Diane Mott Davidson •
Dying for Chocolate •
You’re likely to gain weight reading Diane Mott Davidson’s culinary murder mysteries, and not only because they keep you immobile when you could be active. The recipes sprinkled throughout the books are just too mouth-watering to pass up.
The Goldy Bear series, set in a small Colorado town, whisks together humor, brisk storytelling, Rocky Mountain scenery, and instructions for making delicious food. Goldy runs Goldilocks’ Catering (Where Everything Is Just Right!), and in Dying for Chocolate finds herself sued by George Pettigrew of Three Bears Catering, who claims he has the rights to her business name. “Oh yeah? I said. Then why not call it Two Pettigrews?”
Goldy shares an ex-husband—known as the Jerk, partly for his initials and partly for his disposition—with her zaftig friend Marla. Fortunately, eleven-year-old Arch takes after his mother rather than his father. He seems to have inherited Goldy’s ability to think on her feet—a talent they both need when dealing with a poisoner, magic tricks gone awry, and a fatal car accident that is no accident.
The specialty murder mystery has become something of a niche market in recent years—you’ve got literary mysteries, sports mysteries, art mysteries, travel mysteries, historical mysteries, crossword mysteries, and perhaps the most popular, food and wine mysteries. These last combine the pleasures of reading a good cookbook with the stimulation of solving a puzzle—an unbeatable recipe. I don’t know whether Davidson originated the genre, but she’s certainly one of its foremost practitioners. All the Goldy Bear books are satisfyingly long and intriguing, larded with appealing characters and believable situations.
And then there’s the chile relleno torta. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.