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Authors: Leslie Budewitz
Death al Dente
“Seldom does a new author hit all the right notes in a first book, but Leslie Budewitz does. Convincing characters, a believable plot, the right dash of romance, and a deft use of words all come together to create a seamless and satisfying read.”
New York Times
bestselling author of
Buried in a Bog
“Small-town charm and big-time chills. Jewel Bay, Montana, is a food lover’s paradise—and ground zero for murder! A dizzying culinary delight with a twisty-turny plot! I’m totally enamored of Leslie Budewitz’s huckleberry chocolates, Shasta daisies, and Cowboy Roast coffee.”
New York Times
“The first book in a delicious new series. Leslie Budewitz has created a believable, down-to-earth heroine in Erin Murphy, who uses her sleuthing skills and the Spreadsheet of Suspicion to catch a killer. The supporting cast of characters, from Erin’s mother, Fresca, to her cat, Sandburg, are charming. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Jewel Bay.”
New York Times
bestselling author of the Magical Cat Mysteries
“An intriguing sleuth who loves gourmet food, family, and her hometown, plus recipes to die for distinguish a delectable mystery.”
—Carolyn Hart, national bestselling author of
Death at the Door
“Clever, charming, and completely yummy. Leslie Budewitz cooks up a delectable mystery! A tempting concoction of food, fun, and fatalities that will have you racing through the suspenseful pages . . . then heading for the kitchen to try out the irresistible recipes. More please!”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity award-winning author
“The first in a new series is strong enough to stand outside the confines of its genre . . . This is Budewitz’s first novel-length mystery, and it’s a good one. She has avoided the pitfalls of contrived plots, pushy amateur detectives, and shallow connection to the deceased that plague a number of long-running cozy mystery series and has produced a book even a non-mystery reader will find engrossing and satisfying.”
“Always love finding a new author and a brand-new series. Well, let me tell you, Leslie Budewitz does not disappoint. This was a delicious read that I finished in one sitting. There were plenty of red herrings to keep the plot moving. I loved the main characters and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Leslie, hope you are busy plotting and writing so I will not have to wait long. There are some very yummy recipes included, too. So if you like your mystery filled with a fresh-thinking sleuth, then you should read this book.”
“Yummy . . . With the eccentric people that make up the rest of the cast, this book is enjoyable.”
RT Book Reviews
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Leslie Budewitz
DEATH AL DENTE
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) LLC
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China
A Penguin Random House Company
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 2014 by Leslie Ann Budewitz.
Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.
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For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
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eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-14314-2
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / July 2014
Cover illustration by Ben Perini.
Cover design by Rita Frangie.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
—though we all knew her as Louise—
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Leslie Budewitz
Thanks to my friends and neighbors in a small jewel of a village in northwest Montana, for letting me rearrange the streets and shops, steal the festivals, and commit crimes in their hometown—all in the name of fun. I try not to kill fictional people in recognizable places, but darn it, sometimes characters have their own ideas about where to die. Thanks to Doug Averill of Flathead Lake Lodge and Guest Ranch for playing along.
Readers often ask if a small Montana town can really be so great. Yes. Hugs to Derek and Christine Vandeberg of Frame of Reference Gallery for a spectacular book launch, and to Christine for volunteering—begging—for a role in the book. (More to come!) Kisses to Julie and Joe Cassetta for serving as the models for the Pinskys. Thanks to Marlys Anderson-Hisaw of Roma’s Kitchen Shop; merchants Donna Lawson and Gretchen Gates, co-chairs of the annual Festival of the Arts; and the librarians and booksellers across Montana who have been so supportive.
I also want to acknowledge master guitarist Doug Smith and the late Leslie Myers, who as part of the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival and Workshop, graced us with their musical gifts—though never, I think, in the village streets.
Thanks to the Artis-Gollersrud clan (Lita, Ken, Nils, and Celia) for naming Luci the Splash Artist, testing cookie recipes, and keeping me in handmade soap. And to Lita for the kind of friendship Erin longs for.
My husband, Don Beans, created the recipe for filet with huckleberry-morel sauce. Thanks, honey!
I’m grateful to everyone who has helped make my dream of a writing life a reality, including my editor, Faith Black, and my agent, Paige Wheeler, of Folio Literary Management. Thanks to the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime—the best writers’ group on the planet—for friendship and support. Guppy pals Rhonda Lane and Susan Schreyer filled in my horse knowledge. Of course, I made the mistakes all by myself.
As always, more thanks than I can express to Don aka Mr. Right for unending support and arcane knowledge, and for always being willing to offer the male perspective, block out fight scenes, and order pizza.
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
—CHARLES M. SCHULZ
manager of Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc
Francesca “Fresca” Conti Murphy,
sales clerk and designer
Chiara Murphy Phillips,
Erin’s sister and co-owner of Snowberry Gallery
Chiara’s superhero son
owner of Puddle Jumpers
owner of Kitchenalia
Liz and Bob Pinsky,
hunky Wilderness Camp director
owner of Dragonfly Dry Goods
aka Old Ned,
proprietor of Red’s Bar
chef and owner, the Bayside Grille
Wendy Taylor Fontaine,
Rick Bergstrom, aka
hunky grain salesman
Mimi and Tony George,
owners of the Jewel Inn
chef at the Jewel Inn
co-owner and chef, Bear Grass B&B
potter and Drew Baker’s landlord
Keith and Ken Caldwell,
aka the Caldwell Brothers, owners and managers
sales manager, Drew’s ex-wife
sheriff’s detective and Jewel Bay’s resident deputy
the other dog