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.