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52 Tuesdays: Diane Mott Davidson

Fifty-four years ago, the night before her wedding, culinary mystery writer Diane Mott Davidson, was sobbing in her car telling her soon-to-be husband, Jim, she couldn’t marry him because she did not know how to cook.

Today, Davidson is one of the most successful culinary mystery writers. Her 17 books include 12 books woven together that include her main character Colorado caterer, Goldy Schultz. In every book she has included recipes that are part of Goldy’s menu.

Inspired by writer Robert B. Parker and chef Julia Child, who once wrote Davidson a letter, she spent time learning about writing. In the 1980s, Diane spent time working for free in the kitchen of J. Williams Cafe, an upscale café in Evergreen, to learn about the catering and personal chef business. Meanwhile, she was developing recipes of her own, including ‘Cereal Killer Cookies’, a recipe out of her book, The Cereal Murders. “I sent them to my publisher and the sales force, I wanted them to love me”.

Diane tackled the issue of domestic abuse in her writing, which was a no-no in 1988. Her first editor told her she needed to take out the abuse as well as the recipes, Davidson said “no”. St. Martin’s agreed to do a small 4,500 print run of her book. Three print runs later, the book then went into paperback.

Diane, who now spends a majority of her time in Florida, is taking a break. “All of my books were set in Colorado and I had support of the Jefferson county sheriff’s department. My investigator was fabulous, I didn’t appreciate him. I got to Florida and went through three or four different people in the police and sheriff’s department. I just couldn’t find anybody who could help me. You’ve got to get the police procedure right or you’re going to get a thousand letters… I’m trying to set something in Florida, because I am there so much, but I feel as though Colorado is home.

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