I was thrilled when I found out that the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz had found a new home with Midnight Ink! After what seemed like a long wait I finally had the chance to read TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST and it did not disappoint!
The protagonist, Erin Murphy, is the manager of her family’s shop, Murphy’s Mercantile, in Jewel Bay. The author paints a vivid picture of the town and the gorgeous location, so much that it makes me want to visit. She weaves in both scenery and the activities that this slice of Montana paradise has to offer so that the reader feels like they are participating, albeit vicariously, through Erin and her friends. Erin and the cast of characters who surround her seem like real people and it was a pleasure getting reacquainted with them. I love that they are moving forward, growing as individuals and as a community, making changes that aren’t always easy. Leslie provides a list of the characters at the front of the book which is particularly helpful for readers who pick the series up in the middle (or start with TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST) instead of beginning at book one. But overall each book is easily read as a standalone.
I truly enjoy the creativity the author shows in developing festivals for the town. I especially liked the Jazz Festival theme used for this book since it’s one of my favorite types of music to listen to while reading and enjoying a glass of wine. I just wish there could be a sound track to go with the print and e-book versions 🙂 The murder plot was complex with plenty of viable suspects and I was quite surprised by the ending. Erin feels compelled to get involved and solve the case because her boyfriend was the one to find the body. She also freely admits she’s nosy and likes to snoop… which in itself is reason enough to get involved.
There are so many delectable recipes provided at the back of the book and I want to try them all. Rhubarb Custard Pie was a family favorite that the author’s mother made and I’m honored that I am able to share her family recipe with you!! According to Leslie, while her mother was not a good cook she did bake well and her family loved this pie. Regular rhubarb pie was my husband’s mother’s specialty, but I hadn’t heard of Rhubarb Custard Pie until now. I love the addition of the eggs which made it creamy and tempered the tartness of the rhubarb. The text I got from my granddaughter when she tasted the piece of pie I saved for her was, “It’s SOOOOO good!!!” And that says it all!
A very special thank you to Midnight Ink for providing (2) – print copies of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST for two lucky winners! This giveaway is administered by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and you can use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. Contest ends June 19, 2017 and is limited to U.S. residents only. Winners will be announced on this page and on Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours site, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
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I was provided an advanced copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.