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on October 15, 2001
Diane Mott Davidson has done it again, another fun mystery involving Goldy, the caterer/sleuth along with murder and missing valuable stamps, not to mention an appearance by Goldy's husband's old girlfriend. The story begins with Goldy's picture window being shot out, a suspect in a police case turning up dead near a catering sight, and after that , the clues and suspects mount up faster than the calories in the recipes!! There are wonderful recipes for scones, shortbread cookies and the totally fantastic and irrestible chocolate emergency 911 cookies!!! Davidson's mysteries are fun and interesting, and while some may find them a bit of a stretch for their imagination, the story is very entertaining and enjoyable. You will not be dissapointed. The characters are interesting, and some of them are really out there, and that is what makes the story move! I have read all of this series of books, and while some are better than others, this one is one of the most fun!!
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on July 14, 2002
I was enjoying this book until the ending which left a bitter aftertaste. In the begining, much was made of Goldy's problems arising from her reporting a case of possible child abuse and the resulting loss of income. At the end of the book, however, no mention is made of the more serious case of abuse--the little girl who was hidden because her parents were not married. This taught the child that she was something to be ashamed of. No amount of toys or other material things could overcome this basic message. Goldy, and the author, don't make any comment on this issue. This also brings up the problems with Archie and his relationship with is father; it is time he showed some understanding of his father's true nature and accept that the man is an abuser and a user of people, esp. Archie. It is a difficult thing to admit and could make for an important sub-text for a book. I will not buy this book.
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on September 15, 2001
Diane Mott Davidson takes her formula cozy and adds some wickedly clever ingredients. Yes, they are lighthearted, far fetched - and absolutely delicious. Goldy Bear Schultz, caterer extraordinaire, starts her morning with a bang ... and then proceeds to have the worst couple of days anyone could fathom. The writer gets the Testy Teen just right (again) as well as the dinner and particularly the scones. This tale also provides a dollop of stamp collecting, a couple of cups of Elizabethan England, garnished with a lovely castle, a luscious labyrinth and some truly tangy individuals - not to mention a pinch or two of morality and romance. The pace is fast, but I did miss Marla who is very much in the background, as well as a trip to church with Goldy. Somehow Ms. Davidson manages to whip up an unexpected variety of ingredients and come out with a scrumptious culinary cozy.
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As usual, Goldy Schulz, caterer cum sleuth, manages to solve the murder while producing sumptuous feasts in a castle, battling her ex-husband, and agonizing over the return of her husband's old girlfriend. She manages to adroitly leap from one crisis to another, accomplishing more in a day than most people do in a month. The action never stops. I also liked the sub-plot theme of trust in relationships.
Narrator Barbara Rosenblat brings the story alive with her amazing range of voices. It fascinates me that she can actually sound like a man as well as a child. I’ve also enjoyed Ms. Rosenblat’s renditions of Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon park ranger mysteries and, amazingly, in Elizabeth Peter’s intriguing Egyptian archeologist mysteries, Rosenblat tells the story in an English accent.
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on September 8, 2001
I find Goldy's son Arch to be a very likeable character-haven't any of you parented a fourteen year old boy? For someone who has a father who was abusive to his mother and whom he must visit in prison, Arch seems to be a relatively well adjusted, likeable kid. He wants Goldy's approval, and he clearly cares deeply about her (no matter what his father says to him), especially as she is often too busy for him. It is Julian who is just too good to be true-he's this amazing gourmet vegetarian chef who inherits a Land Rover and just drops everything to help out in the kitchen. I agree with some of the other reviewers that we need less of Marla and The Jerk, however. I like Tom, too, and I think he handled Goldy's jealousy and suspicion excellently in this book. But please, give poor Arch a break, people!
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on April 16, 2001
If you aren't familiar with Diane Mott Davidson's wonderful culinary mystery series starring Goldy, the catering amateur sleuth, this is a great book to get you hooked! The novel boasts a wonderful locale (an English castle which has been transported and re-assembled in Aspen Meadow, CO), a clever mystery with lots of twists and turns, and numerous mouth-watering recipes created by Goldy and her assitant--budding vegetarian chef Julian Teller. I can't recommend this book highly enough to keep you entertained. You'll be torn between wanting to finish the book and running to your kitchen to re-create the terrific recipes. Davidson creates a wonderful story involving a colorful cast of characters. It's a terrific, fun read.
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on August 25, 2003
Diane Mott Davidson's characters in "Sticks and Scones" may be more eccentric than usual, but the recipes are great, especially the scones recipe, and if you try them you'll be hooked on her books. In this one, she combats not only living people with questionable motives, but also what may be the ghost of her husband Tom's first love, a nurse whom he thought had been killed in Viet Nam.
Davidson is stretching it a little in her depiction of Tom's high school love---how unusual is it for a high schooler to be several years younger than his true love ? We all know girls mature much faster than boys!
That small objection aside, this book is full of fun, typical of all Davidson's works. Recommended.
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I just discovered this author last year so her last 9 or so novels are very fresh in my mind. This one is the best (the others were wonderful too). The beginning is so fast paced that I couldn't put the book down.
I discovered this author on a web site for mystery books called stopyourekillingme.com which organizes authors, titles and sleuths by job, historical time period, location, and other characteristics and then when you find a book you'd like to read, it links you directly to its Amazon.com page. Since I love Jerrilyn Farmer's Madeline Bean (she's a caterer, too) mysteries, that job category led me to Diane Mott Davidson. Who'd have thought food service professions could be so exciting.
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on October 12, 2001
If you can't stand the heat...leave the kitchen and go curl up with Goldy's latest escapade. I've read every one of Davidson's culinary mysteries and I can't get enough. Those reader's who just jump in in the middle or who start with this book may not fully understand the dynamic between the characters (hence another reviewer's mistaken assertion that Davidson is a man-hater). If you've followed along with Goldy Bear Shulz you know that she is a kind and giving woman who, if anything, is entirely tooo forgiving of that Jerk of an ex-husband. I not only recommend Sticks and Scones, I thoroughly recommend that you read ALL of Davidsons books. They're better than dessert!
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on October 12, 2001
If you can't stand the heat...leave the kitchen and go curl up with Goldy's latest escapade. I've read every one of Davidson's culinary mysteries and I can't get enough. Those reader's who just jump in in the middle or who start with this book may not fully understand the dynamic between the characters (hence another reviewer's mistaken assertion that Davidson is a man-hater). If you've followed along with Goldy Bear Shulz you know that she is a kind and giving woman who, if anything, is entirely tooo forgiving of that Jerk of an ex-husband. I not only recommend Sticks and Scones, I thoroughly recommend that you read ALL of Davidsons books. They're better than dessert!
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