Friday, July 11, 2014

Drinks with Reads: Crime Rib and The Huckleberry Martini

Leslie Budewitz joins us today for Drinks with Reads to tell us about her new book, Crime Rib. She's paired it with the perfect Huckleberry Martini. 

First a little about Crime Rib:

“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…”

Huckleberry Martinis

If Montana had an official fruit, it would be the huckleberry, a wild mountain relative of the blueberry. Yes, other states claim them, too. But ours are the Real Thing. I know, because on my last picking excursion, in the mountains above town known as the Jewel Basin, I was happily filling my little bucket with the deep purple jewels when the sounds of leaves and fruit being torn from branches told me a bear had the same idea. And if a bear wants something, you know it's good-and you let her have it!

To Erin Murphy, the protagonist of my Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, the huckleberry is the perfect taste of summer—whether wrapped in chocolate, dribbled into mousse (not moose), or with vodka, up. Erin’s second adventure, Crime Rib, came out July 1, 2014, from Berkley Prime Crime.

This drink is similar to a Cosmopolitan, but with a hint of tangy mountain air.

Huckleberry vodka:
Commercial huckleberry flavored vodkas are available. Erin prefers to make her own, as Mr. Right and I do. Well, mostly him—he’s the real mix-master in the household.

3 ounces huckleberries, fresh or frozen
3 ounces vodka

Pour vodka over berries in a mason jar or mortar; mash the berries with a fork or a pestle and let sit at least two hours. Erin’s been known to let it sit up to two weeks for even stronger flavor. Makes 3 ounces huckleberry vodka.

For two drinks:
3 ounces huckleberry vodka
2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce lime juice
1 cup ice cubes

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty or your hands are cold. Strain into two chilled martini glasses. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add ½ teaspoon simple syrup to each drink.

Serves 2


Leslie won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in May

About Leslie:

Leslie Budewitz is the national best-selling author of Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries set in northwest Montana, winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Crime Rib, the second in the series, was published by Berkley Prime Crime on July 1, 2014. Her Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries will debut in March 2015.

Also a lawyer, Leslie won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books), making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

For more tales of life in the wilds of northwest Montana, and bonus recipes, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter. Website:  Find her on Facebook: LeslieBudewitzAuthor

Book Info:
Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz
Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, #2
Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime)
ISBN-10: 0425259552

ISBN-13: 978-0425259559


  1. This sounds like a delicious drink and read. :)

  2. Thanks for joining us, Brooke! Cheers!

  3. I can't wait to read the book and try the drink! Thanks for a great post Leslie.

  4. At a bookstore and a bar near you! Thanks, Deb!

  5. I don't know which sounds better, the drink or the book. Guess I'll have to try both. I'm a sucker for books that have part of their plot deal with the filming of a tv show or movie. It's always so much fun and there are so many possible suspects.

  6. This sounds like a fabulous cozy and drink as well. The spice shop mysteries also sound cute!

  7. I love the name of the book and the drink sounds wonderful! I'll take one!