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Sticks & Scones [Mass Market Paperback]

Diane Mott Davidson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 28 2002
Celebrated for her unique blend of first-class suspense and five-star fare, Diane Mott Davidson has won scores of fans and earned a place on major bestseller lists across the country. Now she dishes up another dangerously tasty treat of murder and mystery.

For Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz, accepting a series of bookings at Hyde Castle is like a dream come true. It’s not every day that she gets to cook authentic Elizabethan fare--especially at a real castle that was brought over from England and reassembled stone by stone in Aspen Meadow. Goldy is determined that everything will go right--which is why, she figures later, everything went terribly wrong. It begins when a shotgun blast shatters her window. Then Goldy discovers a body lying in a nearby creek. And when shots ring out for the second time that day, someone Goldy loves is in the line of fire. Suddenly the last thing Goldy wants to think about is Shakespeare’s Steak Pie, 911 Chocolate Emergency Cookies, or Damson-in-Distress Plum Tart. Could one of her husband Tom’s police investigations have triggered a murder? Or was her violent, recently paroled ex responsible? With death peering around every corner, Goldy needs to cook up some crime-solving solutions--before the only dish that’s left on her menu is murder.

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From Amazon

Her first big catering gig in weeks has Goldy Bear Schulz salivating. But before she can collect her Elizabethan-inspired recipes (Queen of Scots Shortbread, Damson-in-Distress Plum Tart) and hie herself to the restored English castle in Colorado where she's putting on a donor's luncheon in Hyde Chapel and a high school fencing banquet in the castle's Great Room, someone blows a hole in her living room window. No sooner has she unloaded her pots and pans at the catering venue than another someone--or maybe the same one--shoots a hole in her detective husband, Tom. To make matters worse, Goldy's ex-husband has just been released from jail, and he seems to have a few reasons to want to kill her, too.

Between trying to solve the riddle of the castle ghost, keep her son Arch and her wounded husband safe, and get the food on the table while it's still hot, Goldy is up to her elbows in trouble. The would-be lord of the manor still looks like a business-builder for Goldy, but his Swiss-born wife seems a little wacky. And even from a sickbed, Tom's got a crime wave on his hands that seems to involve Goldy's ex, his flashy new girlfriend, the castle owner, and the dead man Goldy found floating in the castle moat. Not to mention a woman Tom once loved, who seems to have returned from the dead and is causing Goldy no end of distress. But Diane Mott Davidson's gutsy, multitalented series heroine (Prime Cut, Tough Cookie) triumphs again--the proof is in the reading as well as the eating in this fast-paced, frothy dessert. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Culinary sleuth Goldy Schulz finesses another catering job by the skin of her teeth in her 11th warm and fuzzy adventure from bestseller Davidson (Prime Cut, etc.). Goldy is preparing to cater two events at the baronial estate-cum-conference center outside Denver where she and her family are staying. While waiting for a delivery, she discovers the body of one of a gang of philatelic thieves and sees her husband, Tom, wounded by a sniper. A rich feast of false clues and red herrings follows. While Tom recuperates, Goldy is free to investigate the shooter. Embarking on a series of unpleasant and improbable personal encounters, as well as demanding meal preparations, she uncovers a string of clues that not only implicate her hosts, her son's coach and her ex (now out on parole), but raise questions about her marriage to Tom. Fortunately, the author grants Goldy a few brief respites in which to settle her thoughts, allowing the reader to regroup before taking off on the next hectic sequence. Davidson has garnished her story with a rich sauce of old feuds, double-dealing and marital secrets that overwhelms her basic ingredients of credible characters (adolescent son Arch, in particular, rings true), good food and an intriguing puzzle. In the end, Goldy gets her culprit, the guests get their meals and readers, perhaps not so much sated as stuffed, get several excellent recipes. The jacket which sports a teapot in the guise of a surly butler holding a gun will be instantly recognized by the author's devotees. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Culinary Mystery, Recipes Included Oct. 8 2007
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Caterer Goldy Schulz has been hired to cook an authentic Elizabethan luncheon and dinner at a castle (shipped over from England in pieces). But on the cold February morning of the luncheon, someone shoots out her living room window. Meanwhile, her police officer husband, Tom, is away on a case, and two of Aspen Meadow's most influential citizens are determined to see Goldy fail at her job. Relocating herself and her fourteen-year-old son to Hyde Castle, Goldy tries to persevere, but it isn't easy. Tom is shot, she spots a dead body in the water and learns that her abusive ex-husband has been granted early parole.

This is a lot of bad luck for one morning, and in Diane Mott Davidson's STICKS & SCONES, the bad luck keeps on coming, so much so that the story began to stretch credibility. Did I mention that the castle is allegedly haunted and a mysterious woman has shown up asking for Tom? By page two hundred, I kept wondering how Goldy could be in the wrong place at the wrong time so often, especially after refusing to listen to advice from Tom and other officers. Still, I liked Goldy and many supporting characters in this book. The main plot kept me turning pages and subplots were skillfully woven through the story.

My only other quibble is that recipes were placed within the text rather than at the end. At one point, Davidson takes a whole page to describe Goldy preparing a dish, which is followed by the five-page recipe. Afterward, two pages of story are tucked between four more pages of another recipe. I have to admit, though, that some of the dishes sound pretty good. I just might give Penny-Prick Potato Casserole a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder March 12 2006
Format:Hardcover
As usual, Goldy Schulz, caterer cum sleuth, manages to solve the murder while producing sumptuous feasts, this time, in a castle, while battling her ex-husband, and agonizing over the return of her husband’s old girlfriend. She manages to adroitly leap from one crisis to another, accomplishing more in a day than most people do in a month. The action never stops. I also liked the sub-plot theme of trust in relationships.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder March 12 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As usual, Goldy Schulz, caterer cum sleuth, manages to solve the murder while producing sumptuous feasts in a castle, battling her ex-husband, and agonizing over the return of her husband’s old girlfriend. She manages to adroitly leap from one crisis to another, accomplishing more in a day than most people do in a month. The action never stops. I also liked the sub-plot theme of trust in relationships.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder March 11 2006
Format:Audio Cassette
As usual, Goldy Schulz, caterer cum sleuth, manages to solve the murder while producing sumptuous feasts in a castle, battling her ex-husband, and agonizing over the return of her husband's old girlfriend. She manages to adroitly leap from one crisis to another, accomplishing more in a day than most people do in a month. The action never stops. I also liked the sub-plot theme of trust in relationships.
Narrator Barbara Rosenblat brings the story alive with her amazing range of voices. It fascinates me that she can actually sound like a man as well as a child. I’ve also enjoyed Ms. Rosenblat’s renditions of Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon park ranger mysteries and, amazingly, in Elizabeth Peter’s intriguing Egyptian archeologist mysteries, Rosenblat tells the story in an English accent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars quick-paced fun Aug. 25 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Diane Mott Davidson's characters in "Sticks and Scones" may be more eccentric than usual, but the recipes are great, especially the scones recipe, and if you try them you'll be hooked on her books. In this one, she combats not only living people with questionable motives, but also what may be the ghost of her husband Tom's first love, a nurse whom he thought had been killed in Viet Nam.
Davidson is stretching it a little in her depiction of Tom's high school love---how unusual is it for a high schooler to be several years younger than his true love ? We all know girls mature much faster than boys!
That small objection aside, this book is full of fun, typical of all Davidson's works. Recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far-Fetched, But Entertaining..... April 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This one wasn't my favourite of the Goldie series -- but it was entertaining. And I am compelled to state here: I rarely read the reviews of fictional books (this time is no exception) before I've read the book because SO OFTEN (as occurs in this string of reviews) someone feels compelled to write out the entire plot except for the final final outcome - and that is SO irritating. It is like telling someone 90% of a movie's plot when you KNOW they've not seen the movie. PLEASE don't do that. Refrain yourselves from re-capping and summarizing the entire book okay??
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4.0 out of 5 stars Members of the Family Oct. 23 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read the nine previous mysteries featuring caterer Goldie Schulz, she and her family have become almost real to me, have almost become friends. I am always excited to buy the new one and delve into it. This one did not disappoint me. The mystery begins when Goldie's living room window is shot out in the middle of the night, then Tom is shot, and there are mysterious ghost-like happenings occurring at the reconstructed medieval castle in which she is catering some events. There are plenty of red herrings thrown into the mix and plenty of oddball characters to make it interesting. I really like the fact that Diane Mott Davidson can usually write interesting characters without making them caricatures...although I have to say here that Goldie's ex-husband's new girlfriend is not written so well, being the stereotypical blond bimbo type. I also was very happy that Julian played a big part in this episode as I like him...now let's have more from Marla, Ms. Davidson. Great series!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Aftertaste
I was enjoying this book until the ending which left a bitter aftertaste. In the begining, much was made of Goldy's problems arising from her reporting a case of possible child... Read more
Published on July 14 2002 by Donna Ragsdale
3.0 out of 5 stars The Perils Of Goldie Continue
It's 4:30 on a cold February morning. Goldie's husband, Tom, is out of town on police business. Someone shoots out the front window of the house. Not a pleasant way to wake up. Read more
Published on July 10 2002 by N. Sausser
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a perfect hit
I enjoy Davidson's writing style -- no gratuitous sex, no grisly descriptions of violence, no bad language. It may be too clean for jaded city folks. Read more
Published on July 3 2002 by tzefirah
5.0 out of 5 stars High tea has again been served.
I always find it fun to read on Amazon.com what others have to say about the books I like to read. Interesting and quite valid points usually get made somewhere in the process. ... Read more
Published on March 17 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Sticks and Scones
This is the 10 book in a series and I'm not bored yet. Diane Mott Davidson is a truly good writer. I feel as though I know the characters and care about them. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001 by L. A
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery
Things aren't going well for Goldie Schultz. Her catering business is slow, her husband is away on an assignment,her exhusband has been released from jail without the parole board... Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2001 by Moe811
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