"Peppermint Barked" By Leslie Budewitz: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Pepper Reese is the owner of Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. With everyone spending more time at home and re-learning to cook, the shop’s been busy. Now with Christmas just weeks away, Pepper and her employees are run off their feet bagging peppermint tea, cinnamon, and cookbooks.

Her employee, Matt, has been acting a little weird lately, running a few minutes late for work or when coming back from a break. She’s seen him with Beth from the wine shop several times so maybe love is in the air. He’s a private person so Pepper hasn’t questioned him about it. She’s got enough on her mind ordering from suppliers, shopping for her boyfriend Nate’s brother who’s coming to visit, and spending time with Arf, her terrier.

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Image Source Seventh Street Books
On their morning walk, she and Arf passed the wine shop, but it’s dark inside, no sign of Vinny. A hysterical woman is screaming in the vacant storefront next door. It’s Vinny’s ex-wife, Marly, and she’s found Beth, his clerk, bleeding on the floor.

Beth is rushed to the hospital, Vinny is found, Marly is calmed down, and Pepper is sure it was no accident. Who would want to hurt Beth? Pepper saw her argue with a man in a Dickens costume, the Market’s theme this holiday season, but doesn’t know who he is. Things only get more complicated from there as family secrets, plots and plans, and relationships are intertwined. Can Pepper unravel the motive before someone else gets hurt?

This is book six in the series, many reviewed here. Pepper is not only someone you’d like to meet but someone you’d want to work for and call a friend. The description of spices as customers ask questions, let readers have a insight into the store without over explaining. Pepper doesn’t take risks although trouble does find her sometimes. She’s in a great relationship, a little worried about the future, but happy. This has been a favorite series of mine since the start. I hope to read many more tales from the Spice Shop.

Recipes include: pumpkin spice blend for pies, cookies, cake, or coffee, fisherman’s stew, double chocolate peppermint bark, chocolate peppermint bars, peppermint mocha, candy cane cookies with an optional peppermint glaze, festive truffles with six flavors suggested, sugar and spice shortbread, and a sleigh ride spiced cocktail made with brandy, bourbon, or cognac, a variation of the classic sidecar.  

To enter to win a copy of Peppermint Barked, 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 24, 2022. 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. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 this link to purchase the book or click here. 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 would love to read Peppermint Barked by Leslie Budewitz. I have read and enjoyed other books by the author and know I would love this one too.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. Great review! I want to meet Pepper and visit her shop! Of course, I am intrigued by the whodunit plot!

  3. This sounds really good and I love the cover. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Another book I would really like to read.

  5. I love cozy mysteries and would love to read this one. It would be super to win this contest. Thanks for the chance❤️

  6. I love a Christmas themed mystery. Another wonderful looking installment in the series.

  7. I'd love to get a copy! tWarner419@aol.com

  8. I would love a chance to win this Christmas mystery book it looks amazing. Thanks for your great generosity. Linda May. Maycarlson6848@gmail.com

  9. This is one of the best series !

  10. Hope I win, I would love to read Peppermint Barked by Leslie Budewitz - juliehouser@yahoo.com

  11. Leslie writes all of her books with great care and is such a pleasure to read.

  12. This is becoming a new favorite series for me. Definitely give it a read!

  13. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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