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Sweet Revenge Lp [Large Print] [Paperback]

Diane M Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 9 2007

A month before Christmas, I saw a ghost. . . .

While catering a holiday breakfast feast for the staff of the Aspen Meadow Library, Goldy Schulz spots a woman who resembles Sandee Brisbane—the Sandee Brisbane who killed Goldy's ex-husband, the Jerk. But Sandee is supposed to be dead. Or so everyone believes.

Goldy's suspicions mount when the body of a man is found in the library with a valuable map stashed in his clothing. But the holiday madness is only just beginning. Soon Goldy is drawn into the dangerous, double-crossing world of high-end map dealing. And like the ghost of Christmas past, Sandee keeps making an appearance. Could she be out to prove that revenge is sweet?

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Davidson is at the top of her form in her 14th culinary suspense novel to feature Colorado crime-solving caterer Goldy Schulz (after 2006's Dark Tort). As the Christmas season approaches, Goldy is thrilled to be catering not only a breakfast for the local library but also an elegant dinner for Hermie and Smithfield MacArthur, rich Southern transplants to Aspen Meadow. But when the body of Drew Wellington, the disgraced former DA, turns up in the library, Goldy is once again forced to put her recipes on the back burner and find the murderer. Discovering that Wellington was dabbling in antique map collecting, Goldy must track down a priceless map and steer clear of Wellington's fellow collectors, ex-girlfriends and clients. Further complicating matters are sightings of the allegedly deceased Sandee Brisbane, the young woman accused of murdering Goldy's ex-husband and then supposedly perishing in a forest fire. Readers will happily sink their teeth into Goldy's latest case and come away hungry for more. 11-city author tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Diane Mott Davidson is the author of sixteen bestselling novels. She divides her time between Colorado and Florida.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
With the annoying and tired character of the Jerk (Goldy Schulz's ex-husband) gone, Diane Mott Davidson had an opportunity to create a new, improved direction for the series. Unfortunately, Ms. Davidson chose to change almost nothing . . . especially in keeping the catering clients (and guests) from hell and adding a new source of physical threats for Goldy. Why is it that Ms. Davidson cannot write a book without physical violence aimed at this character? I would like the series much better if Ms. Davidson could resist that particular temptation.

On the one hand, Sweet Revenge has a couple of appealing elements that fans of the series will like: Goldy has never done a better job of balancing the roles of mom, wife, friend, caterer, source for the sheriff's department, and detective; and Ms. Davidson presents us with a victim you'll love to hate. On the other hand, the plot is peculiarly convoluted and the mystery isn't mysterious enough to keep most readers interested. The plot seems unusually far-fetched. The recipes, however, are fun and will put you in the holiday spirit. Noteworthy offerings include Bleak House Bars, Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie, and Door-Prize Gingerbread.

At the end of Dark Tort, Sandee Brisbane admitted to killing the Jerk, who had raped her when she was a teen. Leaping into the inferno of a raging forest fire, Sandee was presumed dead . . . but no one ever found her remains. Why, then, is Goldy seeing someone who reminds her of Sandee driving . . . and later near a murder victim?

Being civic minded, Goldy agrees to cater the holiday celebration breakfast for the staff and volunteers of the Aspen Meadow library on a nonprofit basis.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A DELICIOUS DIVERSION ! Aug. 27 2007
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz had a lot to be grateful for as the holidays approached. She had 25 parties to cater in the month of December, and Hermie MacArthur, who, along with her husband, are wealthy additions to the Aspen Meadow's Regal Ridge Country Club area asked her to take charge of two very important events. This was even more jingle for Goldy's holiday stocking. Hermie's husband, Smithfield, collected antique maps, very expensive ones. That's fine with Goldy, she's quite used to rich eccentrics.

All of this seems too good to be true - and it is because as Goldy says, "A month before Christmas, I saw a ghost." Granted the ghost is a very attractive one. Nonetheless, the apparition appears to Goldy to be Sandee Brisbane, not only a woman presumed dead but the woman who murdered Goldy's former husband, aka the Jerk.

Goldy takes great pleasure in arranging the table for an event she is catering. So, she takes her time viewing the set-up for breakfast at the Aspen Meadows Library, but all that comes to a quick halt when the body of former DA, Drew Wellington is found in a corner of the Library. He definitely was not on her menu - nor was the expensive antique map found along with him. Always perceptive and one to heed her intuition she believes that the thought to be late not very great Sandee and Drew are mixed up in a pot of trouble, perhaps a poisonous concoction for her.

With her 14th culinary caper, author Davidson's plot simmers as temptingly as Goldy's stews. Plus, readers receive more original recipes, including Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie, Prudent Potatoes au Gratin, Chuzzlewit Cheese Pie, Bleak Bouse Bars, and Got-a-Hot-Date Bars.


- Gail Cooke
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  135 reviews
82 of 96 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe it's the same author Sept. 18 2007
By Holly - Published on Amazon.com
I have read every book in this series and have enjoyed each and every one -- until now. The books have always been entertaining, fun and light-hearted. This one was slow-moving and full of filler. It seemed like the author needed to produce a specific number of pages and didn't have enough material to do so. The solution -- recap over and over what had happened so far in the story. While a summation at various points can be helpful to the reader, every few pages Goldy (the main character) would "review what she knew so far". That review was always good for filling up the page but did nothing to advance the story. I found myself extremely impatient with the device since I lost count of how many times it was done. Many pages were also devoted to taking her son Arch and his friends to the snowboarding recreation area. There are only so many times I can read about planning on going, preparing to go, driving to the recreation area, planning on picking him up, loading the equipment in the van and driving back home or arranging for someone else to take him since Goldy was busy. FYI -- if you got impatient with reading that last sentence, think about it taking pages throughout the book to describe !!

In addition, the characters weren't developed in any fashion. Tom (Goldy's husband) spent the entire book enveloping her in big bear hugs and fussing at her for interfering. Her son Arch spent the entire book making sarcastic comments and being a general irritant.

I don't know if Goldy has run her coarse and needs to be retired, but more books of this quality diminish what has been an outstanding series. Either improve the quality or end it gracefully !
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is the last one I read... and I mean it March 5 2008
By Smeddley - Published on Amazon.com
Do you ever find yourself reading a series and you just can't stop? Even though you're no longer truly enjoying it? I've found myself in that rut with this series. The first few I read (admittedly, I started out of order) were fine, but then as the series wore on Goldy got on my nerves more and more... her over-indulged son, Arch, during his `rebellious' nasty teen tantrums, running over her, all the lamenting about the abuse by her ex... it got tiresome. The character came across as whiney and pathetic. I think to mention it once or twice, sure, but to beat it into the ground over and over became so tedious that I just had to put the series down.

But for some reason I picked it up again. Out of habit? I'm not sure, but the first 100 pages of this book took me a long time to get through. I had to keep setting it down because Goldy annoyed me so very much. Even Tom, her loving husband, irritated me in this book. He came across as... arrogant. Once the actual mystery started, I was able to read it mostly for that and plowed my way through the book (though the people who kept coming to Goldy for help because she `solves crime' was trite and unrealistic... I think I'm getting more and more annoyed with the amateur sleuth series that seem to imply a regular person is so much smarter and more equipped to solve murders than, say, the police force. And Goldy's false modesty didn't ring true or sit well, either.). I think I'd give the mystery portion of the book four stars (a pretty decent cozy) and the characters a single star. Technically that averages out to two-and-a-half, but I'm rounding down. Maybe I'll be smart enough to not even start the next one.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I miss my DMD sweet indulgences Oct. 16 2007
By Bookylooky - Published on Amazon.com
The Goldy Bear mysteries have been one of my favorite mystery series. I would look forward to loosing myself in the pages that went into great detail about the cooking of the recipes and found myself salivating as they were described. In the last few books DMD has moved farther and farther from the roots with which she started this series. The cooking
and recipes are now just a filler device that barely get more than just a mention. In the early DMD books the recipes were included in the section of the book where they were refered to and I would linger over them as Goldy described how she developed the recipe, steps in the cooking of it and lushious descriptions of how they tasted. The recipes are now listed in the back of the book, which may be easier for finding them, but takes part of the fun out of the book in my opinion.

I had to force myself to finish this book. The plot was so stupid, map dealers are in no way interesting. The new characters brought in to move the plot never seemed like real people and they were all bad or had questionable motives. They were never fleshed out. The regular cast of characters were flat and dull and predictable. The descriptive element was also poorly done. With such a beautiful backrop, you'd think DMD would include it more in her writing.

I have been at a DMD book signing and heard her speak and she is an amazing, intelligent and funny woman. I know she is capable of so much more than this book would lead one to believe. I will continue to hope that the next book in this series will be better. But I won't automatically pre-order as I have done in the past. Please DMD, go back to your original style!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flat and Uninteresting Sept. 10 2007
By Kathy - Published on Amazon.com
Diane Mott Davidson needs to hang up Goldie's apron. This latest edition to the series is flat and uninteresting. I found myself rooting for the "bad guys" to finish Goldie off. The characters have no personality and are becoming dislikeable, particularly Arch. The scenes and the discussions between the characters are disjointed. The author uses question marks indiscriminantly and frequently; which became irritating (which lets you know the plot was not holding my interest). This edition has put me off the "Goldie" series permanently.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars recipe for story doesn't work well---ingredients need refining this time Nov. 11 2007
By Karen Sampson Hudson - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed most of the earlier mysteries tremendously, and I relished the recipes since I have a passion for baking and cooking like Davidson and Goldie.
However, in this book Goldie seems to repeatedly put herself into peril without exercising any discretion, or thinking of what would happen to son Arch and husband Tom if she were seriously injured or disabled. She exercises no regard for other people's property: Borrowing a car from her best friend, Marla, is acceptable, but commandeering a party guest's vehicle is not. In general, Goldie seems like the Energizer Bunny running around, fueled by double espressos, and not at all like a sane, friendly person you would want to know.
Here's hoping in the next offering, Davidson is back on track, describing a Goldie who is a little less manic and a little more mature.
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