Genre: cozy mystery with recipes
Catering a wake is not Goldy's idea of fun. Yet the Colorado caterer throws herself into preparing a savoury feast including Poached Salmon and Strawberry Shortcake Buffet designed to soothe forty mourners. And her culinary efforts seem to be exactly what the doctor ordered...until her ex-father-in-law gynaecologist Fritz Korman is struck down and Goldy is accused of adding poison to the menu. Now, with the Department of Health impounding her leftovers, her ex-husband proclaiming her guilt, and her business about to be shut down, Goldy knows she can't wait for the police to serve up the answers. She'll soon uncover more than one family skeleton and a veritable stew of unpalatable secrets -- the kind that could make Goldy the main course in an unsavoury killer's next murder!
As I recently bought some new secondhand books in this series, and it has been years since I read some of the first books in this series, I decided to start reading them again from the first book. I did struggle a bit with liking this first book though.
Goldy is a successful caterer, who has been divorced from her abusive husband for a few years now. She is best friends with his second ex-wife Marla, and she has a young son to take care off. But she is very careful with him, not pushing or daring to ask questions at all. And that I did not like. She is his mother after all, she should be able to talk with the boy.
Especially now that his favourite teacher is dead, apparently suicide, but the more Glory learns about it, the more she doubts that. Laura Smiley did not act like a woman who would commit suicide; she made plans for the coming weeks and was a cheerful person.
And now Glory is catering her wake, and that is the start of all her trouble. Her ex-husband is there with his new fiancée who is also the teacher who found Laura dead in her bath tub. And her ex in-laws are there as well. So when her former father in law Fritz Korman suddenly becomes very ill, her ex-husband immediately accuses Glory of wanting to kill his father. And so her catering company is closed down until the police have found out who poisoned Fritz. As her ex-husband, John Richard Korman aka The Jerk, does not like to pay his child support, she really needs this job to provide for herself and her son.
Of course that is a stupid accusation. If Glory would have wanted to kill someone, it would be her ex-husband, not his father.
The investigating officer, Schulz, is sympathetic, but there is nothing he can do until the case is solved. And so Goldy decides to start digging herself. What was the connection between Fritz Korman and Laura Smiley? And will the murderer try to kill Fritz again?
Both Fritz and John Richard are gynaecologists, practicing together. Glory’s new houseguest is also a patient of Fritz, and her former mother-in-law Vonette has asked Glory to take her. Patty Sue can help her with the catering business if she gives her a chance. And at first Patty Sue enjoyed helping Glory, but lately all she does is sleep and eat and make expensive mistakes. So she is more of a burden to Glory than an asset. If they can’t cater parties anymore, the will have to start cleaning houses again. And Patty Sue will have to help.
Her son Josh seems to take his Dungeons and Dragons game too far though, when he starts making potions and searching for weapons to use in real life. What is she to do about that? And why does he hate his grandfather so much?
More and more ugly secrets come to light while Glory is investigating. And is Detective Schulz really interested in Glory in a romantic way?
As I wrote before, I did have some trouble getting into the story, perhaps because it is a re-read and I remembered the plot. It was nasty and I am really sorry that Fritz did not get killed after all, he deserved it.
Glory is a really nice person; she enjoys her catering business, and is determined to solve the case so she can get back to it. I like how she tries to be friends with other woman and how they have a weekly group that comes together to eat and drink and complain, but also support one another. She did not let the Jerk control her life, she got out of the abusive relationship and did what she wanted to do. Glory stands up for herself when he threatens her again, and I loved that.
I liked Schultz, and how he was not put off by Glory’s behaviour. He really likes her, and her cooking skills. I am looking forward to reading more about this courtship.
I did not really like Goldy’s son in this book, he is completely obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons, and not very nice to his mother. But if I remember correctly, he cleans his act up in the next few books.
The mystery was a surprise when I read it the first time, but as this is a re-read, I remembered it. Still, the plot is good and the book is well written. I can’t remember how many books I have read before, I did not write reviews back then.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian