• Peppermint Barked

  • A Spice Shop Mystery (Spice Shop Mystery Series, Book 6)
  • By: Leslie Budewitz
  • Narrated by: Dara Rosenberg
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Peppermint Barked

By: Leslie Budewitz
Narrated by: Dara Rosenberg
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Publisher's Summary

A Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly . . .

As the holiday season lights up Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece's beloved Spice Shop is brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, and shoppers eager to stuff their stockings. Add to the mix a tasty staff competition—a peppermint bark-off—along with Victorian costumes for this year's Dickensian Christmas theme, and Pepper almost forgets to be nervous about meeting her fisherman boyfriend's brother for the first time.

But when a young woman working in her friend Vinny's wine shop is brutally assaulted, costumed revelers and holiday cheer are the last things on Pepper's mind. Who would want to hurt Beth? Or were they looking for Vinny instead?

As the secrets of the market come to light, long-held grudges, family ties, and hidden plans only further obscure the truth. Is it a ghost of the past rattling its chains, or a contemporary Scrooge with more earthly motives? As Pepper chases down a killer, someone is chasing her, and in the end, the storied market itself may hold the final, deadly clue.

©2022 Leslie Ann Budewitz (P)2022 Tantor

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Pepper is Back!

Setting the Scene: In Peppermint Barked, Leslie Budewitz's latest Spice Shop Mystery, it is the holiday season, and the historic Pike Place Market is bustling. Tragedy strikes in Vinny's wine shop when the young clerk is assaulted and left in a pool of blood and red wine. Pepper happens upon the scene, and in one shake of a jingle bell she is investigating.

What I Thought: I did not realize how much I missed Pepper until I began reading this book. She is an unstoppable force, and the eclectic characters and rich history intertwined in the story make for a fun and interesting read. I don't know Seattle, but the foot chase was so descriptive, I felt like I was there. The mystery is not complex, but there are enough revelations along the way to keep it interesting. Even though I was relatively certain who the culprit was, I was less certain of the roles a few others might have played. This book portends changes on the horizon for some of Pepper's staff and friends, as well as for Nate. I do hope those changes, only hinted at, are positive, and Ms. Budewitz has finally found Pepper's soul mate in Nate. I am not interested in more upheaval in Pepper's love life, and Nate gets Pepper, allows her to be herself without trying to dissuade her or compete for her time and attention. Other potential changes may bring Reid back to the fold and add a few others to this "found" family. Only time and Leslie Budewitz will tell, but I look forward to finding out.

I would be remiss if I did not say what a great job Dara Rosenberg does narrating the books and bringing each character to life for the listener.

So, I am sad that my time with Pepper and the gang is over, for now, but I will say au revoir, not goodbye.

1 person found this helpful