Dark Tort: A Novel of Suspense Hardcover – Apr 11 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller Davidson's delicious 13th culinary adventure featuring caterer Goldy Schulz (after 2004's Double Shot), Goldy stumbles over the body of neighbor Dusty Routt, a paralegal at Hanrahan & Jule, a boutique law firm in Aspen Meadow, Colo., with which Goldy has a lucrative contract to provide breakfasts and occasional lunches for its attorneys and well-heeled clients. By all accounts, Dusty's future was bright, no longer overshadowed by a tragic, poverty-stricken past. Her untimely death shatters her mother and grandfather, still reeling from the death of her brother while in police custody. When Dusty's mother, who distrusts the police, asks Goldy to investigate, the caterer feels she can't refuse. Between catering jobs, teaching son Arch how to drive and assuaging her own grief, Goldy chases down clues with the help of her policeman husband, Tom, and her catering partners. Though a few stones remain unturned (perhaps intentionally), Davidson delivers another entertaining whodunit with delectable recipes. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Caterer Goldy Schulz firmly believes that food is sustenance for the soul as well as the body. She has proved her theory in 12 previous mysteries, but she puts it to the test again in this delectable read. Arriving at a local law firm to ready breakfast for clients of one of the attorneys, she trips over the body of 20-year-old Dusty Routt, a young employee who lives down the street from Goldy. When Dusty's distraught mother, who has no faith in cops, begs Goldy to find out who killed her daughter, Goldy's curiosity kicks in, and she cobbles together a list of clues that lead back to the law firm and to paintings of food by artist Charlie Baker that decorate the firm's walls. The identity of the killer is a nice surprise, but a lot of the fun comes from the food. As usual, Davidson does more than just describe Goldy's yummy dishes; she gives us recipes (the "Strong-Arm Cookies" are exceptionally good). In the subgenre of foodie mysteries, Davidson remains the master chef. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
For some time, I've been complaining that Ms. Davidson's novels too often treat Goldy Schulz like a punching bag. Thankfully, although Goldy has her share of accidents in this story, no one assaults her. For me, that was a major plus for this story. I hope Ms. Davidson will continue to show Goldy as a well-meaning klutz rather than as an abused woman.
How the mighty have fallen! Goldy finds herself depending on the good graces of a bunch of lawyers who don't thrill her . . . but who do like having great breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the office.
Arriving late one night to bake bread at the firm, Goldy trips and loses all of her ingredients over the reception area. But that's the least of the problem. She's just tripped over a dead woman who is her neighbor in the Habitat for Humanity house across the street. Goldy does her best to revive her friend, Dusty Routt, to no avail.
Dusty's mother is devastated by the news and begs Goldy to investigate the killing on her own. With Tom's forbearance, Goldy does just that . . . while carefully sharing what she learns with the sheriff's office.
In between, Goldy has a lot of catering to do, Arch is learning to drive (not very well), Gus and Arch are developing into a solid relationship as half brothers, Tom is learning to cook gourmet food for the family, and Goldy is puzzled by why some of artist-chef Charlie Baker's recipes don't work.
The investigation makes Goldy wish she wasn't investigating. It seems like Dusty may have been overindulging in her passion for older married men . . . and possibly running off with property that doesn't belong to her.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Not only was this a great read, it taught me about the other kind of "torts." I used to be a legal secretary.
The drawback of this, and any CD rendering (as compared to the archaic cassettes) is that, if one needs to turn one's attention elsewhere whilst driving and misses part, one has to go ALL THE WAY BACK to the beginning of that track, instead of being allowed to just flip the rewind switch to go back a few paragraphs or pages. :-( TundraVision, Amazon reviewer
*Is it just me, or does she, at times, sound like she could be Brenda Vaccaro's twin sister?
The paperback places all of the recipes at the end of the book, instead of sprinkled through the text (which is a more interesting and fun arrangement). The recipes are the only thing that I can recommend--without having kitchen-tested any. However, I doubt that I will be purchasing another Davidson Culinary Mystery after having spent $7.99 for this turkey of a mystery novel.