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Crunch Time

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Overview

When the rental house shared by chef Yolanda Garcia and her irrepressible aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson, the pair moves in with cop-turned-PI Ernest McLeod. But then Ernest is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and their good friend, Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz, along with nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill.

Concerned for her friends, Goldy invites them to stay with her. But even her house ...

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Crunch Time (Culinary Mystery Series #16)

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Overview

When the rental house shared by chef Yolanda Garcia and her irrepressible aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson, the pair moves in with cop-turned-PI Ernest McLeod. But then Ernest is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and their good friend, Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz, along with nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill.

Concerned for her friends, Goldy invites them to stay with her. But even her house isn’t safe. After a failed break-in and the discovery of a second body, the intrepid Goldy decides to swap her chef’s hat for a sleuthing cap. Now she’s got to move fast because it’s crunch time and a killer is getting dangerously close.

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Editorial Reviews

Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Terrific.”
Booklist
“Fans who relished Davidson’s previous culinary mysteries will assuredly eat up this newest one, too.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch on
“Terrific.”
Booklist on
“Fans who relished Davidson's previous culinary mysteries will assuredly eat up this newest one, too.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch on Crunch Time
“Terrific.”
Booklist on Crunch Time
“Fans who relished Davidson’s previous culinary mysteries will assuredly eat up this newest one, too.”
Library Journal
First, the apartment building where Yolanda Garcia lives with her aunt is torched; then, when they move in with PI Ernest McLeod, he's shot dead and his house is set ablaze. So Goldy Schulz invites them to stay with her—and swings into action. Morrow's lead fiction title for April and, with a one-day laydown, a 250,000-copy first printing, and a six-city tour, another nice showing for Davidson.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061348167
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Culinary Mystery Series , #16
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 105,076
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Mott Davidson

Diane Mott Davidson is the author of sixteen bestselling novels. She divides her time between Colorado and Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 187 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(47)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 189 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining whodunit

    In Aspen Meadow, Colorado, an arsonist burns down the rental in which chef Yolanda Garcia and her Great Aunt Ferdinanda lived. Shook, the pair moves into the abode of former cop turned private investigator Ernest McLeod. However, soon after the two females move in, he is murdered and his house set on fire.

    Goldilocks Catering owner Goldy Schulz invites her friend and the aunt to move in with her as the Fatally Flakey caterer will not allow a homicidal arsonist to scare her from doing the right thing for friends. Her husband Sheriff's Department investigator Tom and police officer John Bertran as Ernest's former partner lead the inquiry. When someone tries but fails to break into Goldy's home, a cop moves in to protect the three women. However Goldy, who not one to stew in silence, investigates who targets Yolanda and Ferdinanda, and why.

    The latest Goldy Colorado culinary cozy (see Sweet Revenge) is an entertaining whodunit as once again the amateur sleuth competes with law enforcement to uncover the identity of the culprit. The mystery is personal as the killer murdered a friend and threatened to harm another long time pal of the heroine (the chefs worked together in a defunct restaurant), but it is the home invasion partly thwarted by Jake the bloodhound that sets Goldy in motion. With a strong late spin, fans will relish this taut suspense thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    read Dark Torte instead

    I was really disappointed. My favorite Goldy books are when I feel like I am in her kitchen watching her cook while she tells me a great story. This one felt like she was running around in a frenzy trying to solve this murder, barely cooking, and Archie was an afterthought. I was thinking, she can't help herself. She has an obsessive compulsive disorder.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Long But Likeable

    Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz tries to help her longtime friend and fellow chef Yolanda Garcia when the rental house shared by Yolanda and her Aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson. The women move in with friend and private investigator Ernest McLeod but he is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Goldy, Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill. Goldy invites the women to stay with her family while the murder is investigated but after an attempted break-in, an ex-boyfriend stalking Yolanda, and Goldy discovering clues about missing gems that Earnest was investigating before being killed, no one is safe and no one is spared being the killer's next target.

    I'm a fan of Davidson's series about Goldy Schulz and while I mostly enjoyed this newest book, parts of it dragged on too much for me and I found myself skipping over whole paragraphs and even pages. For some reason everyone seemed to be more into "in your face" lengthy interrogations than what I remember in past titles. There were several side stories going on with various characters in this book and while some of them didn't seem to be important to the story I felt Davidson did a decent job connecting them while not letting their stories distract from the main conflict. The biggest surprise for me though was the one in Goldy's personal life revealed toward the end. You'll have to read it yourself to find out what that is.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Author Obviously Struggle With This One

    Goldy Schultz, Colorado caterer, is in hot water again as she tries to help her friend, employee and fellow chef, Yolanda Garcia. It seems Yolanda is having a bit of bad luck after breaking up with her "boyfriend". The rental she is sharing with her great aunt Ferdinanda burns to the ground and arson is suspected. Then they move in with cop turned private detective Ernest McLeod. Shortly thereafter Ernest is killed and his house goes up in flames. Goldy, Yolanda, Ferinanda and nine puppies rescued from a puppy mill, barely escape with their lives.

    Goldy takes them all in thinking that her house will surely be safe since her husband is a cop but they are not even safe there. The house is almost burglarized but Golldy's son foils that attempt. Then another body is found.

    Goldy decides it is Crunch Time and jumps from the frying pan into the investigation of the fires and the murders. Can she stay one step ahead of the killer and keep herself from being their next victim?




    My Thoughts
    I have enjoyed this series since Catering to Nobody (Goldy, Book 1) but by the 16th installment it must get harder to write for characters. I really had a hard time finishing this book. The main plot and subplots were very good and I love these characters but the book seem so dragged out and really long. It is over 400 pages and 100 could have easily been cut. The last installment came out in April of 2009 which leads me to believe the author may have struggled a bit with this one and it shows.

    An the positive side, Aunt Ferninada is hilarious, her little digs and her amazing wheelchair carried this story.

    If you are a fan of this series you will want to read it to keep up with the characters you love but I recommend picking it up at the library unless you have the whole series collected on your keeper shelf. It will be interesting to see if this is the last we read about Goldy Schultz or if the author brings back a new installment more like the previous editions I loved.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    Terrible Book

    This book is by far the worst I've ever read. But let me correct that. I was so bored by this book I was unable to finish it. I returned it to the library without getting half way through it. I think the author has run out of viable ideas for plots.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Too Much Already

    Just finished reading Crunch Time and I have loved all the Goldy books-this one was way over the top. Too much of her breaking into and stealing things that would not be good in court. A few laughs but most of the time I was just shaking my head saying "Oh no, Not AGAIN!" because Goldy was doing something she should not be doing time and time again. As I say, Too Much Already! Diane took a good thing and went too far over the edge.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    I have read and enjoyed all of the Goldy books-with the exceptio

    I have read and enjoyed all of the Goldy books-with the exception of this one. "Crunch Time" has been a major dissapointment and I am having to force myself to finish it. Yolanda and her aunt are both obnoxious characters. I cannot understand why Goldy is so hell-bent on coming to their rescue. What has happened to Goldy? She is running all over town like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off and allowing this pair to move into her house and take over, bullying her into making rum sauce at 5 a.m. in her own kitchen. Not the Goldy we all know and used to love. I wish the author would allow Julian to return from exile in Boulder and be the subject of a book. He hardly appears anymore and I would like to see more of him. Also, way too much interference by Goldy in Tom's investigations/interrogations. Would a detective really be allowed to question suspects in his kitchen with frequent interruptions by his busybody wife who is cooking in the background and evesdropping the entire time? Highly doubtful. And finally...600 pages? Seriously?! She could have trimmed one third of this and I doubt we would have missed a thing. I hope the author can come up with some better characters for the next installment and that it does not take three years for it to happen.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Don't waste your time.

    I usually love reading Diane Davidson's books but Crunch Time is one of her worst books. I was hoping that Goldy was the victim. The book was so boring it took me days just to finish it. I'll make sure I read her next reviews before buying another one of her books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    great new story with goldy ans friends.

    loved it

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Just finished reading this book- she gets better all the time- very innovative, and very intertaining.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    Pause for thought

    Did anyone else not like the story line about the spaying of dogs and putting drugs in canisters in their bodies. Did anyone think about giving ideas to the wrong people and about how the people get the canisters out. I work in rescue and I thought this was an awful storyline. Apparently it was overlooked by most.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    It's getting a bit stale.

    So I've read all the books, I like the character but really the plot is getting stale. How many people can be murdered in a sleepy little suburb of Denver? Diane, Please send Goldy on vacation or something and let someone be murdered there. Let's make it a little more exciting and different!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    If you are a fan, you'll like it.

    Well I've read all the other books in the series, so I thought well why stop now. Her last books are not as good as the first ones. This one is ok, but the main problem I have with it,is how involved Goldie gets in her husbands cases. She sits in when he interogates a suspect and constantly interrupts, like she knows more then her husband. To me it's annoying. Goldie should stick to cooking and snooping.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Series

    This is #16 in the Goldy Schultz series and as usual Goldy puts herself in the middle of a murder investigation. I liked the new characters Yolanda & her aunt Ferndinanda especially the aunt, she made me laugh. This one had a lot going on puppy mills, marijuana, cheating husbands and a hooker who used to tutor Arch! Poor Tom still thinks just maybe this will be the time when Goldy actually tells him what she's doing and just maybe she will listen to him when he tells her to stay out of it, Oh Tom will you never learn! I enjoyed this one better than Fatally Flaky, these books are just good escapism and a laugh or two. The author always keeps you guessing who did it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A tasty bite from Diane Mott Davidson

    Goldy Schulz, owner of Goldilocks Catering in Aspen Meadow CO, has her work cut out for her in the latest culinary mystery by Diane Mott Davidson. Goldy's assistant Yolanda has broken off her relationship with wealthy Kris Nielsen, followed by her apartment being burned to the ground. She moved in with local PI Ernest McLeod, but he has been murdered. Goldy, Yolanda, and her Cuban refugee aunt Ferdinanda, are at McLeod's house when a mysterious bald man lobs molotov cocktails into the house and boom! another house gone. Tom, Goldy's husband, is an investigator for the Sheriff's department and has suspicions about Yolanda's involvement. Goldy convinces him to let the two women stay with them for a short period of time. Of course, Goldy can't keep her nose out of the murder and the mayhem commences.




    Add in nine adorable Beagle puppies, mysterious house breaking adulterers, and missing gold and diamonds from a Cuban refugee family, and the plot becomes quite complicated. Tom continues to be a big lovable guy who worries about his inquisitive wife. Son Arch is now in high school and has become a fencing aficionado. Goldy's best friend,Marla ( the second wife of Goldy's deceased first husband, commonly known as "the jerk") has a significant role in this book. Ferdinanda is an interesting character with lots of spunk even though she is wheelchair bound after a hit and run accident. I loved her snarky comments throughout the book. There are several secondary characters who add the red herrings but it all comes together in the end. As always, Ms. Davidson has done a great job of combining all the elements much like the yummy recipes at the end of the book. Fans of the series will enjoy this book. My only negative- we didn't see enough of Julian, Goldy's former apprentice.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    This was the most disappointing of  all the Goldy Schulz mysteri

    This was the most disappointing of  all the Goldy Schulz mysteries.

    Goldy behaves with a careless disregard for son and her family in past books. However, in this one, her behavior is over the top.  She brings tow women into her home, who have been burned and fire bombed out of  their two previous residences.
    These two women behave in reprehensible ways toward the people, in Goldy's life, that they come into contact with.
    Goldy allows a seriously emotionally fragile woman to help her prepare food and cater a party.
    The party turns into one disaster after another, in large part, due to Yolanda. Goldy does comes across as even more meddlesome and intrusive, in this book,  than she is in most of her books.Goldy's  "sluething" contaminates all of the evidence, so, there is no way  for us to believe that  this case would ever have been a  case that could have been prosecuted.
     
    She seems to want to  be the one to solve the murders, with no regard to seeing the murderer meets justice. I know this is just a novel but come on, give me something.
    If I were Tom, I would be at the end of my patience with Goldy, she wants to be respected but she does not want to respect Tom. She behaves as if she is the only person with ideas or intelligence.  
    When reading fiction, I need to believe that these people could really exisist and that thre is some sense in what they do. That is not the case in this book. No person could remain married and treat their husband  or wife with such careless disregard.
     She does so many unbelievably stupid things and her only reason is "Yolanda is my friend" no matter if she is your friend, you don't keep allowing a highly emotional woman to assist  you while you are cooking food for anyone, especially for clients. Yolnada drops all kinds of food, attacks people in grocery stores, all of this is a bit much.
    When she  drops over $1000 worth of a client's china, and the client isn't even upset. I'm disgusted and done. If this actually happened the fault lay with Goldy there is no way that sulky, scarey, Yoland belonged at that party. Secondly, there is no way that this woman would not have been livid over this accident.  This scene is incredibly unbelievable.


    Goldy runs around and comprimises every bit of evidence, she does many things that are disrespectful of her husband, the police department, and her family.  
    Goldy seems more like a meddlesome, controlling busybody and less like the nice, interesting caterer that she was when I initially began reading this series.
    Yolanda and her aunt came across as over the top, whiny, and abusive. They were not likable at all.
    There are SO MANY people in this novel that it is hard to keep track of them all.  Crunch Time may very well be my  last "Goldy Schulz novel. Ugh

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Lots of filler in it. Not up to her early books.

    Lots of filler in it. Not up to her early books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Another hit

    Great story. Even after 15 books, Diane maintains a quality, full, delightful cast of chacters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Just a little stale

    The series needs a fresh new idea, don't these people ever go on vacation? The characters are great but the setting is getting old. Wanted to punch Yolanda in the face... and I miss Julian.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    I found this one a bit hard to "swallow" despite the

    I found this one a bit hard to "swallow" despite the tasty recipes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 189 Customer Reviews

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