It seems that every summer I find a new mystery series to devour. This summer, it has been Dianne Mott Davidson’s culinary mysteries surrounding a caterer/chef named Goldy. I found the books while perusing the shelves in my local library, which is the ultimate cheap thrill for an avid reader like me.
To date, there are 14 books in the series. I’m on Number Nine, Tough Cookie. The first one I picked up was the third of the series, so I got on the Net to find out the correct order of the books. Why the library doesn’t number series in the catalog, I don’t know, but — hint, hint — that would be very helpful! So now I’m up to speed. And since they are written so well, I breeze through them at a rate of two per week. I’ve had to request some, so there have been breaks in my reading, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The circulation people know me well.
One of the yummy things about this series is that each book contains select recipes that the character prepares. Many of those are online, making collecting them even easier. So I’m thinking there’s a Goldy party in my future! One of the unfortunate (unrealistic) things about the stories is that I would not hire Goldy for fear of dying. Think “Jessica Fletcher in Colorado.” But each book is a good read on its own, even with the population of Aspen Meadow diminishing at a pretty regular clip.
Other mystery series I have enjoyed include the “Grace & Favor” mysteries by Jill Churchill, and the “Scumble River” mysteries by Denise Swanson in paperback. Unfortunately, my library system does not carry all of the short Churchill books, which take place during the Great Depression in a small New York town. The Swanson books are easy to read, and take place in a small town in Illinois, current-day.
See a trend? These popular series use a standard recipe, with optional ingredients. Small town, near a big city (for those occasional literary field trips), with a semi-struggling female heroine who simply must figure out the current puzzlement. And murder is always involved. Why does murder fascinate us? Let me know.
With the bounty of books, authors and libraries at our disposal these days, I’m sure I’ll have no problem selecting another series — after I’m done eating up this one.
What are you reading?