This mystery series sounded like the perfect cozy book to read with a warm up of tea! I loved that it was set in a tea shop in Seattle’s famous Pike’s Place Market. A place that I have visited on a number of occasions.
I thought that a book set in that quirky little market would be idyllic and something very ‘Pacific Northwest’. It was and easy yes for me and I was thrilled when it arrived.
Even though it was the fourth book in a series, it sounded like it was going to be more mystery focused rather than focusing on the characters and their lives. So I didn’t worry too much about starting late in the game.
Seattle spice-shop owner Pepper Reece investigates a murder at a shop next door, while dealing with a drug addict, a hot-headed employee, and a fisherman she has a thing for.
As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee’s vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.
Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend – and Pepper herself (summary from Goodreads)
First of all, I loved the setting for this book! Having it at a place that I am so familiar with was fun and exciting. I had little moments when I felt like I was actually there at the market. The author writes with authority and authenticity on the area and it made the story feel realistic. There was also a nod to the culture of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general. I know that here in Oregon we are forever complaining about all the Californians moving into our state and in this book there is a little bit of that which I found charming and fun but not over done to the point of irritation.
Pepper was a likable heroine and I thought I could see myself hanging out with her and grabbing a cup of tea or something. She has a very ‘home town girl’ feel to her personality. She was warm and open without being mushy. I did feel that there was a lot of backstory I was missing from the previous books and I noticed that a lot of people re-read the books in the series before this one.
Apparently there was quite a break in between books so some readers felt the need to go back and re-read the other books. For me, I was a blank slate and while at times I felt a little lost, I focused on the mystery itself as much as I could which probably left me a little detached from the characters and Pepper, but I still liked them just fine.
The mystery had enough turns and red herrings to keep me guessing and wondering if I was on the right path or not and in the end I felt more than satisfied with the mystery and outcome.
Overall this was a pleasant mystery with lovable characters and an incredible setting. The descriptions of the market and the city were perfect and truly the authors crown and glory!