Mesmerized by the luscious book jacket on DARK TORT, I picked up the hardback with my right hand, and ran my left fingertips over the face of the cool, smooth, brail effective jacket. I was more than ready to pick up on what this author had done subtly differently this time to continue infusing her stories with the edge and surge which had kept them riding tips of waves of cravings for culinary mysteries.
A riveting intensity in the opening scene of DARK TORT (the legal term for wrongful act, not "torte" as in pastry) was sparked by the first sentence of chapter one, page one. But what welded the rivets for me was the culinary catastrophe in the third paragraph:
"The bag of flour I was carrying slid from my hands and exploded on the carpet. Two jars of yeast plummeted onto the coffee table, where they burst into shards and powder. My last bottle of molasses sailed in a wide arc and cracked onto the receptionist's cherry-wood desk. A thick wave of sweet, dark liquid began a gluey descent across the phone console. My steel bowl of bread sponge catapulted out or my arms and hit the wall."
With each sensory impression in that paragraph having opened gateways into my mind, I would be reading onward with awakened interest.
The first 40 pages had the feel of a nightmare; I had half expected Goldy to suddenly point to her pillow, at a place to ponder about the dream, which would, of course, be a clue to a murder which would occur later, in the waking state.
Ironically, those first 40 pages also had the feel of the reality of "tripping over a dead body" (of a close friend) and dealing with that type of emotional/mental/spiritual trauma, compiled with the ongoing chill of threatening police procedural impositions impregnated with that metallic taste/smell, which Goldy made note of a few times during those opening pages, usually in reference to heat systems blowing warm air with that blood chilling flavor.
Goldy cooks up storms of clues in her spaciously gourmet, commercial kitchen, simultaneous to sorting through the ones which come `round to bat her body and soul while she's in an eternal state of grieving exhaustion (to which, as faithful readers, we've become happily addicted). So, how does she ever GET anywhere? That spring-loaded titanium back bone. And Tom's hugs accompanied by his "to die for" sharing of the career-laden-Mom-homemaker's loads of eternal daily duties. Then there's ESPRESSO, the Energizer Bunny bean!
Couldn't love more the way Goldy snarls at anyone who has the wherewithal or gall to trash the natural, real values of caffeine, butter, eggs, and/or creme.
Read & Slurp,