- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (Feb. 29 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0739409212
- ISBN-13: 978-0739409213
- ASIN: 0553107232
- Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,577,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Tough Cookie Hardcover – Feb 29 2000
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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
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.
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!
And you know, this COULD have been a killer recipe -- good villain, multiple suspects, a friend in trouble, good setting, and good descriptions. But the book is much too insubstantial and the characters mere meringue.
I hope that next time the author goes for more solid fare with much improved character development and motivation, better dialogue, and some stick to your ribs recipes.
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.
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.