June Book News

DSC_0032 (640x426)LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  Oh my gosh, I can hardly wait to tell you about my Lucky Week! On May 1, my short story “With My Eyes” (Suspense Magazine), won the 2018 Derringer Award, given by the Short Mystery Fiction Society, in the “long story” category. A young Seattle banker sees what he wants to see when he falls for a beautiful Greek woman, until an eye-opening trip to Greece. Later that week, I attended the Malice Domestic convention, celebrating the traditional mystery. Continuing the short story fun, “A Death in Yelapa: A Food Lovers’ Village Story,” was published in this year’s Malice anthology, Mystery Most Edible;  all the stories feature food in some way or another, mine as a clue when Erin and Adam discover that snakes and crocodiles are not the only dangers in the forests of Central Mexico. And at the awards dinner, “All God’s Sparrows” (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine) won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story, in the first of two ties that evening. (A full list of nominees and winners is here.) You can travel back to Montana Territory in 1885 with me and real-life historical figure “Stagecoach Mary” Fields and read the story, free, on my website.

chai another day (cover without quote)The only way to top all that is with a new book, right? CHAI ANOTHER DAY, the 4th Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be out June 11, in trade paper and e-book. (The audio will appear later this summer.) When Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece overhears an argument in an antique shop, she finds herself drawn into a murder that could implicate an old enemy, or ensnare a new friend. Read an excerpt and reviews, and see where to buy it — all the usual places, on line and in bookstores — on my website. 



“And the winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel is ….”

Every day writing thrills me. But one of the biggest thrills is being nominated for the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The Agatha Awards celebrate the traditional mystery, in the vein of Agatha Christie, and are given at the annual Malice Domestic convention. “Malice,” as its known to mystery fans, will be held this year on May 2-4 in Bethesda, Maryland.

On Saturday during the convention, the five nominees share the stage with multiple award-winning mystery writer and all-around goddess Margaret Maron for talk about our books and more.

So naturally, being both compulsive and curious, I’ve been reading the other nominated books. Ohmygosh, what fun! If you like your mysteries lively, funny, jammed with yummy food and quirky characters, set in charming locales with more than a pinch of intrigue, dig in!

cover-cannoliPasta, a Festa, a grandmother who wears kimonos, and a character named Landon. Sounds like I’m talking about my own Death al Dente, doesn’t it? Nope. It’s You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Simon & Schuster). The Festa is the Festa della Repubblica, Landon is Chef Eve’s 20-something cousin and sous-chef, and the grandmother is their shared nonna, jailed for the murder of her boyfriend on the kitchen floor of Miracolo, the Philadelphia-area restaurant she owns and Eve runs. Convinced her grandmother is innocent, Eve organizes the staff to investigate, only to find herself in hot water. Don’t read this on an empty stomach!

BOARD-STIFF-webElliot “Ellie” Lisbon loves her life as a Foundation director and private investigator in training in a South Carolina island community, until she finds a board member dead and the board chair—“the most unpleasant person on Planet Earth”—is charged with his murder, in Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press). What’s worse? The local PD’s new lieutenant is the college love who dropped her like a firebomb. This is nothing like the “indiscretions” she’s been investigating! A fun romp through blackmail, murder, schemes and scams.

cover-LizIn Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington), Kristan “Stan” Connor has left a prestigious job in PR after unpleasantness bordering on the criminal, and impulsively purchased a Victorian fixer in a small Connecticut town. When Stan arrives at the town vet’s office with her cat, she’s shocked to find the woman dead—and stunned to find herself a murder suspect! The special treats and meals Stan creates for her cat lead her to several unlikely friendships—and a future business, making high-quality pet food and treats—but heighten others’ suspicions. Never fear! This animal whisperer uses her ability to relate to dogs to escape a killer and make a new home for herself.

FRONT-PAGE-set-webNichelle Clarke is an ambitious young crime reporter in Richmond, Virginia, wrapping up a long week, when a police boat crashes on the river, in Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press). Her week gets longer when a trusted source in the police department reports missing evidence, and a deputy prosecutor goes missing, then winds up dead. Are the two incidents related? Why do police deflect her questions about the incidents—and about the strangely similar killings of two drug dealers? Why don’t they understand: Never mess with a woman who can run in high heels!

deathaldentAnd of course, Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime). The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as the 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 specialty market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead!

The Agatha Awards honor the best in six categories: Contemporary Novel, Historical, First, Short Story, Children’s/YA, and Nonfiction. The Malice site lists all the 2013 nominees and past nominees and winners.

February Book News

deer heart

February, the month we celebrate love of all kinds, and relish time with a book in front of the fire.But we’re not sitting home in front of the fire. Nope. We’re a busy bunch.


Leslie Budewitz is delighted to share the news that Death al Dente, the first in her Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries,  has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Death al Dente, a light-hearted mystery set in fictional Jewel Bay, Montana, was published in August 2013 by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Books. The second in the series, Crime Rib, will be published July 1, 2014.  Leslie’s first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction.

On February 9, several Montana Women Writers will be at the Whitefish Community Center from 2 pm to 5 pm, in celebration of National Heart Day. Your Heart Book Cover- Final 1Betty Kuffel, M.D., will give a presentation entitled “Know Your Heart Disease Risks, based on her book, Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men, and Children.


Marie F Martin will be at the Whitefish Community Center along with Betty Kuffel on Feb 9th to help celebrate Your heart Day.  She will have Maternal Harbor and Harbored Secrets available for sale and will participate in the author’s reading.  She hopes to see you there.

Ann Burden of Breath Cover - MinnettMinnett will read an excerpt from her second (forthcoming) novel, Serita’s Shelf Life, at the February 9th event. She is also the author of the novel Burden of Breath.

Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG

Southern fiction author Deborah Epperson will read from her novel, Breaking TWIG.

Other Montana Women Writers members will talk about writing from their hearts, including the heart of their stories, including Nan McKenzie, author of Big FootAngela Miller, author of The Hornbill’s Daughter; P.A. Moore, author of Courthouse Cowboys and Courthouse  Rebel; and Karen Wills, author of Remarkable SilenceTreats will be served and books will be available.

ChampagneBlue Jay ShamanCongratulations to Montana author, Lise McClendon, who is celebrating twenty years in print in 2014. Her first mystery, THE BLUEJAY SHAMAN, was published by Walker & Co., New York, in 1994. For a limited time THE BLUEJAY SHAMAN, set in Missoula and on the Flathead Indian Reservation, is free on many e-book platforms including KindleiTunes, and KOBO. Publisher’s Weekly called it a “gripping debut” and James Crumley said it was “reminiscent of Tony Hillerman at his finest.” Check out art dealer Alix Thorssen’s first adventure!


Kathy Dunnehoff signed a contract with AmazonCrossing to her romantic comedy The Do-Over in German as print, e-book, and audio by 2016.  She’s also just completed recording the audio version of  Hollywood Beginnings, available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon by mid-February. And her novel Plan On It will be on sale on Amazon as a 99 cent download Valentine’s Day weekend.

On February 19th, Dr. Betty Kuffel will give a presentation in a webinar sponsored by Planetree Alliance, an international healthcare organization that includes North Valley Hospital in Whitefish. Her thirty minute presentation will address Heart Disease Risks and aspects of providing heart health education. The goal is to reduce the number one cause of death in adults through sharing ideas that can be replicated in many organizations and communities. A panel discussion follows the presentation. She has also been invited to write an article for Planetalk Magazine and e-news for Feb.