A Day in the Life—and the Kitchen with Alex Howard by Leslie Budewitz

Guilty as CinnamonI will be the first to admit, I’m no saint. I have a terrible temper. I am impatient beyond belief with stupid employees. Stupid customers, I can handle—you run a restaurant, you run into idiots who think it’s funny to joke that the salmon mousse doesn’t have antlers or horns or whatever moose have as if you’ve never heard that before. Like sixteen thousand times. It’s a wonder I still bother serving the stuff, but it’s so damn good. Excuse me, so darn good.

But stupid employees drive me nuts, in a bad way. So when I find one who adores good food, I go nuts, in a good way.

I am all about good food. Besides, I hire a top-notch front end manager for each of my establishments, and she—or he; I am an equal opportunity employer, which not everyone in the restaurant biz can say—hires only the best wait staff. They handle the stupid customers.

Only the best staff. Which is why I was so rocked when Tamara Langston came to work for me. She’d had a rough time in the biz, with that ex-husband of hers who can’t tell a zucchini from a green bean, and wouldn’t know a decent aioli if it bit him in the you-know-what. But she can cook. Not just make great cakes and salads like so many women in the kitchen, who act like filets are “just too hard—no, Chef, don’t make me!” No, not her. She wanted to know everything I knew, from where to buy the freshest mussels, to how to make my famous green olive popovers, to how to cook with bhut capsicum, the infamous ghost chile.

And I taught her everything I knew. I let her in on all my secrets. Well, not the one from way back when, when Glassy and I first met. We did some stupid things. We managed to avoid paying the price—how, I have never known, but I am not going to look a gift like that in the mouth, I’ll tell you that for nothing.

I gave Tamara the run of my kitchen, the run of my flagship restaurant. I took her in. I sheltered her. I won’t say I taught her everything I know, but damn close. Excuse me, darn close.

Which is why it pissed me off royally that she quit like she did.

Worst part of all—if she hadn’t quit, she might still be alive.

You can read more about Alex in Guilty As Cinnamon, the second book in the “Seattle Spice Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House. The first book in the series is Assault and Pepper.

ABOUT Guilty As Cinnamon

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. . .

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 28 for your chance to win a print copy of GUILTY AS CINNAMON. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. Connect with her through her website and blog at www.LeslieBudewitz.com, and on Facebook.

49 responses to “A Day in the Life—and the Kitchen with Alex Howard by Leslie Budewitz

  1. Really looking forward to reading this book.

  2. Intriguing! Sounds great! Thanks for the chance!

  3. Jeanie Jackson

    That sounds great!

  4. Love the title, thanks for the chance 🙂

  5. Always wanted to go to that big Mart et in Washington. I think this series will be as close as I get.Would love to win this.

  6. Can’t wait to read this one!

  7. I love the culinary cozy mysteries! Thank you!

  8. Loved, loved, LOVED the 1st book!!!!
    Cannot wait to read tis one….
    Thank you for the giveaway….

  9. Intriguing opening! Want to read the finishing.

  10. This is a new series to me and sounds interesting and possibly delicious! Thanks for the chance to win.

  11. elainehroberson

    Heard lots of good things about this book and I would love to win a copy.

  12. This is one super series!

  13. Wow, sounds explosive. And I love the hook at the end of Alex’s story. Now I GOTTA know more. Seriously, this is a great series. Can’t wait to read this offering.

  14. Curious opening! Would love to read it. Thank you for the chance.

  15. I love the title of this book and it sounds like another good one. Thank you for the chance to win

  16. Love foodie books. Sounds good.
    thanks for the chance
    Merry Christmas.

  17. I’ve wanted to read one of the books in Leslie Budewitz’s series but haven’t gotten to buying one yet so it would be wonderful to win a copy. Thanks so much for the review. robeader53@yahoo.com

  18. Sounds like a great read. Merry Christmas!

  19. Nancy Roessner

    I expected that Tamara would start her own restaurant. Being surprised is a great part of mystery novels!

  20. I’m intrigued by some of the foods mentioned in the book review enough that I’m interested in reading the book. Plus I love mysteries.

  21. Can’t wait to read. It’s on my to read list. Happy New Year.

  22. I just love Leslie’s books!

  23. Been on my TBR pile forever!

  24. Melissa Basnight

    Love these mysteries!!

  25. Sounds perfect for me

  26. “And before someone gets burned.” Clever

  27. What a great sounding book, can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. Leslie Budewitz

    Thanks, all of you — and don’t we wish Alex were cooking for us today? Enjoy the season —


  29. You’ve got to love a book with “cinnamon” in the title! Thanks for the giveaway~

  30. Annette D. Gavigan

    I adored the first book in this series, Assult and Pepper. I can’t wait to read this next book.

  31. Prentiss Garner

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  32. I love Pike Place Market

  33. Love this delightful book. Thanks.

  34. Alex sounds like a spit-fire! I like that. Glad to have the chance to meet her!

  35. Cynthia E. Blain

    This is a remarkable series. I would absolutely love to become the recipient of this book as I read book 1 and so I am sure this and others in this series are fantastic. Thank you for the contest. My fingers are crossed.

    Cynthia B.

  36. Leslie Budewitz

    Didn’t mean to be mysterious about Alex’s gender. Readers of the first book, ASSAULT & PEPPER, know he’s very definitely masculine.

  37. Would love to win 🙂 Awesome story line ! Who does not love food mystery’s 🙂 Cozy mystery’s are my guilty pleasure :). My husband says I’m additive to my tablet, no its reading wonderful stories like you’re storyline !

  38. Love to read, want to learn to cook, would love to win!!!

  39. I haven’t started the first one yet, I think I had better bump it up my list, I’m loving the sound of this. Thanks for the chance to win, this one.

  40. Love to read a Book from this Author…thanks for the Contest. Happy New Year.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  41. It’s on my wish list. Loved the first one.

  42. This looks like such a fun book! I love the cover. 🙂

  43. GUILTY AS CINNAMON sounds like a delightful book. Thank you for the giveaway.

  44. Food and murder is so much fun.

  45. sounds like a good book

  46. Leslie Budewitz

    Thanks to all of you for joining in the fun! Good luck in the contest, and happy reading in the new year!

  47. Darlene Peterson

    Please include me in the book giveaway. Thank you.

  48. Della Williamson

    Thank you for this chancy to have a copy of Guilty as Cinnamon. It looks like a fascinating read.

  49. Thanks Leslie for commenting.
    Contest is closed.