5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely makes you hungry!
This is one of the popular "female mystery solver" series you don't have to follow in sequence. But it doesn't hurt if you do. I think this is her best so far. The characters have by now become really well developed. A couple of her previous books have had moments in which the characters' actions or words didn't quite ring true, but I didn't have that sense in...
Published on May 3 2001 by MLPlayfair
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not her best
I've come late to this series and I'm trying to read them in order. On the whole I've enjoyed them and the characters, but I think Arch needs an attitude adjustment and Golda needs to get some backbone...I have never been abused so maybe the victim mentality continues forever but Arch seems to be turning into a manipulator who knows all the right buttons to push. This...
Published on Sept. 8 2003 by Elizabeth Rodgers
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not her best,
I've come late to this series and I'm trying to read them in order. On the whole I've enjoyed them and the characters, but I think Arch needs an attitude adjustment and Golda needs to get some backbone...I have never been abused so maybe the victim mentality continues forever but Arch seems to be turning into a manipulator who knows all the right buttons to push. This is probably too harsh a criticism for a book that is over all a good read.
1.0 out of 5 stars Enough of the JERK! Enough of the series.,
It was all I could do to listen to all of this book. As far as I am concerned Ms. Davidson goes over the top in this book in her treatment of the JERK and his rampages. He could show up far less often in this book to far better effect. So intensly mean and abusive is he that I had to turn off the tape and take a break from his tirades. For those who have not read it I will not say weather we see the last of him here. But in more recent books the adolescent Arch seems to take more and more after him. It is for that reason I will read no futher in the series.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hockey pucks and "Babsie" dolls,
Hard-working caterer Goldy Schulz still manages to put her recipes together and deliver food to her clients while pondering whether her ex-husband, John Robert Korman, alias "the Jerk", has murdered his girlfriend. This is the seventh of the excellent culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson, and the pacing, the plot, and the well-drawn characters, most of all plucky, likable Goldy, will draw you in.
Like all Davidson's books, this one is a satisfying read, especially for women. The inner lives of the people involved are convincingly and sympathetically presented, and the relationships she describes seem authentic. Recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars good but....,
I like this seiries of books but was not real happy with this particular one. The recipes, as always, are terrific, but the dynamics between Arch and Goldy makes me want to point somebody in the direction of family counseling.
The plot of the story is that it appears that Goldy's abusive exhusband has murdered his current girlfriend. Arch, her son, gets angry because he feeld Goldy and Tom don't want to help the "Jerk". This seems a bit difficult to swallow because I would have thought Arch would have seen the after effects of Goldy's abuse - the broken thumb, the black eyes, the bruises. You can't hide something like that from a child, they can tell something is going on. So that the "Jerk" would ba a good non-abusive father yet a horrible abusive husband doesn't seem to work for me. Nor does Arch's anger at his mother for what her perceives as her failure to try to clear his father's name.
If you're working thru the complete seiries (as I am), you will have to make this stop. I don't think you'll enjoy it as much as the other books, but the recipes may make up for it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Too spineless,
By A Customer
I enjoy all of Diane Mott Davidson's books, but I found this one flawed by the totally unrealistic portrayal of Arch. How many sons would be furious with their mother because their father had abused and possibly killed another woman? And where is Goldy's backbone? She allows Arch to move out of the house to a friend's because he is angry with her. She allows him to berate her for things that are not her fault. She asks permission to speak to him! This is not a healthy mother-son relationship. The same with Maguire. Goldy is supposed to see to it that he eats, since he has lost so much weight from mononucleosis, but whenever Maguire says he doesn't feel like eating, she lets him not eat. As far as I can tell, she does nothing except put food in front of him that he doesn't like, after which he goes to bed. Goldy needs to develop the kind of backbone in dealing with teen-agers that she shows in defying the law on behalf of her friends.
Nevertheless I think readers of these mysteries will enjoy The Grilling Season. Just grit your teeth when Arch appears.
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely makes you hungry!,
This is one of the popular "female mystery solver" series you don't have to follow in sequence. But it doesn't hurt if you do. I think this is her best so far. The characters have by now become really well developed. A couple of her previous books have had moments in which the characters' actions or words didn't quite ring true, but I didn't have that sense in this one. Well paced, very well thought out, satisfying conclusion. It was a little too long for my taste at 400 pages, but amazingly well worth the time.
3.0 out of 5 stars Tuna and Suspects on Goldy's Grill,
The food is the best part of this entertaining mystery. The dishes all sound irresistible, and food as therapy is well displayed both through cooking and eating. If that were all there was to the book, it would be a five star effort.
The story involves Goldy Schulz in some sleuthing when her ex-husband is charged with killing his latest girl friend. On the surface, it looks like he went overboard with his favorite activity of beating up women. Their son, Arch, is horrified and wants to protect and help his Dad. Reluctantly, Goldy tries to do the right thing, even though she cannot stand the vicious creep (referred to as The Jerk in the book).
Unfortunately, Ms. Davidson chooses to turn Goldy into a punching bag for physical and mental abuse throughout the often-distressing plot. Her ex-husband hurts her, suspects hurt her, and her son treats her like something he stepped in. Now really, enough is enough. We all know that much such abuse occurs every day. I did not see that it advanced the plot or my understanding of it to have the heroine being constantly assaulted. On the other hand, Ms. Davidson's development of the theme is well done. She nicely captures the lassitude and passive cooperation of the victim mentality, and the utter insensitivity of the abusers.
The mystery itself involves a sort of HMO gothic, filled with evil careerists who stop at nothing to advance their own ends. Where are the silver stakes when we need them?
I thought that the legal aspects of the plot were badly flawed. Goldy is married to a police officer, and she repeatedly acts in ways that compromise the legal case against various suspects. Ms. Davidson needs someone who knows criminal procedure to look these stories over for her. Goldy's marriage would have lasted about 4 minutes if she had done these things as the real wife of a real police officer. Her abuses of the legal process are awful!
If you are a devoted Diane Mott Davidson fan, you will probably enjoy the story enough to read it, but it will probably be your least favorite of her books. If you have not yet read her work, I suggest you skip this one and read any of the earlier ones instead.
After you finish the book (if you decide to read it), I suggest that you think about how you could use comfort food in a healthy and supportive way to improve your life and the lives of those you love.
1.0 out of 5 stars A little too contrived and shallow!,
By A Customer
This is the first of Diane Mott Davidson's book that I have read and it will probably be my last one. I find her characters shallow and unrealistic. The plot of the mystery is confusing with too many extraneous characters, all with some prior relationship to the detective/cater Goldy. Most of her sleuthing is done in the middle of the night as she is unable to sleep. Is it believable that her cop husband sleeps through her midnight detective work with only a mild reprove to Goldy after the fact? I haven't tried the recipes but hopefully they are better than the mystery.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pot Could Use Some Stirring,
This is the author's latest offer in her cordon bleu series about Goldy Schulz, an expert chef and caterer. Divorced from an abusive first husband, she has recently remarried. Her new husband is kind and supportive, a homicide investigator at the sheriff's department. Although she has been divorced from John Patrick, an obstetrician, for many years, Goldy, who has a teenage son from her first marriage, also has a heap of unresolved business to work through. She must carry this baggage with her as she attempts to solve the murder of her ex's girlfriend, Suz Craig. Suz, the executive vice-president of the local HMO, has many enemies. So the answers don't come easily after John Patrick is arrested for the murder. Spurred on by their son, who is convinced that his father is innocent, Goldy reluctantly investigates the murder. Although she is secretly happy that her ex is finally in jail where he belongs, at least for acts of violence against her, Goldy begins to question John Patrick's guilt. Burdened by her friendship with Patricia, who is close to a breakdown and seeking revenge for the loss of a newborn she blames on Goldy's ex, Goldy attempts to solve the mystery of who murdered Suz Craig. That is, when she is not creating recipes, cooking and baking, and catering to local patrons in need of her services. What bothers this reviewer about Goldy is her inability to move on. She has a wonderful husband with whom she claims to feel safe, a successful business, and a son she adores, but she remains a victim in her relationship with John Patrick, allowing him to continue to emotionally and physically abuse her without retribution. Get some counseling, Goldy. What bothers me about the book itself is the attention to cooking and baking and recipe-making--not my cup of tea, but for some readers, it may be just what they're looking for, an entertaining mystery spiced up with actual recipes and cooking hints interspersed in the plot.
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting characters given great voice,
The audio version of the Grilling Season was given to me as a present. It's introduced me to an interesting new mystery writer and a wonderful new voice. This is the first Goldy mystery I've heard and DMD gives her a full and interesting life. A new husband, a difficult adolescent son, a threatening ex and a host of secondary characters give wonderful flavor to the story. The plot isn't for those interested in intricate twists and turns. But her writing is refreshing and captivating. The story is spiced by the voice of the reader, Cherry Jones, who really gives spirit and dimension to all the characters, but especially to Goldy. Cherry gives each character an individual voice, but really seems to understand the heart and head of Goldy. Maybe there's a movie here, starring Ms Jones?
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The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson (Hardcover - Sept. 2 1997)
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