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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book in a delicious culinary mystery series
The Jerk has been charged with murder and his ex, Goldy Schulz, owner
of Goldilock's Catering and a former victim of spousal abuse, thinks he is
very capable of having killed his girl friend, Suz Craig. Still Dr. John
Korman is the father of her teenage child and though Goldy thinks he
deserves punishment for his crimes to women, the amateur sleuth...
Published on Aug. 13 1997

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too spineless
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...
Published on July 24 2001


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4.0 out of 5 stars good but...., Feb. 14 2003
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too spineless, July 24 2001
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tuna and Suspects on Goldy's Grill, Feb. 13 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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.
Bon appetit!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Pot Could Use Some Stirring, Aug. 25 2000
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre., July 27 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Grilling Season (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed in Goldie's new adventure. No woman in her right mind would agree to help an abusive ex-spouse. Just because they had a whiney, immature kid together doesn't mean that she had to debase herself into helping such an ungrateful jerk. I'm not quite finished listening - I'm on the first side of the last tape so I don't know who killed Suz, but if good Ole John Richard didn't really do it, don't think I'll read anymore of Mott Davidson's books. Women have had to literally crawl up and out of the mire of a legal system that let abusive husbands get away with any and everything, so in my escapism reading I don't want to read about a woman who backs down in face of The Jerk she finally had the courage to get rid of once. Arch needs a good spell of life as it really is. If an ex-husband came around and thumped me a few good ones, my four kids would pick him up and dump him in the dumpster where he be! longed. Goldie had more umph in earlier books, sorry she's changed. Life's too short to waste your time on books that you don't like or that send out the wrong message. I'll have to hear that MD has changed Goldie's attitude before I'll read another.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book in a delicious culinary mystery series, Aug. 13 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Grilling Season (Hardcover)
The Jerk has been charged with murder and his ex, Goldy Schulz, owner
of Goldilock's Catering and a former victim of spousal abuse, thinks he is
very capable of having killed his girl friend, Suz Craig. Still Dr. John
Korman is the father of her teenage child and though Goldy thinks he
deserves punishment for his crimes to women, the amateur sleuth agrees to
investigate the case.

Goldy quickly learns that the deceased was the regional vice president
of Astute Care HMO that recently purchased her former husband's medical
practice. Suz controlled whether John deserved a bonus payment, cash he
might soon need depending on the results of a malpractice suit filed
against him (by one of Goldy's clients). Though the evidence continues to
stack up against John, Goldy realizes that other people had motive and
opportunity to have killed the hated Suz, who ruthlessly mistreated many
people in business and play. Now all she has to do is prove who actually
did it before she becomes their next course.

The insight into the lead protagonist's character (especially from the
perspective of her teenager and her ex-spouse) adds dimension to Goldy.
The use of real events effecting the Colorado backdrop (such as the local
hockey team's Stanley Cup victory two years ago) adds a touch of
authenticity. However, THE GRILLING SEASON is not for those who like a lot
of spice in their meals because, like most culinary mysteries, the story
line simmers very slowly.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun and absorbing mystery, Aug. 11 1997
By A Customer
The Jerk has been charged with murder and his ex, Goldy Schulz, owner
of Goldilock's Catering and a former victim of spousal abuse, thinks he is
very capable of having killed his girl friend, Suz Craig. Still Dr. John
Korman is the father of her teenage child and though Goldy thinks he
deserves punishment for his crimes to women, the amateur sleuth agrees to
investigate the case.

Goldy quickly learns that the deceased was the regional vice president
of Astute Care HMO that recently purchased her former husband's medical
practice. Suz controlled whether John deserved a bonus payment, cash he
might soon need depending on the results of a malpractice suit filed
against him (by one of Goldy's clients). Though the evidence continues to
stack up against John, Goldy realizes that other people had motive and
opportunity to have killed the hated Suz, who ruthlessly mistreated many
people in business and play. Now all she has to do is prove who actually
did it before she becomes their next course.

The insight into the lead protagonist's character (especially from the
perspective of her teenager and her ex-spouse) adds dimension to Goldy.
The use of real events effecting the Colorado backdrop (such as the local
hockey team's Stanley Cup victory two years ago) adds a touch of
authenticity. However, THE GRILLING SEASON is not for those who like a lot
of spice in their meals because, like most culinary mysteries, the story
line simmers very slowly.

Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read by Diane Mott Davidson, April 6 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Grilling Season (Hardcover)
Goldy's latest adventure is once again laced with wonderful sounding recipes and a mystery that I didn't quite have figured out till the very end. But Grilling Season is not up to par with Davidson's previous books. I missed the frequent interactions with the town's interesting characters. This story was heavily preoccupied with Goldy and the abusive Jerk; missing was humor and joy in Goldy's life. I wanted more of Tom and Marla and even the town's cigarette smoking/Jolt drinking "investigative reporter". And we were tantalizing introduced to some new characters only to never return to them (I hope to see more of Amy). And what is it with Arch!? Why does Goldy - wonderful, caring mother that she is - allow him to verbally berate her that way?! But by all means read this latest installment by Davidson; I'm looking forward to the next book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This was such a fun read!, Nov. 16 1998
By A Customer
Grilling Season was the first Goldie book that I'd read. As soon as I finished it, I went to the used bookstore (sorry Amazon) and snatched up all the other Goldie books in stock. (I'm still looking for Cereal Murders and Dying for Chocolate and am excited to see that Mott Davidson has a brand new one out). I must preface by saying that I recognize that the plots are contrived to the point of being sometimes unbelievable and often the who-dunnit is ridiculously lame. BUT the characterization is so much fun; I love Goldie and Tom; I love the preoccupation with food and the recipes; I love the relationship between Goldie and Arch and Marla. The eccentric cast of small town characters reminds me of the Mitford series. Admittedly corny, but I feel that I know Goldie and want to know more about her past as well as what happens next!
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3.0 out of 5 stars DMD Needs an editor., May 22 2000
By A Customer
I'm a cook, and an editor, and I found fault with this book on both counts. There were a number of nagging discrepncies in the text, i.e. Goldy starts to bake an orange-poppy seed bread with the only two oranges she finds in the fridge. The Jerk appears, leaps (!) halfway through the kitchen window and roughs Goldy up before she konks him with a ham. Having broken the bowl full of batter, she begins again--where'd she get the oranges? She bakes one panful of tarts for an enormous box luncheon, gives eight of them away, and still has enough for the affair? This sort of thing happened throughout the book. I tried the orange chicken breast recipe, and although the marinade was tasty, the sauce was horribly sweet, so I didn't even serve it. I found the abused-wife flashbacks and Arch disappointing.
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The Grilling Season
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson (Hardcover - Sept. 2 1997)
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