Dying for Chocolate

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Dying for Chocolate (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #2) by Diane Mott Davidson

Thoughts Before Reading:

So it has been a while since I have reviewed A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery. Let’s review!

So Goldy was in an abusive marriage and left her husband, John Richard, gynecologist. He’s rich but hates giving her any money. In the last book, Catering to Nobody, her ex-father-in-law was poisoned while she was catering an event. This caused her catering to be closed down and her to be on the case. While investigating, she also caught the eye of police Officer Tom Shultz.

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Plot Summary:

So a lot has changed since Halloween night when Goldy solved her first case and brought her catering business back.

So John Richard has been driving by the house constantly, and with his temper it is better to be safe than sorry, so Goldy took a position with her best friend Marla’s sister, Adele Farquhar and her husband General Bo.

They hired Goldy to be their live in cook, and she can continue to cater as well. Arch is also starting school at the elite Elk Park Prep. While it is expensive, it does provide a much better education and Arch needed to go somewhere else after the impropriety and death of his last teacher.

His past teacher…

While Goldy is still seeing Officer Tom Shultz, but she has also started a relationship with her old flame Dr. Phillip Miller, a local psychiatrist.

Goldy gets asked to meet with Phillip’s sister, Elizabeth, before Goldy does a catering event and Elizabeth questions her about Phillip. “You know, you know, you know…” But Goldy doesn’t know. What could be troubling her that Goldy should know?

After the catering, Goldy has a date with Phillip. She follows him to the cafe they were going to, but Phillip starts driving extremely fast down the snow covered hill. Goldy tries to help him, but then a bus comes and there is a huge crash. Phillip’s dead.

Officer Tom Shultz comes and helps Goldy, questioning her and calming her down. When Goldy questions how he got there so fast. It turns out he was heading up the mountain as they had just received a call:

You gotta come help me, I live in Aspen Meadow Country Club. You gotta come help me, my life’s in danger.”

The person hung up before they could get any more information.

Tom takes Goldy home amd asks about her employers. General Bo is kind of weird. He was this big deal in the army and was forced to retire. He still writes papers and does experiments on fighting terrorism and C4, and lots of dangerous stuff like that.

Julian is the boy on scholarship that is living with Anne and General Bo. He comes from a family that owns a small candy shop. He is studying to be a doctor and ever since Goldy has come he has been horribly rude and mean to her. He likes Arch though and helps him out.

Julian was seeing Dr. Phillip and now with his death seems to be lashing out even more.

Later, the officers come to question Goldy. It turns out that Phillip has just come from the eye doctor and Goldy thinks that maybe it has something to it. The police question her on whether she or Elizabeth killed him.

Seriously, again?

To make things even better, John Richard comes and starts blaming everything bad in his life on Goldy, threatening her. Luckily General Bo comes on the scene and dispatches him. He may be off, but he cares at least.

To top that off, someone is writing horrible reviews about her food, not even addressing things properly (obviously this food critic knows nothing about food), and because of it someone is suing her for stealing their name (they are the Three Bears Catering Service), and she has just found out that Phillip was seeing another woman.

What?!

The other woman, Weezie Harrington, is the same one that Goldie is going to cater today.

She wants a “love dinner” to bring back the “spice”; but her husband has enough “spice” he just wants to share it with every woman who isn’t his wife. He tries with Goldy, but she is not having that at all.

Goldie doesn’t try to investigate Phillip’s death, but when she discovers that the police are looking more at her than trying to find the “real killer” and she is attacked while having lunch, she decides that it is it. She is on the case.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was really good. Once again Davidson hit it out of the park.

I liked how Arch and Tom’s relationship grew. So cute how he taught Tom his secret code for when he is in trouble.

I did’t like her dating Phillip. What is wrong with her? I mean Officer Schulz is fantastic. I knew Phillip was a jerk, and then when it was discovered that he was doing a paper on her and dating to experiment/work with her.

I knew Julian was angry because he wanted to cook. It was obvious. And that as sweet to see their relationship grow and now he will be her assistant.

So the whole secret baby, I thought it was Marla. The way she talked about their relationship and the big age difference, I totally thought that Marla was really her baby. but then when they started talking about Julian’s birth parents, I knew it was Julian.

And I didn;t see that the father was Brian or that Adele was psychotic. That ending cliffhanger when they kidnap Arch was thrilling. I won’t ruin it, check it out for yourself.

Read it today!

For more Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more mysteries involving caterers, go to A Taste of Fame

For more mystery reviews, go to Emilie and the Sky World

A Taste of Fame

Atasteoffame

A Taste of Fame (Potluck Catering Club #2) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

So some of you might be wondering where is the review for book one? Well there is no review for book one.

What?

The first book isn’t a mystery but a Christian novel that chronicles the lives of six women who change from a potluck prayer group to a catering group. Each member has different issues in their lives, as they grow in friendship and through trials. I wanted to skip it, but as I can’t completely do that without confusing you, I’ll give you a bite.

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The potluck group was started by Evangeline and grew to have five other members; Vonnie, Goldie, Lizzie, Donna, and Lisa Leann. The women go through trials, tribulations, prayer, and delicious food.

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Synopsis:

So since the hiccups of the first novel, the women have had a successful time with their catering business in their hometown. But things are about to change.

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Lisa Leann’s son came to visit, and decided to film them for his media class. It turns out that he also used the footage to enter them in the reality show, The Great Party Showdown.

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Even though most don’t want to participate, they signed a contract and have to, besides that the church could really use the money they win.

We are so happy for you

We are so happy for you

They win their first challenge of catering a special event in the community, creating a 1930s Animal Crackers themed party.

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And now the ladies are off to New York.

Yay!

Yay!

Evangeline has adapted to married life with her long time crush, Sheriff Vernon Vesey. She has even developed a better relationship with her stepdaughter, Donna, who has previously hated her. Her biggest issue, she and Lisa Leann are going into the city to do preliminary research, will she survive spending time with the Texan she can’t stand?

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Lisa Leann’s old affair came back to bite her in the last book. She admitted everything to her husband, but while he agreed to work on their marriage; he has been cold and silent. When Lisa Leann has to leave, Henry gives her an ultimatum: stay with him and they will stay together or leave and that will be the end.

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Vonnie is a little unsure about being in the city, but happy that her son David will be joining her. Vonnie was married when she moved to California to a Latina man. He died in Vietnam and Vonnie went into labor. Knocked out by grief and drugs; her mother told her that her son died and Vonnie signed the release papers, unknowingly signing her son’s adoption papers. When David surprised her by knocking on her door and revealing everything, Vonnie felt blessed to have her child back and loves every moment she has with him.

love

As they prepare for their next challenges, continuing the movie theme they find a few things they did not expect. They are doing very well, but a few things seem to be going wrong. Almost as if someone is sabotaging them.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But which team?

HMMM

Lizzie is enjoying the break and opportunity to visit New York as she has had a lot on her plate. In the last book she had her mother’s Alzheimer growing worse, her youngest daughter’s wedding to plan, her son and his family moving in with her when he lost his job, and her husband being injured. But when she helps a deaf couple find their lost handbag, she discovers one of the production assistants for the show on a date with a contestant. She reads their lips and sees that the assistant has “everything arranged.” Is the contest rigged from on high? And if so, what can Lizzie do to stop it?

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Donna is feeling pressure from all sides. In high school Donna and Wade dated, and she became pregnant. She lost the baby and Wade began drinking. Now 12 years later, Donna is a deputy and Wade is sober and taking care of his nephew Peter, the boy being the same age as their boy would have been. Donna is considering getting back with him, but then there is David who is crazy about her and wants to start a new relationship.

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But now there are the paparazzo hounding her, a Cajun cook trying to start a relationship; all the while Donna being on two cases. First looking to see if her tip about Pete’s mom fleeing her abusive husband for New York to be true, and second who the saboteur is.

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Goldie and her husband Jack have had a rocky relationship. Jack had been cheating on Goldie since they first got together, due to his compulsion for sex. They’ve been in counseling, and with the help, Jack has been able to master his compulsion. However, Jack’s health has been bothering him, and when he has to have surgery Goldie leaves the competition to fly out to be by his side. Will she make it in time? Will Jack survive?

Aw...

Aw…

How will the potluckers be able to win this whole thing down a player and with a saboteur on the loose? Time to pray.

dearlordhelpme

 

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was pretty good. The story was fun and interesting and I thought the development of the characters was great.

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I loved the idea of the movie themed parties from An Affair to Remember, King Kong, and Guys and Dolls; defintely the theme direction I would have gone in.

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The only thing I thought was dumb was that Deputy Sheriff Donna was kind of dim about a few things. She starts investigating Bubba, the Cajun chef, as the potential saboteur and when he tells her she probably mistook his cousin Bordeaux who looks just like him.

really?

What a joke. Come on how could you not see through that.

seriously

There were a few other times when it would have been easy to see through things but she didn’t.

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

But otherwise, I thought it was a good read and think it is worth a read. 🙂

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For more caterer mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more Christian novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more sabotage mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more mystery reviews, go to The October Game

Catering to Nobody

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Catering to Nobody (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #1) by Diane Mott Davidson

So I was first introduced to this mystery series when I scored a free copy of Chopping Spree. One day I was going to eat dinner alone when I realized I forgot the book I had been reading. I searched my car for something to read when I came upon Chopping Spree. I started reading it and became hooked! I then decided it was time to start at the beginning.

So this book takes place on Halloween, making it perfect to review in October.

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Plot Synopsis:

Goldy has had a hard time of it lately.

BigBangTheoryMyliferightnow

After she and her abusive/cheating husband divorced; she discovered that even though he makes plenty of money he still hates parting with it. Instead of relying on his childcare payments (most of which never come) Goldy started her own catering business.

cookingfood

It hasn’t been easy, but Goldy has been working hard making a name for herself in Aspen, Colorado.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

However, things have gotten grimmer as her son Arch’s favorite teacher just committed suicide. And Goldy is the one in charge of catering the wake.

Aw...

Aw…

But she does have some good in her life. Pomeroy, is a good friend, and her honey supplier. And she has her best friend Marla, one of her husband’s, John Richard’s, previous wives.

friend

She’s supposed to have an assistant, who gets a free room for helping cook, but the girl, Patty Sue isn’t very smart and can’t do anything without making a mess or destroying what she is doing.

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All Patty seems to do is see Goldy’s ex-father-in-law, Dr. Fritz. Supposedly she suffers from some severe medical problem and Fritz is the only one who can treat him. His wife, Goldy’s ex-mother-in-law asked if she would be willing to assist Patty. And Goldy being incredibly kind, agreed.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

So Goldie works hard catering, her business subsidized by cleaning homes, and trying to do a great job with her horrible ex-husband and family there.

From my sister blog janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

Except she drinks espresso.

But then something happens that destroys everything. Her father-in-law drinks poisoned coffee at one of her events!

AAAAHHHHH

Because of that her catering business is shut down.

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But Goldie won’t let that go without a fight. She sets out to prove she wasn’t the one poisoning Fritz.

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Along the way, she starts to come across some information that makes her question whether the teacher, Laura, actually committed suicide or if she was murdered.

Murder

To further heat this up, Officer Tom Shultz has taken an interest in Goldie and hopes to cook up some romance.

urkelgif interesting hmm

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Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it.

loveitSupernatural

I thought the characters were great and enjoyable.

ilikeyou

The mystery wonderful.

oooh 101 Dalmations

And I can’t wait to read the next one.

ReadTimeandPlaceforBooksMyhandnow

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For more caterers who start investigating a murder, go to Cherry Cheesecake Murder

For more suicides as covers for murder, go to Cookie Dough or Die

For more poisonings, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more mystery reviews, go to The Girl on the Train

Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swenson #8) by Joanne Fluke

So Lake Eden is up for quite a few interesting weeks. It’s headed for stardom as it will be the set for an independent film.

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So this book starts out a bit different from the others. We have a flash forward told by a different narrator than Hannah; cruel, rude, and hated by everyone: Director Dean Lawrence. As he acts out a scene for the actors; taking the unloaded prop gun to his head; he shoots it. And himself.

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So we flashback to before that all happened,

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Hannah’s double proposal from Mike and Norman have torn the town apart. People are split between which they believe Hannah should marry; and are not above using any pull they have to try and sway Hannah’s opinion.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Hannah on the other hand will not be swayed. Instead she determines that she will propose to her choice when she is ready to marry, and when she knows who she wants to marry.

That time is a long way off...

That time is a long way off…

But the town is not focused on her for long, as the film coming to town has set up an epidemic of movie mania. Hannah is hired to cater dessert for the crew, along with a cheesecake every morning to the director, Dean Lawrence.

cookingfood

To make things even more complicated, an old friend and crush, Ross Barton, has come to town to produce the film. He starts wanting to revitalize the relationship, but Hannah’s not sure whether or not to start one.

Who done it?

Should I?

Dean Lawrence turns out to be one of the most difficult people to work with. He is cruel, rude, antagonistic, and constantly groping and harassing all the women in town.

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When Dean acts out a part to show an actor what he desires, winding up dead; Hannah and her crew have a lot of suspects to choose from. Lead actress, and old friend, Lynne Larchmont has the temperament to kill and could have chosen to remove him in order to be more in charge of the film or because of a possible romantic relationship.

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Tom Larchmont, Lynne’s husband, is smitten enough to be deadly jealous.

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Then there is Ross who has constantly been burdened with having to keep Dean in check, did he have enough?

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Or on of the locals, Winnie Henderson, who publicly threatened to kill Dean?

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Or how about star Burke Aston who argued with Dean the morning of the murder?

Hannah finds herself in a time crunch as she and her friends must solve the crime before the movie production wraps up and leaves town.

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Thoughts After Reading:

**Contains Spoilers**

I didn’t really care for this novel. I thought it was too easily solved and silly at times.

IDon'tlikeit

First of all, I hated the whole Mike-Norman aftermath. I found it stupid and unnecessary to include all these scenes of people trying to convince her to marry in order to save the dentist or save the deputy. I have never lived in a town the size of Lake Eden so I don’t know of they react that way; but really? Like they can’t get new people to fulfill those positions. Shouldn’t these people who are her “friends” care more about her happiness than what will inconvenience them?

seriously

Plus I am sooooo sick of the love triangle in this. It is so clear that Norman should be the one she is with.

Ijustwantittostop

I didn’t like the entrance of Ross and the switch to a confusion rhombus instead of a love triangle. I thought that was also unnecessary. His “pining” for Hannah over four years (overlapping the time he was in a serious relationship, engaged, with Lynne) was over the top. I mean it just sounds like a whole pack of lines, seriously Hannah I thought you were smarter than that.

really?

I also hate how extremely advanced they make Tracey. She taught herself to read at 3 and a half years old? And now can read at a 5th grade level? What’s next? She has magic powers like Matilda and is righting wrongs?

Norman is clearly the guy Hannah should choose. Unlike Mike who has all kinds of bluster and such; Norman cares deeply about Hannah and her happiness alone. He asks her if he has anything to worry about; and just accepts the answer that Hannah will let him know if he does. Norman takes it like a man, and just tells her he loves her. Awesome. Amazing.

And the constant corrections Hannah does. It is so annoying! If Hannah was my friend I would say see ya. Who wants to be around someone who is always correcting you. Rude. And irritating.

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I can’t believe how rude and annoying Mike is. When someone arrives home tired and has to get up at five the next morning, who decides to stay while they sleep eating their food and drinking their coffee? Rude. He should have just left. That would have been the gentlemanly thing to do.

How rude

The Bill cheating subplot os dumb as well. Really? She thinks him leaving behind a pink shirt from his conference is proof of cheating? Why do they make characters so dumb? Would any intelligent and rational being act that way? And why does she talk so poorly? She is a real estate agent, intelligent, logical, always having to talk to others; she would know how to talk eloquently.

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The worst thing about this mystery was how easily it was solved. Yes, everyone knows that Dean would act out the scene in how he thinks it should be. But Only one person could make that happen. Only one person could control him taking the gun, and that would be Burke. Burke is the only one who could have gotten the gun in Dean’s hand; the big clue being when he suddenly sucks and asks for assistance.

duh

And why do Hannah and Co. think that giving a tip to the police to solve a murder, the thing they are supposed to do, as a bad thing. That is incredibly dumb. Come on guys, you aren’t real detectives and you can’t arrest anyone. While your playacting as detectives is alright, it isn’t real.

seriously

And why is Hannah such an expert on random facts? Their input never makes any sense. She is like Encyclopedia Brown except not as fun or useful.

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I hate how in this book they have to explain soooo much about acting. I feel like if Hannah knows all these famous plays from her one literature class on plays, she would have learned about stage directions and what they mean, after all they are written in the plays. I know they do it in case of readers who know nothing, but it still is boring.

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To summarize, I did not like it.

IDon'tlikeit

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For more Hannah Swenson mysteriesgo to Peach Cobbler Murder

For more love triangles, go to Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters