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Tough Cookie [Hardcover]

Diane Mott Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 29 2000
The New York Times bestselling author of Prime Cut serves up another tantalizing tale of culinary mystery and suspense--as chef turned sleuth Goldy Schulz goes on live television to prepare a meal to die for...but discovers that murder is already on the menu.

When Goldy Schulz is offered a temporary stint hosting a cooking show for PBS, she jumps at the chance. After all, she could use the money--not to mention the great exposure. Her catering business is in shambles, and publicizing her new venture as a personal chef will help get her back on track. Plus taping the shows at Colorado's posh Killdeer Ski Resort will be fun. A little cooking, a little chitchat. What could go wrong?

The question Goldy should have asked is, what wouldn't go wrong--especially when she has to drive through a blizzard to do one of her shows live for a PBS telethon.

To make matters worse, Goldy has an unpleasant duty to perform right after the show. She and her policeman husband, Tom, have agreed to sell a piece of Tom's treasured war memorabilia to help ease their financial woes. The buyer: Doug Portman, art critic, law enforcement wannabe--and, to her eternal embarrassment, Goldy's ex-boyfriend.

Predictably, the live broadcast is riddled with culinary catastrophes--from the Chesapeake Crabcakes right down to the Ice-Capped Ginger Snaps. But the deadliest dish of all comes after the cameras go off, when an unexplainable skiing accident claims Doug Portman's life--and Goldy is the one who finds his crumpled body on the slopes. Even more shocking is what police find tucked away in Doug's BMW: a greeting card with a potentially deadly chemical inside.

As the police try to determine if Doug's accident was really foul play, Goldy does a little investigating of her own--but finds more questions than answers. Was Doug, chairman of the state Parole Board, accepting bribes from potential parolees? Was he connected to the ex-con who's been telling Killdeer skiers that he's planning to poison a cop? And how did Goldy and Tom get mixed up in this mess?

When a series of suspicious mishaps places Goldy's own life in jeopardy, she knows she must whip up her own crime-solving recipe, and fast--before a hearty dose of intrigue and a deadly dash of danger ends her cooking career once and for all....

Winter sports can be dangerous, but can they also be deadly? "Cooking at the Top!," Goldy's new TV show, is broadcast from one of Colorado's poshest ski areas. Unfortunately, she finds whipping up delicacies at 11,000 feet as perilous as skiing steep runs.  Then a telethon raising money for the widow of a tracker killed mysteriously ends in disaster. Goldy finds herself searching the icy slopes to find a killer with desperate secrets to hide---but this may be one time the tough-cookie caterer will not be able to schuss to safety!

Included are Goldy's original recipes for mouthwatering Sonora Chicken Strudel,  incomparable Marmalade Mogul Muffins, and sinfully sumptuous Chocolate Coma Cookies. -->

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Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Fans of Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Schulz, the gourmet gumshoe of Aspen Meadow, Colorado, love her modus operandi: "Treat every puzzle with questions and chocolate." In Tough Cookie, Davidson's ninth culinary mystery, Goldy is waiting to reopen her catering business, which has been shut down by the health department for lack of adequate drains. She's got a PBS cooking gig for a few weeks, and is trying to build a reputation as a personal chef, but she's desperate for a little extra Christmas cash, so she agrees to sell a pair of vintage skis to Doug Portman, a local art critic and former sort-of-romantic interest.

When Portman's killed in a skiing accident at Killdeer Resort with Goldy nearby, the police treat her with suspicion. It turns out that Portman was the easily persuaded head of the Parole Board, and Goldy's ex-husband (a.k.a. The Jerk, who was imprisoned for domestic violence) is coming up for parole. But when Goldy herself narrowly escapes a chilly death after her van is forced off a snowy highway, she starts looking for connections and steps into a minefield of unsolved murders, including the three-year-old avalanche death of her friend Nate Bullock. There're a multitude of suspicious characters lurking around Killdeer: Barton Reed, a crazy ex-con who sent Portman a letter loaded with poison; Arthur Wakefield, whose wealthy mother was also killed in a skiing accident at Killdeer; Jack Gilkey, a handsome young chef who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Wakefield's mother (and released by Portman); Boots Faraday, a local artist; and even Rorry Bullock, Nate's angry widow. As usual, Goldy manages to solve the murders (with the help of Chocolate Coma Cookies), save her own skin (just!), skewer a few local snobs in passing, and revive her catering business. Lots of fun, and recipes too. --Barrie Trinkle

From Publishers Weekly

Chef/amateur sleuth Goldy Schulz returns for a ninth outing in Davidson's popular culinary mystery series. Goldy's home-based catering business in the Colorado high country is temporarily suspended by drain problems, so she accepts a stint on a PBS cooking show before the Christmas holidays. After a meeting with Goldy, Doug Portman, her wealthy ex-boyfriend, is found dead on a back country ski run, with thousands of dollars flying from his pockets. Goldy discovers that an old acquaintance, Nate Bullock, had also been discovered there after an avalanche in almost the same spot three years earlier, and she herself is a victim of misadventure when her van is nudged over a cliff. Determined to find the killer lurking on the ski slopes, Goldy unearths motives aplenty, possibly among her culinary friends in a mountain restaurant. Davidson's creative recipes, scattered liberally throughout the narrative, add flavor to this spirited tale, which follows Goldy from one life-threatening escapade to the next. The characters are sometimes too good to be true (such as Goldy's husband, who's a county sheriff), but others have a refreshing edge, like pink-haired coffee-shop owner Cinda Caldwell. The ending is cookie-cutter predictable, but overall this is hearty fare for those who like their murder with a bit of nosh on the side. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Goldy's on PBS live Aug. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the ninth of her Goldy Bear Schulz culinary mystery series, Davidson serves up a delicious concotion of murder, Colorado skiing, marvelous recipes (don't neglect to try them!) and plucky detective work on the part of her main character, caterer Goldy.
She's appearing on a PBS cooking show, broadcast from high in the Rockies, which doesn't always go well. Someone wants her dead, as she discovers when her van is forced off the road. A wealthy man she has dated briefly is found dead on a ski run.

Fueled by expresso coffee, comforted and nourished by chocolate cookies, Goldy gets to the heart of the matter. This winter's tale is best read next to a glowing fireplace with a tray of her chocolate cookies at hand! Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars --Cooking, Skiing and Murder-- Jan. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Diane Mott Davidson delivers another fast paced story about Goldy Schulz, caterer and amateur detective.
The name "tough cookie" is how Goldy was referred to in a newspaper article about her. Although, her catering business is at a standstill, Goldy's hosting a PBS cooking show at a posh ski resort in Colorado.
As usual, Goldy gets involved with a murder when she finds the body of a skier and one thing leads to another as she puts herself in jeopardy by trying to find the killer. The usual supporting group of characters are also in this story; husband Tom who sounds like the perfect man, reliable best friend Marla, and Goldy's son, Arch who has turned into an annoying teenager.
The author kindly provides the recipes for all of the delicious sounding foods that are mentioned in the book. A quick and fun read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Tale of Murder, Mayhem and Dessert. June 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the 9th Little Goldy Book, Diane Mott Davidson whips up yet another delicious tale of murder, mayhem and dessert. With some very fresh ingredients (and no substitutions!) the recipe comes together for a very palatable mystery. Set at the Christmas season, Goldy is dealing with business troubles (again), a Testy Teen (folks, Arch isn´¿t going to be human again for about 6 or 8 more years - DMD raised boys, and I did too, and this is The Way It Is), the incomparable and incredible cooking cop Tom, as well as Marla, Julian, the Jerk, and some of the regulars. With her skillful whisk, Goldy whips in some wine lore, skiing and snowboarding, and survival as a wife, mom, cook, friend and TV star. It´¿s an exciting trip to Aspen Meadows, an action packed picnic on the slopes. The author really outdid herself this time, and delivered a deliciously unique cozy, that deserves 5 stars in the cozy category. Once again, Goldy gets it just right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Goldy is Great! May 28 2002
By stonica
This is the book that started my interest and since reading it I have purchased and read the entire series. Goldy is a great self taught cook. She is easy to relate to, except for the courage and determination to find the killer thing...i would run the other way. But, that is why I like the books, i can pretend. It is not a hard, complicated, make you think book. it IS an easy, enjoyable, quick read. i loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series May 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I actually started the series with this book, and I enjoyed it so much I bought the entire series. I just finished re-reading "Tough Cookie" (after reading all the books in order) and it's the best book in the series by far.
I like Diane Mott Davidson a lot, but her previous books lacked a tight focus of characters and plot (besides Goldy and Arch). This book really held everything together- the people in the book were presented in such a way that you were interested in their motives from the first page. Goldy gains a lot of self-confidence in this book- It was nice to see her out of the kitchen and not having to worry about her security system and keeping the doors locked all the time. I know it's been a major plot issue in other books, but when Goldy was able to stop worrying about her ex-husband, John Richard, showing up and beating the hell out of her, she was actually able to come out of her shell and have fun. I can only hope that "The Jerk" stays in prison for the rest of the series because I am getting sick of the constant abuse he dolls out to her and how even her policeman husband can't seem to stop it.
I sincerely hope that DMD continues letting Goldy shine the way she does in this book. I normally advise people to read series in order, but if you have a chance to read "Tough Cookie", go ahead. It's a fun read that really will keep you guessing. Viva la Goldy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty tasty Nov. 17 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was very pleased with this book. I put off buying it, based on my disappointment with some of her recent books and on the early lackluster reviews. This book was back to what I expect from DMD. A good story, characters that I care about, and great recipes, particularly the chocolate chunk/tart-cherry cookies! True, her son is a bit sullen, but I don't find it to be out of character for a 16 year old boy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Goldy hits the slopes Oct. 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Normally I'd start a review for a DMD book encouraging readers to read the series in order. After going through the reviews, there seems to be an unusual number of new readers who aren't bothered by a lack of background and many old readers who are bothered by a lack of new material. I still enjoy getting reacquainted with the gang in each book but would agree that there isn't much progress in their lives in this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, it had much to do with the setting - Killdeer resort. We spend lots of time in Summit County and it was great fun identifying the bits and pieces of the various resorts that Davidson borrowed to create her fictional resort. For example, The Bistro restaurant is clearly based on one of my favorite restaurants in Keystone. And, yes, all of the skiing is fun for a skier to read about.
The plot is probably more on the 3.5 star range. As usual, DMD assembles a reasonably interesting half dozen new folks and drops enough clues that any one of them could be the bad guy. I echo some of the other reviewers in our frustration with Goldy's underhanded investigative techniques and her inability to stop stupidly putting herself into peril. You'd think she'd learn to listen to Tom.
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