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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on June 12, 2003
I think I'd actually give this 3 and half, if one could give half stars. Yes, one does have to wonder how Goldy gets into all the trouble that she does. But sometimes I find the "this can't be happening" aspect of the stories is what makes it fun. After all, who wants to read about a person who's going through just another day like you're having... I'm a big coffee fan, as well as a chocolate fan, so I just have to sit back and giggle as she's enjoying her espressos. (But just to be quite accurate, however, you do know that espresso actually has less caffeine than regular coffee, don't you?) But I do have to agree that she drinks way too much! :-) It's partly what causes Julian to have his problems in this book. I was so glad to see him back in the thick of things, though dismayed that the poor dear was a jailbird. But I won't be giving away the plot when I say that of course Goldy comes through and solves the mystery.
I haven't tried the recipes in any of her books, but would like to someday. I haven't found them to be a distraction to be in the middle of the chapter, but it probably would be better off just to put them all at the end of the book or at least at the end of the chapter. I love to cook, so I can put up with some of the descriptions of her cooking, but maybe there doesn't need to be quite as much of it. After all, how integral is it to the plot?
Another series that has a lot of stuff about food is Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who .... They're not culinary mysteries, but Qwilleran loves good food, so... Probably, if I had to choose between this one and the other, I'd have to vote for the cats. But luckily, I don't have to choose. Now for the coffee snob and/or addict, one might also take a look at Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes series.
I do think that someone should teach The Jerk a lesson once and for all. No woman should ever have to put up with such a person in her life! How he manages to charm women continually, I don't know. Are women that blinded by his money?
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on April 5, 2003
Too much caffeine, too much catering, and too much commercialism is leaving caterer Goldy (Bear) Schultz run down, tired, overcommitted and feeling plenty of guilt. Family life with Tom is wonderful, but is Arch is turning into a teenage monster? Wherever Goldy takes on a catering job, murder is sure to happen (and it isn't the yummy-licious food, either, recipes included). The "Princess Without a Price Tag Party" starts off with Goldy nearly being run over and ends in murder, and Julian being carried off to jail. Run away dump trucks, compulsive shoppers, an unidentified and an identified corpse, a new hound, snow, lacrosse, jail, espresso, cookies, prime rib, and plenty of puzzles abound. In her latest culinary mystery, Dianne Mott Davidson returns the reader to Aspen Meadows and a rendezvous with old and new friends ... and Murder. Fortunately, The Jerk (Goldy & Marla's ex-husband) stays very far in the background this time. Unfortunately Goldy's church family also seems to have moved into the background, a concession I regret.
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on August 7, 2002
Caterer and part-time mystery solver Goldy Schulz is finally out of her financial hole--her catering business is taking off. She's nowhere in the shopping league as some of her clients--who spend thousands of dollars a month on 'stuff' and then need to rent storage to keep it--but she can afford something nice for her son, at least. Unfortunately for Goldy, financial success is not the end to her problems. Her son, 15, is perpetually angry, one of her clients reminds her of her abusive ex-husband, and another is the near-victim of a hit-and-run, except he seemed to expect the attack. When the client ends up dead, Goldie and her assistant are high on the suspect list--and the other suspects are either clients or friends. Not a good situation for a caterer trying to make it in Colorado high society.
With a little help from her cop-husband, Goldy goes to work tracking down the evidence. The victim's lifestyle made him plenty of enemies so there is no lack of suspects, but finding proof is more complicated. A number of abortive attempts to discover the truth, intermixed with cooking sprees, lead Goldy deeper into trouble but no closer to the truth. Worse, some of the clues come in the form of messages that look just like the kind that the victim used to use.
Author Diane Mott Davidson writes an engaging novel. It's easy to identify with Goldy and her attempts to keep her family together, keep her head above financial waters, and to keep her friendships alive when paranoia is running wild. A few loose ends could have been better tied up--I'm still curious about Goldy's blackouts--shouldn't she see a doctor about them--and the coffee overdoses seem extreme. I'm even more confused about an explosion that came when one of her assistants poured burgandy on a flame. Wine certainly doesn't burn. And, really, Goldy is supposed to be smart--it took her a long time to figure out some of the obvious clues. These are small quibbles, however. CHOPPING SPREE is an enjoyable and fast read with something to say about cooking (good), coffee (very good), and shopping (dangerous in more ways than one.)
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on July 7, 2002
Chopping Spree is a reliable Diane Mott Davidson entry.Goldie and Marla, Arch and Tom, Julian and the new assistant Liz- all are present, and as engaging as ever. Marla is a useful source of information and gossip among the well oiled set of "Aspen Meadows." However, I do miss Macguire.Yes, Arch's adolescent antics are not too charming, but Davidson seems to have a plan, and in the last section of the book, Arch shows signs of civility.I am not convinced that Arch's sometimes awful behaviour can always be linked to his father, John Richard (the Jerk) Korman.I always read Davidson's acknowledgements, and she states that her brother was a World Trade Center SURVIVOR. That may, or may not have anything to do with the few flaws in the book, but mercy, give her a break. I am willing to believe that any bumps in the story are due to the intense emotions we all felt, and the even greater ones she and her family might have experienced. It is still a good book in a consistently reliable series.Davidson has some thought provoking things to say about malls, materialism, and what really matters.I would really like to be on Marla's speed dial or buddy list!
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on July 4, 2002
Caterer Goldy Schulz continues to cook and snoop in this eleventh installment in the Diane Mott Davidson series. Like all good series, this has an oddball and likeable lead, a eccentric supporting cast, a well-drawn setting and, of course, a moderately compelling mystery.
In this one Goldy is riding high as the book opens. For a change, money is pouring in as the ultra-rich have made her "their" caterer. But soon all turns sour: her adored fourteen year old son turns surly and uncommunicative; she is almost run over by a runaway truck in the parking lot of a mall undergoing reconstruction; an old acquaintance from college is murdered; and her adored and trusted assistant Julian is arrested for the murder.
But not to despair. Through hard work, despite several red herrings, and after hauling a friend out of waist-high muck from a floorless outhouse (!), Goldy solves the case. Truth and justice are restored in this well-written, fun mystery series. Give it a try.
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on September 10, 2002
I always love the Goldy mysteries and the family dynamic - and I do understand how teenagers can be - but Arch is old enough now not to act as he does since he knows what type of people his Mom and Tom are and he should be able to see his Dad a little bit more clearly - I hope in her next book Goldy takes Arch in the woodshed for some one on one time, he is showing so many of his father's tendencies as he grows up that in the next book I expect him to slap Goldy or something. -- other than that great mystery as usual -- Also more Marla more Marla please - I love her personality. I also agree with the other reader about the narration of Joyce Bean - she seems to have a New York accent that keeps peeping through and it breaks the mood of the story. I also read the hard back and then listen to the tape on the drive to work.
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on July 24, 2002
Except for the whining son. Archie, the whining son, takes a lot out of this book. He needs to move out of the home. His whining overshadows much of the book. The plot is fast paced though and it is an enjoyable read. Tom, Julian and Marla add to the book and help detract from Arch.
Goldy Schulz is a caterer and while doing her job she stumbles across dead bodies and mysteries. In this one, the person who hired her is found dead with her knife in him. When he fails a polygraph, Goldy is forced to detect again the true cause of the murder and the true murderer.
As always the recipes are delicious and the menus she whips up for various catering jobs sound wonderful.
It is an enjoyable book. I'm sure those with teens can better relate to the whining boy in the book. However, it is still an enjoyable book.
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on October 15, 2002
this is another great book by Ms. Davidson. Poor Goldy almost gets killed in this book & it doesn't look good for her up to the very end of the book. Her son Arch needs to be sat down & talked to which she seems to have a problem with but she will learn. You never know what Goldy is going to walk into next & boy does she get in trouble at the end of the book.
This wasn't my favorite Davidson book but it was good. Can hardly wait for her next one. And love all the recipes. They make your mouth water.
Do buy this book. It is hard to put down.
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on August 22, 2002
Shopping sprees can be hazardous to your health--as Goldy quickly discovers when she is asked to cater an event for the overprivileged "Elite Shoppers" of Westside Mall. But this time, it's not only the credit cards that are being abused. With a psychopath hell-bent on achieving serial-killer platinum-card status, the egg timer's ticking--on Goldy's life--before a clever murderer strikes again. Featuring ten original tantalizing recipes, including Shoppers' Chocolate Truffles, Spice-of-Life Cookies, and Quicke Me Quick.
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on January 2, 2003
I sometimes wonder why some people tell you in advance,{in a review}they will not be buying an authors book again because they were not happy with one book. I only wish I was talented enough as Diana Mott Davidson, to write a book. We must all agree that there are times we become dissatisfied, with one thing or another, but we don't stop our lives at this point. I myself cannot wait until the next book comes out. I enjoyed Chopping Spree, and have passed it on to others, who are enjoying it too!
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