Some gals have all the luck – and some don’t.
In “Dark Tort,” featuring Diane Mott Davidson’s caterer-cum-sleuth Goldy Schulz, Dusty Routt is the sweet young girl from a poor family who was always trying to improve her life but just kept getting knocked down.
The final blow happened one night at her uncle’s law firm, where Dusty, a paralegal, had stayed late to get a cooking lesson from Goldy.
Of course, Goldy is the one who stumbles on Dusty’s body because, besides downing espressos and whipping up souffles, stumbling on corpses seems to be what Goldy does best. The good news is she’s usually good at figuring out who put the bodies there, too.
It’s not certain whether that makes Goldy a lucky gal or not. At least in this book, the 13th in the series, Goldy isn’t a target of the evildoer as she has been in the past. But since Goldy isn’t scared for her own safety or that of her family – who also have been in harm’s way in previous books – the Goldy in “Dark Tort” is a sadder woman than fans of the series will be used to.
It seems nothing can lift her spirits – not even chocolate – when she thinks about Dusty, her bitter mother, her blind grandfather and her baby brother, all of whom seem to have been abandoned by the community. Not by Goldy, though, who brings them meals and promises Dusty’s mother that she’ll do all she can to get to the bottom of the murder mystery.
(Goldy does find temporary solace in the savory sausage casserole her sheriff’s department investigator husband Tom makes one evening. The recipe is one of 11 included in the book.)
When she begins digging into Dusty’s background, Goldy gets the sense that more was happening at work than anyone was talking about, unusual for the gossipy – and fictional – little town of Aspen Meadow, Colo., where Goldy and crew live.
But Goldy’s not above using her hired-help status to pry seemingly harmless information from guests at the functions she caters, and it’s at a birthday party for one of the law firm’s partners where she picks up her best tip: Maybe Dusty’s murder is related to some other deaths thought to have been accidents, including that of one of Goldy’s mentors.
We can hope that once Goldy pulls together all the loose strings for the police, who also seem to have only a passing interest in Dusty’s case, she will get her groove back.