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The Grilling Season [Hardcover]

Diane Mott Davidson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1998 Thorndike Press Large Print Americana Series
MysteryLarge Print Edition*A New York Times Bestseller*A Mystery Guild Main SelectionThe Julia Child of mystery writers. PeopleRevenge is a dish best eaten cold. But when Goldy B. Schulz, owner of Goldilocks Catering, discovers the corpse of her ex-husbands girlfriend, and her ex is accused of murder, she alternates between feeling that The Jerk is finally getting what he deserves, and the need to prove that the father of her son is not a murderer. Can Goldys Chocolate Comfort Cookies give her the strength to disentangle the baffling mystery that threatens everything she holds dear?

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Product Description

From Amazon

Caterer and amateur detective Goldy Schulz is at it again in this tasty treat of a novel. Although catering two events more different than a hockey party (complete with the guests chasing pucks on blades) and a decorous breakfast for a doll collectors' convention would be hard to imagine, Goldy manages each with aplomb, Goalies Grilled Tuna and Babsie's Tarts included. While this would be plenty for anyone's plate, Goldy is also trying to decide whether she wants her abusive ex-husband arrested for his current girlfriend's murder. Certainly Goldy is perfectly willing to believe that the Jerk (as Davidson's fans know she has dubbed her former spouse, John Richard Korman) could have done the loathsome deed in one of his violent moments, but she is torn by the desire both to see him brought to justice and for their son not to have a convicted killer for a father. So, between letting the pizza dough rise and baking treasures such as Chocolate Comfort Cookies, Goldy sets out to make sure the police have indeed got the right man.

Davidson's fans will recognize the pattern while new readers will relish her witty, recipe-filled, searing plot. Old friends (all of whom suitably appreciate good food) make their reappearance, including Korman's other ex, Marla, and Goldy's shrimp-peeling husband Tom. While apprentice Julian Teller has left for his restaurant management degree at Cornell, his place in the plot is filled with the more lethargic--if equally good-natured--Maguire Perkins. New characters revolve around the murder itself: Korman's predictably shapely assistant Ree Ann and the very serious doll collectors play a role, as do the administrators of the health maintenance organization Korman has joined. A pleasure to read, even if Goldy's imaginative concoctions make you hungry long before mealtime. --K.A. Crouch --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Davidson, known for her skillful writing and the mouth-watering recipes concocted by her series sleuth, Goldy Schulzas, serves up a tale of murder and love gone rotten.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not her best Sept. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've come late to this series and I'm trying to read them in order. On the whole I've enjoyed them and the characters, but I think Arch needs an attitude adjustment and Golda needs to get some backbone...I have never been abused so maybe the victim mentality continues forever but Arch seems to be turning into a manipulator who knows all the right buttons to push. This is probably too harsh a criticism for a book that is over all a good read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Enough of the JERK! Enough of the series. Aug. 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It was all I could do to listen to all of this book. As far as I am concerned Ms. Davidson goes over the top in this book in her treatment of the JERK and his rampages. He could show up far less often in this book to far better effect. So intensly mean and abusive is he that I had to turn off the tape and take a break from his tirades. For those who have not read it I will not say weather we see the last of him here. But in more recent books the adolescent Arch seems to take more and more after him. It is for that reason I will read no futher in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hockey pucks and "Babsie" dolls Aug. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hard-working caterer Goldy Schulz still manages to put her recipes together and deliver food to her clients while pondering whether her ex-husband, John Robert Korman, alias "the Jerk", has murdered his girlfriend. This is the seventh of the excellent culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson, and the pacing, the plot, and the well-drawn characters, most of all plucky, likable Goldy, will draw you in.
Like all Davidson's books, this one is a satisfying read, especially for women. The inner lives of the people involved are convincingly and sympathetically presented, and the relationships she describes seem authentic. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good but.... Feb. 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I like this seiries of books but was not real happy with this particular one. The recipes, as always, are terrific, but the dynamics between Arch and Goldy makes me want to point somebody in the direction of family counseling.
The plot of the story is that it appears that Goldy's abusive exhusband has murdered his current girlfriend. Arch, her son, gets angry because he feeld Goldy and Tom don't want to help the "Jerk". This seems a bit difficult to swallow because I would have thought Arch would have seen the after effects of Goldy's abuse - the broken thumb, the black eyes, the bruises. You can't hide something like that from a child, they can tell something is going on. So that the "Jerk" would ba a good non-abusive father yet a horrible abusive husband doesn't seem to work for me. Nor does Arch's anger at his mother for what her perceives as her failure to try to clear his father's name.
If you're working thru the complete seiries (as I am), you will have to make this stop. I don't think you'll enjoy it as much as the other books, but the recipes may make up for it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too spineless July 24 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy all of Diane Mott Davidson's books, but I found this one flawed by the totally unrealistic portrayal of Arch. How many sons would be furious with their mother because their father had abused and possibly killed another woman? And where is Goldy's backbone? She allows Arch to move out of the house to a friend's because he is angry with her. She allows him to berate her for things that are not her fault. She asks permission to speak to him! This is not a healthy mother-son relationship. The same with Maguire. Goldy is supposed to see to it that he eats, since he has lost so much weight from mononucleosis, but whenever Maguire says he doesn't feel like eating, she lets him not eat. As far as I can tell, she does nothing except put food in front of him that he doesn't like, after which he goes to bed. Goldy needs to develop the kind of backbone in dealing with teen-agers that she shows in defying the law on behalf of her friends.
Nevertheless I think readers of these mysteries will enjoy The Grilling Season. Just grit your teeth when Arch appears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely makes you hungry! May 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the popular "female mystery solver" series you don't have to follow in sequence. But it doesn't hurt if you do. I think this is her best so far. The characters have by now become really well developed. A couple of her previous books have had moments in which the characters' actions or words didn't quite ring true, but I didn't have that sense in this one. Well paced, very well thought out, satisfying conclusion. It was a little too long for my taste at 400 pages, but amazingly well worth the time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tuna and Suspects on Goldy's Grill Feb. 13 2001
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The food is the best part of this entertaining mystery. The dishes all sound irresistible, and food as therapy is well displayed both through cooking and eating. If that were all there was to the book, it would be a five star effort.
The story involves Goldy Schulz in some sleuthing when her ex-husband is charged with killing his latest girl friend. On the surface, it looks like he went overboard with his favorite activity of beating up women. Their son, Arch, is horrified and wants to protect and help his Dad. Reluctantly, Goldy tries to do the right thing, even though she cannot stand the vicious creep (referred to as The Jerk in the book).
Unfortunately, Ms. Davidson chooses to turn Goldy into a punching bag for physical and mental abuse throughout the often-distressing plot. Her ex-husband hurts her, suspects hurt her, and her son treats her like something he stepped in. Now really, enough is enough. We all know that much such abuse occurs every day. I did not see that it advanced the plot or my understanding of it to have the heroine being constantly assaulted. On the other hand, Ms. Davidson's development of the theme is well done. She nicely captures the lassitude and passive cooperation of the victim mentality, and the utter insensitivity of the abusers.
The mystery itself involves a sort of HMO gothic, filled with evil careerists who stop at nothing to advance their own ends. Where are the silver stakes when we need them?
I thought that the legal aspects of the plot were badly flawed. Goldy is married to a police officer, and she repeatedly acts in ways that compromise the legal case against various suspects. Ms. Davidson needs someone who knows criminal procedure to look these stories over for her.
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