Dying for Chocolate (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, Book 2) - Diane Mott Davidson *4.5 Stars*

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 9
* Pace - 9
* Plot development - 9
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 9
* Insightfulness - 9
* Ease of Reading - 8
* Photos/Illustrations - NA
Final Score: 63/70 = 90%

My Review of Catering to Nobody: Book One

*The Gush*

As stated in my review of the previous book, the characters really stand out in Davidson’s work. They read…human, very human actually, and this enables the reader to accept the unrealistic idea of a caterer turned detective. The new characters introduced in this book continue to show this understanding of human nature and creation of realistic people. The Farquhars, General Bo and Adele, stand out the most as they seem to all take over the book at times with the General’s military zaniness but sincere protectiveness and Adele’s sheer efficiency. While she may be Marla’s sister, they are completely different, and have little relationship at all. I love how the General protects Goldy from the Jerk as well as welcomes her and Arch not only into their home but their family. Adele is hard to pin down, sweet one moment and exasperated or snappy the next. I don’t really get why she seems to dislike Bo’s genuine affection. As Goldy could tell her, many women dream of such sincerity. Julian Teller is a young man who Adele has taken on basically as a project. He lives at the house as well and has grown close to Arch. Goldy is unsure about him most moments but he worms his way through the text. The Jerk, while not shown as often as the previous book, really shows his true colors. We see for ourselves how nasty he can be. This leads to my favorite scene in the book where the General stops him in his tracks, protects Goldy, and banns the Jerk from his property. I’ll mention only one other character before moving on: Phillip Miller. Not a fan; granted we don’t see him very much but I couldn’t see what Goldy saw in him over Tom Schulz even before we find out he appears to have been treated her like a psych patient rather than as a date like she thought she was. Way to further destroy her trust in men, shrink!

The plot is very interesting, even more so than the previous book. A lot of stuff goes on in this book, from murders, to issues between the Jerk and Goldy, as well as questionable things going on around our favorite caterer and her son. My main positive issue with the book is how good the mystery is. While perhaps not stellar, it certainly kept me on my toes and I genuinely hadn’t guessed any of it right. Part of that, I will argue is how interesting the non-mystery sections of the book are. My favorite part had to be the bird-watching party. I’m with Goldy on this subject; I’ve never really got the amazing experience others seem to have in watching birds…sit or fly around. Amazing. For at least three pages, we get treated to Goldy’s thoughts on the subject. I laughed so hard over this part: “…To my dismay, everyone in the party, even Arch, knew what Julian was talking about. They all whipped up their binoculars to view the tree in question. I sidled over to Arch and said, ‘What’s going on?’ He put his finger to his lips and then passed his binoculars over. I tried to look through them. I tried to focus. I saw a bird. It flew away. Then everyone in the group lowered their binoculars and looked around like they’d just had great sex.” LOVE THIS!

*The Rant*

Very little, mainly my previous statement on Miller.

*Conclusion*

A worthy sequel to the first book in the series, this book continues our favorite characters’ trip down murder detection as well as continue their personal growth. This novel only spurs me on to read the rest of the series; I’m really looking forward to seeing Goldy’s journey.