Tough Cookie Audio Cassette – Dec 2000
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by Karen Sampson Hudson
Diane Mott Davidson delivers another fast paced story about Goldy Schulz, caterer and amateur detective. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2003 by Judith Miller
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 morePublished on June 23 2002 by Mamalinde
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 morePublished on May 27 2002 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on Nov. 16 2001
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 morePublished on Sept. 5 2001 by apoem
This is the second book I've read in this series. This one is faster paced than Dying for Chocolate. Mrs. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2001 by K. Hill
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 morePublished on July 20 2001