cover image The Grilling Season

The Grilling Season

Diane Mott Davidson. Bantam Books, $22.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-553-10000-6

Goldy Schulz, owner of Goldilocks' Catering in Aspen Meadow, Colo., becomes involved in another mystery (after The Main Corpse, 1996) when her ex-husband, Dr. John Richard Korman, is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Suz Craig. Physically abused by John Richard during their marriage, Goldy has good reason to believe that the misogynistic obstetrician killed Suz, but she agrees to investigate other possible suspects for the sake of their vulnerable 14-year-old son, Arch. She discovers that Suz, regional v-p of an HMO that had recently bought out John Richard's medical practice, had the power to decide whether or not he would receive a $200,000 bonus, money he badly needed due to a pending malpractice suit being brought by the woman for whom Goldy is currently catering a major party. Goldy also learns that Suz was widely hated for her ruthless business tactics and vicious handling of personnel problems. Although the mystery suffers from slow pacing, little action and a contrived ending, Davidson has created a finely nuanced suburban world, warmly detailing Goldy's life with Arch and Tom, her protective policeman second husband, and Macguire, their long-suffering boarder. Goldy's menus--this time built around a hockey theme in celebration of the Colorado Avalanche's Stanley Cup victory--are smoothly folded into the mix. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)