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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 The Perils Of Goldie Continue July 10 2002
Format:Hardcover
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. The scene then shifts to a transplanted castle where Goldie has two scheduled catering events coming up. Descriptions of the old English castle were a little tedious in the beginning, but later proved to be essential to the mystery, so I'm glad I paid attention. A map would have been helpful. This was actually a very good mystery. Plenty of separate investigations for Goldie to pursue. I have to agree with some of the other reviewers here, that the characters do seem to be turning a little stale. I wish Goldie would stop referring to her ex-husband as The Jerk. It just seems rather juvenile. The recipes, as always, sound scrumptious. I didn't think I would be interested in recipes for the Elizabethan period, but Davidson has presented them in an updated form. For instance, Kidney Pie has been turned into Shakespeare's Steak Pie. I'm anxious to give that and the Plum Tart a try. I guess this would be described as a "cozy mystery". It was enjoyable, if not exactly riveting. As Goldie finds comfort in food prep, I find comfort in reading about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High tea has again been served. March 17 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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. ... If there was ever a professional victim, Scarpetta is it. And what teen-ager has never acted at one point like a brat? At least Arch has the potential of growing out of it. Some teens never do. And as I recall Ramses Emerson in Elizabeth Peters' Peabody series is a rather precocious fellow.
In comparion to other mysteries (Dr. Gidion Fell, for instance) Davidson's is rather lite reading. Read it for fun like I do. It is considerably better than Tamar Myers Pennsylvania Dutch series. Magdalena Yoder is totally off base to begin with. She makes Goldy look only slightly neurotic.
I enjoyed this novel. Like her other novels in this series you have to read this one every day until you finish it in order to keep the train of thought. As long as you do that you will do well with it. Davidson hasn't quite noticeably slipped yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Nov. 9 2001
By Moe811
Format:Hardcover
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 notifying her as promised, and now someone has shot out her front window. Fortunately, her clients have invited her to stay with them in their authentic English castle. On the other hand, a couple she accused of child abuse after seeing the husband shake the child into unconsciousness, seem to be the castle owners' best friends and have the run of the castle, they even have keys! Goldie finds a dead body who turns out to be the fugitive her husband is looking for. He arrives at the scene, only to be shot in the shoulder. Is this enough action for anyone? This is all in the first couple of chapters.
I have never read any of the books of this series before and I was very happy with this one. The characters were very well developed and interesting. The story line was very interesting and very fast moving. I will definitely read more of these mysteries.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stick with this one, but just for the recipes! May 11 2001
Format:Hardcover
I just finished this book and while it was a major improvement over "Tough Cookie", which seemed like it was cranked out in about two weeks with NO plot development, this recent effort was a bit stale.
The setting was interesting until you recall that "Death by Chocolate" took place in a similarly bizarre setting -- the home of an eccentric ex-general. Goldy is once again "rescued" by some amazingly indulgent clients ("Come move in with us and bring your entire extended family!".) I think that rather than retiring Goldy, as a reviewer suggested, she needs a change of venue. She needs to live and work in a place where her beloved friend Marla doesn't show up at every event brandishing her wealth like a shield and where the Jerk can't exert his strangely effective influence on the weak and whiny Arch. Now THERE'S an annoying character -- emotionally he's about 6 in every book.
I think that having Julien show up (as he always does in a crisis) is getting to be a very tired plot device. Maybe the next book should have him scamming Goldy or murdering The Jerk, just to break out of the mold.
Unlike other reviewers, I thought the recipes were great and will definitely try a few. And however negative this review may read, I AM a great fan of DMD and of this series. However, she needs to grow her characters a bit -- and she needs a new nemesis. The Jerk is getting implausible and sounds more and more like a mental patient in every book. Come to think of it, there's a good way to get rid of him!
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2.0 out of 5 stars IS IT TIME TO RETIRE GOLDY? April 23 2001
Format:Hardcover
"Sticks and Scones" is a major disappointment in light of the earlier efforts by Ms. Davidson. Goldy is back, and unfortunately, so is her ridiculously cartoonish ex-husband, John Norman, and her increasingly annoying fourteen year old son, Arch. Her usually enjoyable husband, Tom, is merely a plot device in this one, and none of his usual charm and security is evidenced. I don't know why Davidson had to give Tom an ex-lover mysteriously returned from the dead, and if Goldy really loved Tom as much as she says, how could she doubt him on such little evidence?
The murders in this book are so under-written that you find yourself not really caring if they are caught, and when the culprit is revealed, I found myself saying, "Big deal...who else could it have been?"
And as for the recipes, which once were novel and entertaining, they are now merely interruptions in the plot. And, besides, who would really eat this kind of "snobbish" food? Let's have some good basic recipes, or better yet, why don't we retire Goldy from the catering business. Let her go nuts and shoot and kill her ex-husband, send Arch off to a disciplinary boarding school and she, Tom and Marla can open their own detective agency.
It's sad to see a good series start to fail so miserably as in "Sticks and Scones."
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Culinary Mystery, Recipes Included
Caterer Goldy Schulz has been hired to cook an authentic Elizabethan luncheon and dinner at a castle (shipped over from England in pieces). Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2007 by Debra Purdy Kong
4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder
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... Read more
Published on March 11 2006 by Carole Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder
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... Read more
Published on March 11 2006 by Carole Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Castles, Ghosts, and Murder
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... Read more
Published on March 11 2006 by Carole Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars quick-paced fun
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... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2003 by Karen Sampson Hudson
3.0 out of 5 stars Far-Fetched, But Entertaining.....
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... Read more
Published on April 10 2003 by GothCrone
4.0 out of 5 stars Members of the Family
Having read the nine previous mysteries featuring caterer Goldie Schulz, she and her family have become almost real to me, have almost become friends. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2002 by Louis M. Perdue
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
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 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
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