This was a silly book about silly people and it is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve devoured many a mystery series in my day, and have a strong fondness for small town murder mystery hijinks, as I’m a big fan of TV’s Murder She Wrote and the book series by Lillian Jackson Braun, Rita Mae Brown and Alan Bradley. So, it was this hole I was trying to fill with Diane Mott Davidson so picked up the first of this series, published in 1990. At this point, there are 13 books in the series, the latest of which was published in 2013.
Goldy is a caterer trying to make ends meet after a divorce from her philandering jerk of a husband. At a funeral, her ex-father-in-law is poisoned and she becomes the prime suspect, sort of. Her in-laws don’t suspect her, but “the jerk” as her ex is referred to won’t make life easy. Goldy is also the mother to an 10 year old boy, who has an interest in fantasy, is playing D&D, and lives with her full time.
As a neat gimmick, Davidson drops in some of Goldy’s recipes throughout the book, which is an interesting concept. One thing I found frustrating was that there were recipes for things I wasn’t interested, but one dish she mentioned that sounded tasty but wasn’t included.
As for the book itself, it was written in 1990 and it reads like it was, with dated references and cringe-worthy understandings of parenthood, dating, and the like. It had a definite “men are from mars, women are from venus” kind of vibe. And based on her portrayal of a 10 year old boy, I wonder what she knows of kids…(I have one myself, and arched by eyebrow at the mother/son dynamic, and his maturity level. Overall, nothing in the book was downright offensive, if taken with a grain of being of a different time.
Taking it for what it was, I cheesy bit of escapism, I found it entertaining and plan to continue with the series. I don’t think I’ll be making any of the recipes, none in this book sounded that interesting to me and for the record, I consider adding mayonnaise to a guacamole-esque dip to be worse than murder as an affront to mankind.