Food Lovers' Mystery Series by Leslie Budewitz

Please welcome author Leslie Budewitz who joins us as part of our Montana Author Month. Montana fiction written by authors who have lived in or spent a significant amount of time in the state.

Leslie answers the question . . . What do you like best about living in Montana?

I have the great good fortune of having been born and raised in Montana, and to have the ability to live and work here. I spent my college and young adult years in Seattle, a place I love writing about, and Mr. Right and I love to travel, both in the U.S. and abroad. But no matter how stunning the scenery, how tasty the food, or how amazing the art and architecture is in other parts of the world, I simply breathe better under the Big Sky!

The pastel watercolor is of Clearwater Valley by Leslie Budewitz and the image on the right is of the author and her husband on White River Pass in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Visit the author at

The Food Lovers' Mystery Series

by Agatha Award-Winning Author Leslie Budewitz

Death al Dente (Book 1)

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

The town of Jewel Bay, Montana-known as the Food Lovers’ Village-is obsessed with homegrown an

d 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 turn 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, a 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 trouble and rumors swirling 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.

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Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz

Crime Rib (Book 2)

Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder.

Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.

But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s rep from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer.

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Butter Off Dead (Book 3)

Butter off Dead by Leslie Budewitz

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker . . .

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.

But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program . . .

Learn more about Crime Rib and where to buy at:

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