save him.
Bigfoot runs off, but later returns to kidnap Zoe and carry her off to his mountain lair. Somehow these two lonely souls find rapport without language, and Zoe realizes that Bigfoot won’t hurt her. Now all she has to do is convince him to take her home, and then save him from the media and all the crazies who would capture or kill him.
The 405-page novel is an exciting adventure packed with plenty of humor, a blizzard, terrible rain, a giant flood. Bigfoot is huge, stinky, and scary, and seems to be a little sweet on Zoe. Handsome forest ranger Sam Hill also has a warm spot in his heart for this spunky woman. Throw in some bad guys, a mountain cabin set in the stunning wilderness, good friend Darcy and her fella’, George, and a gentle love story between Zoe and Sam, and you have an unbeatable novel. With perseverance and remarkable courage, tiny Zoe finds her way into Bigfoot’s heart, and yours.
The (self-pub) publisher is taking the book to 13 World Book Fairs, where it is being presented for re-publication in foreign countries.
This is the first of three volumes in this series. The next volume will be available in 2014. NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON, KINDLE, BARNES AND NOBLE.
BOOKS BY MAGGIE PLUMMER
SPIRITED AWAY: A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH
In May 1653, young Frederica (Freddy) O’Brennan and her sister Aileen trust a stranger on an empty beach in western Ireland, inadvertently placing themselves in the crosshairs of Cromwell’s notorious Reign of Terror.
Freddy awakens in the crammed hold of a slave ship bound for Barbados. Ripped from their loved ones, she and Aileen endure the voyage – only to be wrenched apart when purchased at auction by sugar plantation owners from different islands. Freddy faces the brutal realities of life as a female Irish slave on a seventeenth century Barbados sugar plantation. Amidst the island’s treacherous beauty, she must find a way to bear her cruel, drunken Master’s abuse.
Heartsick with yearning for her family, Freddy must reach deep inside herself for the strength she needs to protect her young spirit from being broken. As she struggles to survive rape, degradation, beatings, and the harrowing spectacle of her Irish countrymen being flogged and starved to death, she is buoyed by powerful friendships with her fellow slaves – especially the Native American kitchen slave with whom she works long hours in the plantation cookhouse. The two women risk severe punishment by sneaking food and medicine to the suffering Irish and African field slaves.
Eventually Freddy braves much more for the sake of love and loyal friendship.
DARING PASSAGE: BOOK 2 OF THE SPIRITED AWAY SAGA
In 1656, Freddy O’Brennan is on the run, determined to protect her young children and keep her family together. Her character is tested more than ever as she navigates a choking gauntlet of greed, corruption, duplicity, and bloody violence.
Romantic sparks fly, smolder, and threaten to explode.
Freddy’s story, inspired by historical events, captures a rare, authentic glimpse of New World colonies in the seventeenth century.