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51 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly catered, tasty little bon-bon of a read
In contrast to other reviewers, I find the plotting in this Davidson novel to be more complex and the suspicious characters to be better developed than in her previous books. The victim was a bad guy, a good guy, a two-timer, a lover who wanted (and maybe expected himself) to become faithful, a good friend, and an exploiter -- yes, all rolled into one interesting,...
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by Patricia Tryon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not Davidson's best but still enjoyable
This latest in the generally excellent culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson, is a little less inspired than some of her other works. Even the recipes are more mundane----a quiche recipe you could find in a lot of cookbooks, a roast beef with burgundy recipe that has also been around a long time.
Goldy Schulz' teenage son Arch is in a difficult period...
Published on Sept. 8 2003 by Karen Sampson Hudson


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3.0 out of 5 stars not Davidson's best but still enjoyable, Sept. 8 2003
By 
Karen Sampson Hudson (Reno, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This latest in the generally excellent culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson, is a little less inspired than some of her other works. Even the recipes are more mundane----a quiche recipe you could find in a lot of cookbooks, a roast beef with burgundy recipe that has also been around a long time.
Goldy Schulz' teenage son Arch is in a difficult period now, and readers will miss his tractable sweetness of earlier books. Julian is in---catch this---JAIL as a murder suspect. Goldy's best friend Marla appears infrequently, as does her stalwart cop husband, Tom. For much of the book Goldy is on her own, trying to withdraw (without much success) from her twin pleasures of caffeine and chocolate, even as she suffers from various injuries incurred in the course of her investigation of the murder.
If you're new to the series, read some of the earlier books first to get to know Goldy, Tom, Arch and company. This one's a lesser light among many bright books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly catered, tasty little bon-bon of a read, Sept. 1 2003
By 
Patricia Tryon (Longmont, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In contrast to other reviewers, I find the plotting in this Davidson novel to be more complex and the suspicious characters to be better developed than in her previous books. The victim was a bad guy, a good guy, a two-timer, a lover who wanted (and maybe expected himself) to become faithful, a good friend, and an exploiter -- yes, all rolled into one interesting, attractive man. Likewise, the people who might have knocked him off hardly arouse indifference.
Solve riddles, read recipes, go to a Shopper's Anonymous meeting, sigh at the mistakes we all make with our children: yes, indeed, you can get a lot done reading this book. It is also a great introduction to what passes for springtime on the eastern slopes of the Rockies and to the burgeoning (some would say out of control) commercial and residential development happening here.
I had allowed myself to be put off by reviews here and finally picked up the book for a holiday weekend. I was not in the least disappointed -- except that it had taken me so long to get to it. The book engaged my brain, made me laugh out loud, and brought on ruminations about how life -- and our outrageous mistakes in it -- catches up with us all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly disappointing!, July 29 2003
By 
Louis M. Perdue (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have stated in my reviews of some of Diane Mott Davidson's other books in this series that I have come to regard Goldy and her family, along with Marla & Julian, almost as real people as she has done such a good job of describing them and making their lives so realistic.
I don't know what in the world has happened during the writing of this book. As I was reading this book on vacation with family, I told them a few times that if it were not for the dedication in the front of the book, I would almost believe someone else had written it. In this book, Goldy is completely irresponsible as a parent, Arch is a caricature of an angst-ridden teenager, Marla is in a few scenes and behaves like a rich snob towards everyone, including her supposedly best friend Goldy, Tom was nearly non-existenet except to make an occasional meal and pamper to Goldy's whining....and the list goes on.
All of these anomalies were so distracting to me, that I really didn't care much who did what to whom with regards to the murder and other crimes. I hope the next in the series will be back to Ms. Davidson's writing standards.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A whole lotta latte going on, Dec 16 2007
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
I'd heard about this series from friends, but this is the first one I've actually read. Chopping Spree is book eleven of the series, which now has fourteen books.

1. Catering to Nobody
2. Dying for Chocolate
3. The Cereal Murders
4. The Last Suppers
5. Killer Pancake
6. The Main Corpse
7. The Grilling Season
8. Prime Cut
9. Tough Cookie
10. Sticks and Scones
11. Chopping Spree
12. Double Shot
13. Dark Tort
14. Sweet Revenge

The series features Gertrude "Goldy" Schulz, a Colorado caterer who solves murder mysteries between courses. What's different about these books is that each book includes a set of recipes for dishes being served up by Goldilock's Catering.

Everybody who knows me knows that I'm no cook, but I do enjoy good food and a murder mystery. Unfortunately, something seemed missing from this book, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

Goldy is hired to cater a party at a shopping mall for a group of "Elite Shoppers".
Goldy consumes a lot of espresso and chocolate
Someone tries to run a truck over Goldy and friends just before the event starts.
Someone succeeds in killing somebody else, with a knife, in the shopping mall.
The clues point towards Goldilock's Catering.
Goldy downs more caffeine.
Goldy hunts down the killer, keeps her hubby happy, tolerates her bratty son, chops and dices, snoops and spies, deals with personal problems of her assistants, and yes, drinks enough coffee to cause a worldwide bean shortage.

Recipes in this book:
1. Spice of Life Cookies
2. Shoppers' Chocolate Truffles
3. Sweethearts' Swedish Meatballs in Burgundy Sauce
4. Diamond Lovers' Hot Crab Dip
5. Quiche Me Quick
6. Today-Only Avocado-Shrimp Boats
7. Super spenders' Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler
8. Ad Guys' Roast Beef and Gravy
9. Wild Girls' Grilled Mushroom Salad
10. Chopping Spree salad

This one is marred by a slightly ridiculous plot and some puzzling situations, but would be fine for those times when your brain cells won't tolerate literary abuse. Also recommended for those who aren't challenged when it comes to culinary matters.

Amanda Richards
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1.0 out of 5 stars Loosen your belts, April 3 2004
By 
bookworm (Wenatchee, WA United States) - See all my reviews
It seems all they do in this book is cook and eat! This is the second only book I've read by this authour. I could care less about the receipes, I'm not going to try any of them. And those women that had nothing better to do with their time and husband's money than shop, shop, shop for so much stuff they had to rent additional storage places. I did enjoy the description of the scenery in the Aspen area, but that was about the only redeeming aspect of this story. Talk about spoiled kids and pampered wives, I'm glad I don't know any of them. I'll move on to others than can really keep me interested in their mysteries.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CHOPPING SPREE, Oct. 10 2003
By 
Donna T. Mckenzie (Rocky Hill, CT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
While this was not one of Ms. Davidson's best effort.
It was enjoyable to me in that I love the recipes and
the description of the Mall background.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A LATEST MYSTERY OF GOLDY BEAR SCULTZ, Sept. 21 2003
By 
This is a really good book. This has wonderful recipes! This time Goldy is catering to a bunch of ritzy custermers at the malll. To her dismay her employer is an old coolage friend. When he is murderd JULLIRN TELLER (their border)is convicted her apprentice do i metion friend of the family. She sets out to find the real murder before the murder goes free anf JULLIEN goes to jail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, mayhem and great recipes!, Sept. 13 2003
By A Customer
Davidson's culinary mysteries explore the complex world of family relationships with as much intensity as they explore the mystery of the specific crime Goldie is investigating. The glory of the Rocky Mountain region is also a huge part of the charm of this series, as well as the appealing recipes. Arch's transformation into a regular teenager with all the problems that entails, enriches the sub-text of this excellent story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Chopping Spree, Aug. 1 2003
By A Customer
Davidson's books are easy reads and good for vacationing, but no mind challengers. I've found that, after reading several over the years, I'm impatient with the main character who often comes across as a bungling, stupid "female". Not a good strong female role model. Luckily, the plot lines are at least interesting and the recipes make for a nice side bar.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My first Goldy book, June 24 2003
By 
K. Morgan (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Goldy Schulz, owner and operator of her Goldilocks Catering, is hired by her old coffee drinking friend Barry Dean to cater a party at the high-scale shopping mall he's the manager of. Barry is murdered at the mall after the party and the whodunit begins. Goldy is on the case at once and not only because it was her friend that was murdered, but also because her family friend is the prime suspect!! Goldy puts the clues together in between cups of espresso and solves the mystery.
Chopping Spree was the first Diane Mott Davidson book I have read. I wasn't sure if I would like the book but must admit it was a very easy to read book. The plot was good and moved along at a fast pace. The characters were all interesting, even though they may not all be likable. I believe this book would have been more enjoyable had I read the previous books by this author. Even though this is a free standing book it seems as if the characters had a history that was revealed in earlier books. The reader might better understand the relationship between Goldy and Arch and Tom had they read the earlier books in order. But once you get going in this book it doesn't really matter because everyone and everything gets sorted out and becomes understood. This book is a light mystery also which was very pleasing. There isn't a lot of yucky blood and gore scenes. This was a definite plus in reading this book.
I wasn't really fond of the recipes right in the middle of the chapters. I found I was reading along at a good pace and then would have to spend extra seconds turning through recipes. I agree with earlier reviewers that the recipes should have been at the end of the chapters or the back of the book.
All in all this was a very satisfying book to read. There is enough coffee drank and food ate to make you gain five pounds while reading, but it's all worth it. I am now trying to decide which Goldy book I want to read next!
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Chopping Spree
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson (Hardcover - Oct. 2002)
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