"The Solace of Bay Leaves" By Leslie Budewitz: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

A few years ago, Pepper Reese’s life collapsed. It not only recovered but thrived when she bought the Spice Shop at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. It’s time to prepare for a Market Tour where guides bring a busloads of tourists to see the sights. There are samples, tasting treats, and specialty items from each of the stores, a wonderful way to let potential customers learn about the market’s offerings.

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Image Source Seventh Street Books
Things take a drastic downturn when Pepper’s friend Maddie is shot. She’s a real estate developer, rehabbing a neighborhood that’s been full of controversy over varying plans. Maddie’s was approved. So why was she found bleeding on the floor of an empty storefront?

Pepper’s found herself involved in murder cases before. With an ex who’s a cop, it seems natural for her friends to ask for her help to find Maddie’s assailant. The case isn’t a simple one. Robbery is ruled out as nothing was there to be taken. Maddie didn’t have enemies. And then the police find out the gun that shot Maddie is the same one used in a murder three years before. The victim, Pat, was a government employee who worked with Maddie on her plans. He was also the husband of Pepper’s good friend.

The murder and Maddie’s assault aren’t the only things the crimes have in common. The more Pepper learns, the more confusing it gets, the more she’s sure, Pat’s death didn’t have anything to do with his job as previously thought.

This is book five in the series. Pepper is growing into her life. She has a new guy, Nate, a fisherman, and is getting used to his schedule of working when the fish run. Her dog still comes to work with her each day. She’s got a new friend in a quirky vendor. And complications from her past can now be resolved.

Budewitz offers readers information about teas and spices as part of the story, never letting it get in the way of the storyline. This is a series I always look forward to reading and rereading. Pepper has thoughtfully shared recipes in the back of the book. Look for lavender-bay salt, especially good for eggs, potatoes, and sautéed vegetables. There’s also almond biscotti, carrot soup with toasted spices and pecans, tomato basil soup, rosemary focaccia, cold sesame noodles, beef and broccoli stir fry, and a listing of which book has past recipes.

To enter to win a copy of The Solace of Bay Leaves, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "solace,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 26, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I think Leslie Budewitz is one of the best authors out there - her characters are well developed and introduced in a way that is easy to keep track of who's who, her story lines will grab you and keep you hooked throughout the book and the plots are intriguing - thanks for the chance to win one of her books.

  2. Love this author's writing! This book sounds great!

  3. I’ve been wanting to read this. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.cim

  4. Looks like a great read! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. I enjoy this author and would love to get a copy! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  6. Great series! Would really like to read.

  7. Sounds like a very enjoyable book, thanks for the chance to win a copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  8. I would love to read this! Sounds wonderful! I think this didn't take my first comment. jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot)com

  9. I need to start reading this series!

  10. I really enjoy this series, especially as an herbalist in training who makes her own tea, the information that Budewitz incorporates into the books is very enjoyable.
    kimheniadis at gmail dot com

  11. Good author and pretty book cover —yep I wanna win! Lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Thank you for your generosity. I love to cook with spices and this is a great series.

  13. Love this series - really looking forward to this book! Jwhite410(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. Great series and makes me want to go to Seattle! stevekittyrodgers@mac.com


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