Watch your step. Goldy Bear Schultz, of Aspen Meadows catering (Double Shot, 2004, etc.), has tripped over a body at the law office of one of her best clients.
Dusty Routt, an ambitious young woman who had a tough life until her Uncle Richard, a partner at the H&J law firm, took her under his wing, has been strangled. Now her distraught mother begs Goldy to find Dusty’s killer. It could have been a robbery gone wrong, but as Goldy picks up gossip from her network of friends and clients, she begins to see motives for murder. Dusty had been helping settle the estate of Charlie Baker, a chef whose paintings of food have made him rich. When a cache of his work turns up in Dusty’s house with two very different inventory lists attached, Goldy suspects that Charlie, a terminal cancer patient, did not die from an accidental fall. Dusty’s mysterious lover, a suspicious bishop, lawyers with shaky marriages and filthy lucre all provide additional possibilities. With help from her policeman husband Tom, her able assistant Julian, her son Arch and her wealthy pal Marla, Goldy solves the crimes, saves herself from being next on the murderer’s menu and whips up more of her trademark scrumptious meals.
Goldy and her coterie always provide some enjoyable moments, although the mind-boggling dénouement may send you to the kitchen to try the 11 appended recipes.