Kensington, Jan 2003, 22.00, 256 pp.
She comes from McGill, Georgia but Savannah Reid migrated to California to gain independence from her large and needy family. She is a full-figured woman who is conformable in her own skins. Her idol is Lady Eleanor, the queen of chocolates, who makes mouth watering desserts on her television show and sells her chocolates in her specialty shops. When Eleanor starts getting death threats, she hires Savannah as her bodyguard and to find who is sending the frightening letters.
When Savannah finally gets to meet Eleanor, she is very disappointed because the woman is a mean-spirited, spiteful virago. Her husband left her for another woman, her twin sister doesn't visit her, and her own daughter refuses to venture near her. The only person who seems to love Eleanor is her six-year-old granddaughter. Yet when somebody murders her, Savannah feels obligated to find out who killed her because she died while her bodyguard was only yards away from her.
Savannah Reid is a mixture of Southern California cool and Southern Georgia sentiment. A person has to admire this protagonist because even though she didn't like her client very much, she works extra hard to find out whom her killer was. There are so many legitimate suspects that the reader won't be able to deduce whom the culprit is until the shocking climax. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE is G.A. McKevett at her very best.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner