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The Agatha-Award winning Food Lovers Village Mysteries return with Treble at the Jam Fest.

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Award-winning author, Leslie Budewitz, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest Food Lovers Village Mystery, TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope readers will enjoy spending a few hours with characters who care deeply about community, and mending the breaches that crime and injustice cause. These characters and their problems may also prompt readers to consider forgiveness, the role of old friends in our lives, and the healing powers of music, food, and friendship. Reading is a great way to travel, and I hope readers enjoy a short visit to a very special corner of the Northwestern U.S.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Cozy mysteries cover quite a range, from the very light to the more substantive. This book, like my others, delves deeply into the nature of community and relationships, showing, I think, that the amateur sleuth novel, and the cozy in particular, are not just comfort reads, but at their best, are books that help us learn something about ourselves from the conflicts on the page, and their resolution.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

My husband and I are closely connected to a local music festival, so I think readers will learn a bit about what that involves—some of the practical details and tensions, and the joy it brings!


Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries and the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana. Death al Dente won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction, making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, Leslie lives in NW Montana.

To learn more about Leslie, please visit her website.