The title is a clever play on words: tort/torte. The tale opens with Goldy stumbling over a dead body at the law office for which she has been catering the last several months.
At first, Goldy thought the lawyers were playing a joke on her. Pretty sick attorneys, if they were. But, it turns out the law firm is full of dysfunctional people, from the rich head partner to the very uptight office manager to the young paralegal-in-training who was murdered. After many outings of solving murder cases before the cops in her town, Goldy is known for her detective skills as well as for her cooking prowess. So, it's believable for the murdered young lady's mother to ask Goldy to solve the case. The mother thinks that the cops will overlook her daughter's case because they aren't rich enough in the community.
Yes, the theme of "haves" vs. the "have-nots" runs throughout the story, which takes place near Boulder, Colorado. Another theme is the desire by some to be powerful and to show it through their belongings and positions in life (or their spouses). Are those themes the same? Still another theme is the way people manipulate each other, regardless of class. And, it's not necessarily the attorneys that are doing it all. How does Goldy, who is caught in the middle, deal with it all? One is to cook, and the author lets us, readers, see how cooking is therapy, and part of detective work, for Goldy.
One thing I'll say about Goldy. Her husband, who is a law enforcement officer, is very supportive. Not only does he allow her to look at evidence before the detectives on the case, he cooks gourmet meals for her. I wonder if there really is a guy like that out there?
The added plus to Dark Tort is that Davidson gives us recipes for 11 of the dishes that are made by Goldy, her catering assistant, and her husband in the story, including one for a dark torte.
This is my sixth book for the Cozy Mystery Challenge. Just one more book to accomplish my goal before the end of the month. Whoo-hoo!
"Then what?" asks the husband.