THE GRILLING SEASON
Diane Mott Davidson
Goldy Schulz, the catering queen of Aspen Meadow, Colorado, is once again embroiled in murder (The Main Corpse, 1996, etc.). The victim this time is Suz Craig--young blond top exec at the HMO known as ACHMO. Accused of the killing is her handsome, short-fused boyfriend, Dr. John Richard Korman, ex-husband to Goldy and later to her now best friend Mafia--and referred to by both as "the Jerk." Goldy, now happily married to homicide detective Tom Schulz, found the body--apparently battered to death--one early morning in front of Suz's house. Korman, with his history of wife-beating, is soon arrested, loudly protesting his innocence. Archer, Goldy's 14-yearold son with Korman, lives with Goldy and Tom but sees his father regularly. He believes Korman's denials and begs Goldy to try to find the real killer. That's all the encouragement our nosy food maven needs. Suddenly she's soon all over town, tracking down rumors and details of Korman's soon-to-happen bankruptcy; Patricia McCracken's malpractice suit against him and the HMO; Suz's firing of Dr. Ralph Shelton; reports of Suz's cruel verbal abuse of ACHMO's doctors, nurses, and department heads, and the vanished tapes she'd secretly recorded at private meetings. Meanwhile, Korman, out on bail, has disappeared; Archer is distraught; Tom and his police force seem ineffectual; and only Goldy, between cooking and catering, can get this job done. Our heroine's friends and foes on the local scene are mildly entertaining, her 11 recipes elaborate and inviting. But the plot is labyrinthine and beyond belief Amiable, readable, forgettable.