Tough Cookie Scones Sweet Revenge
La Grande, Oregon is not a very exciting place. I don’t remember just why my late partner, Joel, and I were in town that night, although we visited it many times in the course of exploring every corner of Oregon for pleasure and to research a guide book we never got around to writing. But I vividly remember La Grande as the place where I first encountered Diane Mott Davidson’s series of mystery books about Goldy Schulz, a Tough Cookie who’s a caterer married to a homicide detective in Aspen Meadow, a suburb of Denver, Colorado. I had wandered into the La Grande Safeway late one evening to pick up a few things, including something to read since I’d finished reading everything I’d brought with me on the trip.
Sticks & Scones proved to be an excellent choice. A fairly standard genre mystery in a blend of the amateur detective and police procedural varieties, the story of Goldy and her Goldilock’s Catering Company (Where Everything Is Just Right!!) catering a series of events at nearby Hyde Castle, an actual castle from Scotland that rich owners with more money than sense have had shipped to and re-assembled brick by brick in Aspen Meadow, is a tasty adventure.
In every volume of Goldy’s adventures the menu for the important party or banquet where, inevitably, a murder sends party plans askew, is lovingly rendered on the first page of the book and recipes for these and other dishes are either included periodically throughout the text at a point when that particular dish is mentioned in the earlier volumes or in more recent volumes in an appendix after the novel.
And what recipes! Scaled for the home cook and with specific information about ingredients and sources for anything you can’t find at your nearest supermarket, Goldy’s recipes always make my mouth water. I won’t say exactly that reading Davidson’s books causes weight gain in and of itself, but if reading about Goldy’s cooking doesn’t make you hungry and send you straight to the kitchen to whip something up, I will say that you don’t care much about cooking delicious food.
As Goldy and her son, Arch– a troubled pre-teen suffering through his parents divorce in the early books who comes into his own young manhood as the series progresses, along with catering assistant Julian, best-friend and local gossip queen Marla serve up the most sumptuous vittles before inevitably stumbling upon a murder at a major party, it provides a framework that Davidson uses very well to spin her tales of murder investigations and creme brulees and lots and lots of cookies and cappucinos.
So it is with great pleasure that I announce here on The Thin Red Line that Davidson’s latest Goldy titled Sweet Revenge is now available at a library near you. That the murder in this one takes place at the local library, where Goldy has been hired to cater an employee breakfast, makes this one especially dear to me. I’ve only just started to read but am as always quickly drawn into the world of fancy parties, Episcopal church women’s gossip and fast-paced adventure Davidson is renowned for. So if you are a foodie or a mystery lover who appreciates good suspense novels, do yourself a favor and head to the mystery stacks and check out Diane Mott Davidson.