Death Al Dente (Food Lovers' Village Series #1) [NOOK Book]



The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as a Food Lovers' Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes ...
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Death Al Dente (Food Lovers' Village Series #1)

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The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as a Food Lovers' Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead…

Murphy’s Mercantile, known as the Merc, has been a staple in Jewel Bay for over a hundred years. To celebrate their recent makeover as a gourmet food market, Erin has organized a town festival, Festa di Pasta, featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.

But Erin’s sweet success is soured when the shop’s former manager, Claudette, is found dead behind the Merc on the Festa’s opening night. With rival chef James Angelo stirring up rumors that Fresca’s sauce recipes were stolen from Claudette, Erin’s mother is under close scrutiny. Now Erin will have to hunt down some new suspects, or both her family and her store might wind up in hot water…


Winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“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.”—Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author

“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 Dead, White, and Blue

“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 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.”—Sofie Kelly, bestselling author of the Magical Cat Mysteries

“The first in a new series is strong enough to stand outside the confines of its genre…[Budewitz] has produced a book even a non-mystery reader will find engrossing and satisfying.”—Fresh Fiction

“Always love finding a new author and a brand new series...Leslie Budewitz does not disappoint. This was a delicious read that I finished it in one sitting...I loved the main characters and can’t wait to read the next book in the series...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

"Savor this new culinary mystery that offers a unique taste of Montana. Author Budewitz has created an engaging character, a charming town, and a whole new perspective on the state.”—Mystery Scene

"A new cozy series with a culinary twist. Budewitz writes with command and with a purpose. Her writing is straightforward and her characters are full of surprises. Budewitz serves up mouth watering treats as well as murder in this first in a series book, that readers will find simply delicious!...From the gourmet recipes in the back to the twists and turns of a good whodunit.”—Debbie’s Book Bag

"A truly fantastic debut...The mystery is well crafted – full of twists, turns, and clever red herrings – and there’s no shortage of viable suspects, each of whom has something to hide. Budewitz’s prose is witty and intelligent, her narrative drive is strong, and her dialogue has great rhythm and rings 100% true.”—

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101624708
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Series: Food Lovers' Village Series , #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 38,630
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Leslie Budewitz is passionate about food, great mysteries, and her native Montana. A writer and a lawyer, her first book, Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction and was nominated for the 2012 Anthony and Macavity awards. Leslie loves to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint—not necessarily in that order. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine, and their Burmese cat, Ruff, an avid bird-watcher.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Erin Murphy has come home to Jewel Bay to manage the family gene

    Erin Murphy has come home to Jewel Bay to manage the family general store and revitalize it by providing what the community wants, products made in Montana. She even convinces the town to add a festival to start the summer season, Festa di Pasta. She chairs the committee and organizes the first evening’s party featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.

    The party takes an awful turn when a woman is found dead behind the store just outside a gate where the party is being held. The woman, Claudette, is a former employee of Fresca’s, who left town recently with a married man. Rumors start to fly. Fingers are pointed. People start to take sides. Erin’s friend Kim is the officer in charge of the investigation. Erin can’t believe Kim actually thinks Fresca is the prime suspect.

    Erin decides to do a little investigating of her own. She better be careful or she could be the killer’s next target…

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    Glacier Mercantile (The Merc) sounds like a perfect small town store going through some growing pains as Fresca still wants to do things her way and Erin is trying to modernize both the store itself and the bookkeeping. Change is always hard. A murder certainly adds some unneeded pressure to the situation.

    I have to say Erin is a wonderful protagonist. She has layers that are just starting to be revealed. She couldn’t wait to leave Jewel Bay behind a few years ago but working side by side with her mom is just the place she needs to be now. She is excited about the opportunity to use what she learned as a buyer for a huge grocery chain to make The Merc and the other shops in Jewel Bay a place were locals and tourists will want to shop.

    The author has surrounded her with an eclectic group of supporting characters. Fresca’s recipes will make your mouth drool!! Erin’s friend Kim is in a bind trying to stay impartial. I think she is going to have that problem a lot because with cozy mysteries you know the next book is going to put Erin in the middle of another crime. Tracy works at The Merc and sure loves her Diet Pepsi and she keeps a can right on the counter next to the register. Diet Pepsi is not a home grown product so it drives Erin crazy. I can’t wait to get to know her better. Several other Jewel Bay residents were introduced to us readers as well.

    Budewitz has also written a great mystery. There were clever twists that keep me engaged. It is hard to to delve deep into a whodunit and lay the proper foundation for stories going forward but this author has pulled it off. I can’t wait to shop again at The Merc!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Irish and Italian - great combo!

    Erin Murphy comes home to Jewel Bay to help her mother and shortly after her return convinces the local merchants to plan a festival to start the summer season - Festa di Pasta.

    The inaugural event is marred when a returning resident is found dead in the alley behind the party. It doesn't help Erin that the person was her mother's former employee who left with a married man. Fingers start to point in all directions - Erin's mother for possibly being angry a being left in the lurch, the married man, the angry wife - but the police seemed to think that Erin's mother is the prime suspect.

    Enlisting her friends and family to help find the answers, Erin delves into the secrets of the town to clear her mother.

    I love the character of Erin who is trying not only to help her mother but also her hometown - working to utilize and sell homegrown items as much as possible.

    The author has woven a clever mystery while at the same time introduced us to some very interesting characters.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Great, simple, fun, murder mystery

    This was a cute easy read murder mystery. I know I will enjoy the 2nd one when it is released.

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