Saturday, July 30, 2011

Recipes, Espresso and a mystery?

If you live in any suburb of Denver (and you are a fictional character), NEVER hire Goldy's Catering. Not because Goldy is a poor chef, but because a dead body or some other catastrophe always happens at her events. Diane Mott Davidson's spunky caterer/sometime sleuth can never leave the crime solving to her cop husband. Goldy will brew an extra strong expresso, load her old catering van,maneuver the winding Colorado roads to check out all the suspects, and still manage to cook some delightful dishes. Accompanying recipes at the back of the book add spice and interest. In Davidson's latest book Crunch Time, Goldy helps fellow chef and friend Yolanda Garcia find out who has torched Yolanda's house and possibly killed their mutual friend and ex-cop, Ernest McLeod who had been investigating Yolanda's troubles. Or was he killed because he was also investigating a puppy mill? If Goldy is going to solve this one, she will need to do it while prepping for the church's fundraising dinner, helping plan a memorial dinner for Ernest, and serving a special lunch to all the athletes at her son's school. You'll need the calendar feature on your smartphone to keep track of Goldy's movements.

I discoved this mystery series about 10 years ago and loved that there were multiple books to read right away. Then I had to start waiting for Davidson to write new ones - about one a year. I've been a little disappointed in the last few books. In my memory the first ones had a little more humor and were just more "fresh." The series has recurring characters (Goldy's son from her first marriage, her endearing husband, and a best friend who also had been married to Goldy's first husband,known as the jerk. In this last book, I felt these characters were mere walk-throughs. I recommend this series to readers who like mysteries, but I suggest you start with earlier books before this one.

I really wish Diane Mott Davidson would get her books made into a television series or several TV movies. Like many mystery books, the violence is really
"off-stage" and the side characters make the story. In this case, I would love to see Goldy's catering kitchen in her country home, complete with her fully stocked walk-in cooler and the always-in-use expresso machine.

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