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Double Shot (Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries) by Diane Mott Davidson
Review by Paul Haggerty
HarperTorch Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0060527307
Date: 30 August, 2005 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The twelfth novel in the Goldy Bear mystery series, Double Shot takes off with Goldy being assaulted one morning at her catering center. One minute she's pushing her trolley of baked goods down the path to the back door and the next a masked man comes leaping out of the catering center. Her trolley goes flying, her assailant clubs her on the back of the neck on the way past, and Goldy is sent crashing to the ground. By the time she's gotten her vision back in focus and picked the gravel out of her teeth, her intruder is long gone, leaving only the reeking evidence of his or her visit. The building's compressors had been switched off and all the food in her industrial refrigerators has been ruined. Goldy's been sabotaged, but by whom, and why?

While the assault starts out the book and looks to be the primary crime to be solved, it turns out to be only a secondary feature. Because while Goldy is trying to figure out who would want to attack her or drive her from business, a new and more serious crime lands in her lap. Someone near but most definitely not dear to Goldy's heart ends up dead, and Goldy herself is the prime suspect. She has the motive, the means, and most definitely the opportunity. And the evidence found at the crime scene isn't helping.

For once her husband, police officer Tom Schulz, isn't going to be of much help. Being the husband of the prime suspect means Tom is off the case and out of the loop. And while Goldy is warned by both the cops and her lawyer not to try any amateur investigating, Goldy isn't about to sit back and let herself be framed.

One thing about Diane Mott Davidson's books is the characters are never quite what they seem, and subplots frequently span multiple books. Characters mentioned in passing turn out to be critical, and others that get right up in your face turn out to be mere window dressing. A good deal of careful reading is necessary if you want to strain the important clues from the red herrings.

The only downside to the mysteries is that Goldy brings so much trouble on herself when she really ought to know better. In Double Shot the events even drag her fifteen year old son Arch into the mess. And Goldy is so busy trying to protect him via the age-old strategy of keeping him in the dark that she ends up causing most the problems she fears.

If you've enjoyed the other eleven books in the series, you'll definitely like this one as well. And of course, like the others, this one comes with a large number of extremely tasty recipes included for free. If you never get the chance to try one of Goldy's chocolate cookies, your life will never be truly complete.

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