Title: Tough Cookie
Author: Diane Mott Davidson
Publisher: Bantam Books (2001)
The 9th book in the Goldy Bear Culinary series finds Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz (nee Bear) performing for a TV cooking show and looking for work as a personal chef because her commercial kitchen has been closed by the health inspector. A man she used to date and is now trying to sell some antique skis to dies on the ski slopes and when Police decide he may have been murdered Goldy looks a likely suspect so she investigates to clear her name. At the same time she starts looking into the deaths of two people who died in separate incidents on the same ski slopes three years earlier.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve read so many of these (there are 15 in the series and I’ve read 10 though not in order) but it was all fairly predictable. There are the requisite number of mis-directed suspects, red-herrings and scenes of turmoil for the plucky protagonist but there wasn’t a single surprise in it for me. The description of food preparation is, as always, hunger inducing but not really enough to sustain a book. In fact if I hadn’t found such a perfectly comfortable reading spot I’d have been tempted not to bother finishing simply because I felt like I’d read it all before.
I am a little tired of the characters too. All the men in Goldy’s life are too one-dimensional to be believable: her ex-husband is evil incarnate and her current husband is so perfect that neither seems particularly realistic. Goldy’s friend Marla is the only character I actually like as she has a sense of humour and also seems more credible than the rest of the cardboard cutouts that populate the book.
I think perhaps I’ve reached my saturation point with this particular sleuthing caterer and it’s time to look elsewhere for my cosy reading.
My rating 2/5