Goldy Schulz agrees to cater the wrong wedding, the seemingly unlikely match of obnoxious, demanding Ms. Billie Attenborough to the much younger, Dr. Craig Miller. When Billie isn't changing the menu, the date, or the venue for the wedding, she's constantly calling or stalking Goldy for some nonsense purpose. In the process, Diane Mott Davidson draws a very funny picture of what brides can be like . . . at their very worst. This is the best aspect of the book.
Ms. Davidson's books often have unpleasant elements in them, including bad behavior, boorish manners, self-absorption to the point of harming others, over-indulgences, and stop-at-nothing mono-manias. In the earlier books in the series, there was an obligatory scene where Goldy was beaten up pretty badly. Fortunately, the violence is more muted toward Goldy in this book. But you'll meet a lot of very unpleasant characters. If you can laugh at them, you'll enjoy the book. If you feel like you are at the party, you won't enjoy the reading nearly as much.
As with the fourteen prior books in the series, there's murder afoot and no one will solve the crimes until Goldy sticks her fork in. As background, Goldy's godfather, Jack Carmichael, has unexpectedly moved across the street . . . much to the annoyance of his son who thinks Goldy is trying to get her hands on the family money. Jack's a "recovering" lawyer with lots of money and a yet to smoke, drink, and fish while claiming to be redoing his house. He's also casually dating Billie's mom . . . which helps set up some interesting complications for Goldy's catering.
Jack really likes to hang out with his old buddy, Doc Finn, who shares a love for drinking and fishing. When Doc is killed, Jack starts acting very mysteriously. He won't confide in Goldy . . .Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Getting tired...April 10 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I've always loved this series, but the last couple books have been a disappointment. There's always a few things you can count on - there will be one or more really hateful characters, Goldy will get hit on the head and knocked unconscious at some point, Goldy will hide evidence from the police, and you'll be told over and over how many shots of espresso Goldy drinks at any given time. I understand if the author writes these books so you don't need to have read the books that came before it, but I'm starting to feel like I'm reading the same thing over and over, and the plot/mystery is just filler. I won't buy anymore of this series in hardcover, it's just not worth it. I'll wait for the paperback, or check the books out at the library.
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
I really want to like her books.....April 9 2009
M. C. Carter
- Published on Amazon.com
I've read every one of the Goldy books and I honestly am not sure why I keep reading them. Force of habit? Out of a desire that the books themselves become as good as their premise promises they will be? I do know that the series is getting old fast and doesn't hold the spark of fun they had originally. The series hasn't gone BAD the way I feel others have (Scarpetta for one) but it is just tired.
Additionally I don't find any of the characters to be particularly likable (with the possible exception of Tom and he has been relegated to a very minor character...he cooks for Goldy and he consoles her when she gets in a pickle and that's about it.) The plots of these books are well designed, the writing isn't terrible but the people who live in the books.....well they leave a lot to be desired.
In Fatally Flaky, Goldy's godfather's best friend is murdered and then the godfather is murdered. Goldy keeps going on and on about how much she loved her godfather and what a wonderful man he was but with one exception he just wasn't written as a very compassionate, warm or particularly wonderful man.
My final gripe about this series is how do these people eat the way they do and not weigh half a ton? I know she runs a catering firm but really!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Only Half Way ThroughApril 19 2009
B. K. Walker
- Published on Amazon.com
This is completely out of character for me - writing a review when I'm only slightly over half way through the book. I'm writing this now because I'm not sure I'm actually going to finish it. This, in and of itself is a strange phenomenon when discussing any of DMD's books. I have been an avid reader of DMD's Goldy-the-Caterer books from day one, but I have to say I feel this one is not her best work.
Firstly, the writing is tedious and in some passages, amateurishly written. It's almost as if this were the author's first attempt at writing, not the 15th book in a series. Where was the editor, I wonder?
Secondly, who the heck is this godfather guy? He'd done so much for Goldy in her life and we just hear about him in her life now? Additionally, he's not even a likable character.
Thirdly, I used to have a catering business and am a professional harpist as well, catering and playing music for many wedding engagements over the years. It was the only way to have made ends meet in those lean times. However, NEVER would I accept an engagement from a family with a bride like Billie Attenborough. The way Goldy lets everyone walk all over her, it's amazing she's still in business. It's doubly amazing that Tom puts up with her constant interference in police business...It's a wonder Tom hasn't been fired by now - and BTW: he's the most likable character in the series.
I think there's still some freshness that can come out of this series, but it will take some serious thought on Diane's part. For instance; a 16-year-old in the household is no insignificant thing. With teenagers in the house, that typically takes center stage. However, Arch has become increasingly relegated to an 'extra' in her books. This feels totally unnatural.
It also feels like Marla and Goldy's relationship has gone cold; and the only thing they provide each other is gossip. There's no warmth.
I think what brought us all to the series is the spontaneity and wit of dialogue, more introspection by Goldy, the occasional bits of comedy, realistic daily challenges, the warm friendship between Goldy and Marla...the relationship between Goldy and her son, Arch...all of that seems missing now.
I'm going to make every attempt to finish this book. It may be that when I'm done, I'll need to revise what I've written here; in fact, I hope that's the case.
I think Diane is capable of so much more - she's proven it in the past. I'd like to look forward to seeing it in her next release.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Not the best oneApril 11 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I really have liked DMD's Goldy books in the past - even was willing to overlook the poor editing and outdated language. But this one is on the edge.
So much drinking and vomiting in one book! A godfather newly introduced, that is supposed to be admired as the one who taught Goldy how to care, yet is "too wasted" to pick up his mail? Marla, the former heart attack patient that wouldn't even drink wine in previous books, getting sloshed in the afternoon before a charity meeting?
I think DMD is on auto pilot now.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Goldy Schultz, Mendacious FelonMay 25 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This series is cursed with an entirely unattractive main character. Some authors do that on purpose, conscious of their protagonist as an anti-hero. Davidson, however, presents Goldy Schultz as someone we are supposed to like and respect and seems unaware that no sensible person would want anything to do with her on any level of intimate friendship or family tie.
Most of Davidson's plots are interesting, but they are advanced by having the main character behave like a melodramatic moron. In "Fatally Flaky," which could describe her heroine as much as any plot element, Davidson waits until page 165 to have Goldy commit her first felony (theft of a valuable piece of jewelry from a crime scene), but they come thick and fast after that. And why does Goldy swipe this item, when she could have pointed it out to a cop standing five feet away? Why does she steal it, handle it, and take it away from the scene, break the chain of custody? No particular reason. She just wants to bring it home to her cop husband, who could perfectly well have looked at it in the evidence locker. Now he has to go to work and explain that his wife stole it, and therefore it's useless in court, but that she meant well. Yeah, right. And there are no repercussions for him or for her over this. Yeah, RIGHT.
The crime spree continues. Goldy steals that $50K jewelry item. She breaks into a house and steals a gold clock. She sneaks into a country club to swipe evidence instead of letting the cops know it's there so they could acquire it legally. She trespasses here, there, and everywhere. She obstructs justice by withholding physical evidence more times than I can keep track of. She vandalizes costly camera equipment while trying to rob, er, "investigate," another location. At least she doesn't steal a stranger's car, as she did in the prior book. No charges are ever brought.
Goldy gets brutally slapped across the face in front of hundreds of witnesses, but having the perp arrested never crosses her mind. When she's breaking into a home where she has no legal right to be (despite having a key) and gets whacked in the head by the frightened owner, THEN she considers filing assault charges. And hey...what about her background as a domestic violence survivor? Shouldn't we expect a stronger response to the first assault here?
And she lies. She lies to everyone, sometimes for no apparent reason, but most especially to her husband, Tom. She'll look him in the eye, make a promise, and break it five minutes later with no regret at all. That's the behavior of a sociopath, not a responsible spouse. Twice Davidson has Goldy come home to find faithful Tom getting drunk in the kitchen while he awaits his wayward wife. I'd hope this is a plot development -- that she's driving him to drink, and eventually, he'll walk out on her as she richly deserves -- but nope, Davidson never shows or even hints at a bit of remorse on Goldy's part over her willful contempt for marital trust. I understand the need for dramatic tension, but they need to fight about something other than her felonies and falsehoods -- something like Goldy's neurotic smothering of her teen son, for example. Only in fiction would these two stay together.
There was an awful lot of alcohol abuse in this installment. Almost every adult character except for young vegetarian chef Julian drinks heavily, some enough to vomit, including characters who usually don't overindulge, such as Goldy and Tom. Finally - and I have to be careful not to give you a spoiler - this particular plot has a whopping medical flaw in it. All I can say here is, a week is not enough, but maybe this is forgivable for fiction's sake.
These books have done very well, and Davidson could surely hire a lawyer-editor to keep her sleuth on the right side of the law. She chooses not to. It's ridiculously insulting to her readers. Were it not for the intriguing sidekick characters Julian and, to a lesser extent, chubby millionaire Marla, there would be nothing of interest here. Goldy's a criminous narcissist and all-around egomaniac with contempt for both law and truth, her husband's a doormat, and her son exists solely so that Goldy can pitch histrionic fits about his whereabouts from time to time. Blessedly, he was off-screen for much of this book. I liked that part.
For a much, much funnier bridal mystery, go for Donna Andrews' MURDER WITH PEACOCKS.