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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 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
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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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Time marches on...except for Goldie May 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to say that I loved the beginning books of the Goldie series, but have found the last few completely lacking. The one thing that bothers me the most is that althought it has been over ten years since her first book, "Catering to No One", no one in Goldie's books has aged. In this particular book,she seems to have forgotten traits of the major characters. For example Marla (who is the best part of this series) a woman who has previously eschewed anytime of exercise is found skiing like an expert. Within the book she seems to forget the story line. For the first half of the book Goldie bemoans the closing of her kitchen because she can't afford the drains. Yet later, with no appparent influx of cash, the drain miraculously appear.
I suspect Ms. Davidson is working with a publisher who cares more about churning out the books then the quality of them. I hope that Ms. Davidson returns to the quality of her earlier books. Until then, I will be taking them out of the library rather than paying for them.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Too Annoying April 19 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have always found Diane Mott Davidson's 'heroine', the caterer Goldy Schultz to be willfully dysfunctional - putting herself in harm's way constantly, dealing foolishly with her abusive ex-husband and tolerating and encouraging the sullen and rude behavior of her adolescent son. This book is set at a ski area. Among all of those acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, wouldn't you think that Ms. Davidson could find one person who knows enough about skiing to correct at least the most egregious errors about the sport?
Her sneaky underhanded ways of gathering 'evidence' with no respect for the law or individual rights are beyond tolerating. Perhaps the smarmy references to churchgoing are supposed to encourage forgiveness for these lapses. We are further treated to recipes with ground beef and Velveeta. Maybe hamburger helper is gourmet food where she comes from and it is a nice change from the heart stopping cream and butter laden recipes of her past books, but really - don't bother with this book if you eat or if you ski, it is too annoying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Goldy at it again! Oct. 14 2000
By Suzanne
I have read and enjoyed all the books in the Goldy Schultz series. I find them quite entertaining and relatively easy reading when you don't feel like reading something that would be mind boggling. I also enjoy her recipes and have tried quite a few of them. As far as the story goes, I am amazed, however, at how Goldy can just wander into her kitchen (after just being almost killed by someone, somehow) and whip up a fabulous meal. Better yet, she has a hunk of a husband that is a gourment cooking policemen too!! What a life! But I do think these books are fun. The only comment I would make about this one, is that I would have liked to have seen more participation in the story by her best friend Marla and also more of Julian. I think Tom (the husband) should have had more to do besides cook and work on the plumbing. I am hoping that in her next book her son starts to mature and not be so sullen all the time. If you are looking for a real serious novel, this isn't it. But if you enjoy a fun mystery and some recipes, this is your book! Enjoy! and I am looking forward to the next book.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Goldy's on PBS live
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! Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003 by Karen Sampson Hudson
4.0 out of 5 stars --Cooking, Skiing and Murder--
Diane Mott Davidson delivers another fast paced story about Goldy Schulz, caterer and amateur detective. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2003 by Judith Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Tale of Murder, Mayhem and Dessert.
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! Read more
Published on June 23 2002 by Mamalinde
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldy is Great!
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. Read more
Published on May 27 2002 by stonica
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty tasty
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. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars I like these books
However, I tend to feel that too many bad things happen all at once, she finds a body, gets in an accident, her son is snotty and she has to cook for a meal. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2001 by apoem
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast pace, good supporting characters
This is the second book I've read in this series. This one is faster paced than Dying for Chocolate. Mrs. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2001 by K. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldy Rocks
I love this whole series. I just wish Julian would come back.
Published on July 27 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Re. previous criticism...
I have already weighed in (pardon the pun, Goldie) re. the "corpulent caterer" as the main character is referred to in a news article in "Tough Cookie," but... Read more
Published on July 20 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive overeaters beware!
How Goldie does not weigh three hundred or more pounds is beyond me. If I consumed the amount of cookies, cakes and "drippingly lushus" buttered stuff she consumes, I... Read more
Published on July 17 2001
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