In this second installment of the Goldy Bear culinary mysteries series, things get a bit complicated in Goldy’s private life. After dating detective Tom Schulz for a while, Goldy has renewed a relationship with a former beau, psychiatrist Philip Miller. Because Goldy’s ex-husband, John Richard Korman, alias the Jerk, has begun harassing Goldy, she has accepted to be a live-in cook for her friend Marla’s sister, Adele, and her husband, general Bo Farquhar, until a security system is installed to protect her own house…

The worst is yet to come: after a party catered by Goldy, Philip Miller dies in a car accident she witnesses. Convinced that Philip’s behavior before the accident was abnormal, Goldy asks Schulz to look carefully into Philip’s death. Schulz has already his own suspicions that there is something amiss in Aspen Meadow…

Schulz investigates with Goldy’s occasional help, but she is busy cooking for parties, dealing with the tricky task of raising her son Arch, with pressures from those who ask her to help raise money for an outdoor pool in the private school Arch attends during the summer, and also with a mysterious food critic named Pierre, who attacks Goldy’s culinary talents with venomous words…

I found Dying for Chocolate very enjoyable, as much as Catering to Nobody (maybe more, since I am getting to know the characters better). As a mystery, it is not fantastic: Goldy hardly investigates, and only late in the story. The solution is revealed rather than found by either Goldy or Schulz, who remain quite clueless until the end. The solution is a bit over the top… However, I have been drawn to the story from the beginning and I enjoyed reading about Goldy’s cooking and her way of dealing with various problems. I also liked the atmosphere of the small Colorado town. And even if once again, I don’t think I will be trying any recipes: (too high-cal… though I might be tempted by Scout’s Brownies!), many passages made me salivate…

I will definitely be reading more of Diane Mott Davidson’s culinary mysteries…

Rating: 3,5/5