Fatally Flaky (Culinary Mystery Series #15)

Fatally Flaky (Culinary Mystery Series #15)

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by Diane Mott Davidson

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Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz encounters bridezilla—and murder—in another delectable novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Revenge, Dark Tort, and Double Shot.

It's been a long, rainy summer for Goldy Schulz, who is engaged in planning wedding receptions for what seems to be all of Aspen Meadow. It's

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Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz encounters bridezilla—and murder—in another delectable novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Revenge, Dark Tort, and Double Shot.

It's been a long, rainy summer for Goldy Schulz, who is engaged in planning wedding receptions for what seems to be all of Aspen Meadow. It's bad enough that Billie Attenborough, the bride from hell, wants to move the location to the Gold Gulch Spa just a scant two days before tying the knot to her doctor fiancé. Then Doc Finn, best friend of Goldy's godfather Jack, is killed when his car tumbles into a ravine. But Jack thinks Doc was murdered because of research he was doing at the spa—allegations that are confirmed when Jack himself is attacked.

So Goldy dons chef's whites and goes undercover at the spa. Add in the obstreperous owner, who years ago tried to sabotage Goldy's fledgling business, and she's got her hands full.

Above all, there seems to be a clever killer on the spa grounds, watching her every move. After what befell Jack, Goldy knows that she might be next. Catering weddings, and cooking low-fat food, could be killing her—literally.

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Editorial Reviews

Goldy Schulz is fried. This summer everybody in Aspen Meadow is getting married, or so it seems, and everybody wants our favorite crime-hunting caterer to plan their wedding reception. She's grateful for the business but resentful of the brides-to-be, especially the fastidiously fickle Billie Attenborough. It doesn't take long, however, for homicide to move to the top of the menu. The mysterious death of family friend Doc Finn sends Goldy into a tizzy of activities. Another "to die for" Colorado culinary mystery.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Culinary Mystery Series, #15
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 4.26(h) x 1.18(d)

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Fatally Flaky LP
A Novel

Chapter One

Cynics say getting married is a death wish.

Now, I'm no Pollyanna, but I try to ignore cynics. Anyway, what I usually say is that catering weddings is a death wish. My assistant, twenty-two-year-old Julian Teller, and I laugh at that. Yucking it up provides a bit of comic relief within the stress of serving trays of appetizers with drinks, then lunch or dinner with wine, followed by cake with champagne or Asti Spumante—and doing it all quickly—to a hundred guests. Trust me: if there's one thing caterers need at weddings, it's comic relief.

Unfortunately, the events surrounding Bridezilla Billie Attenborough's wedding proved the truth of the original axiom. Still, it wasn't a death wish that proved troublesome. It was death itself. And as the bodies piled up around the Attenborough nuptials, I began to think someone was gunning for me, too.Turned out, I was right.

I'm always telling my husband, Tom, an investigator with the Furman County Sheriff's Department, that I should adore weddings. The reason? I love being married—to him, that is. With his mountain-man build, handsome face, jauntily parted cider-colored hair, and eyes as green as a faraway sea, he's not only kind and loving—he's gorgeous.

"You're prejudiced," he says.

"So what?" I reply. "You're still the greatest."

"There are any number of criminals in our state penal system who would take issue with that assessment."

"I'm not married to one of them."


Actually, having Tom for a husband means I can watch brides and grooms kiss, laugh, and embrace, and I can smile tomyself, knowing I'm going home to a great man. So when there are wedding glitches, I remind myself: I'm helping people get married. And by and large, this is a good thing.

Here in Aspen Meadow, Colorado, if someone is going to have a hundred or fewer guests at their ceremony and reception, I'm the caterer of choice, by which I mean, I'm the only caterer you can choose. Our town also has but one florist, one photographer, one printing press—for invitations and the like—and a few bands. But these days, most couples choose a DJ.

Aspen Meadow has one of those, too.

If the bride, groom, or either family wants a bigger celebration, she, he, or they usually do all their own arrangements, and have their wedding down in Denver, forty miles to the east. There, you can hire a wedding planner, book a fancy venue, and have your pick of caterers, stationers, florists, even chocolatiers. If you go that route, though, you're going to pay. What with the gown, limos, and all the rest, you're probably looking at about a hundred grand.

I can remember when a hundred grand used to buy a house. And a nice one, too.

But for a hundred or fewer guests, I can do all the arranging. Once I'm given a budget and specifics as to menu, flowers, photographer, music, you name it, I draw up a detailed contract, then get signatures, along with a down payment. After that, I call the vendors, set the schedule, and arrange deliveries. Any changes to the contract mean big bucks, so generally, people are content to leave well enough alone.

But Bridezilla Billie, as I'd come to call her, was never content. Billie's long-suffering mother, Charlotte, was footing the bill—Attenborough père having died of a bleeding ulcer long ago—and Billie seemed not to care that every single new arrangement she was demanding was costing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

"It won't be a problem," Billie would say breezily, each time she called in April, then May, then June, to say we absolutely had to have lunch so she could talk about new things she wanted. "We can just put all this on my tab."

And then I would arrive at the appointed time, at whatever place she'd said she wanted to have lunch. And she would be late, usually more than an hour late. The reason? She'd say she'd gotten lost, never mind that she'd lived in Aspen Meadow all her life. Or her Mercedes wouldn't start. Or she'd thought we were meeting an hour after when she'd originally said. One time, when she didn't show up at all and I called her house, she said she thought we were meeting the following week.

Billie was, in short, a flake.

Like most of the weddings I cater, Billie's ceremony was taking place in the summer. Let the weather cheer you up, I told myself as I typed up contract change after contract change and faxed them through to Charlotte Attenborough.

And so I planned and ordered food, and waited for spring, which at eight thousand feet above sea level, generally doesn't arrive until June. By then, the thick crust of ice on our town's lake has melted. The fresh scent of pollinating pines and newly leafy aspens fills the air. With snow still blanketing the Continental Divide—visible in the distance—the setting is particularly idyllic.

But this summer was different.

"Maybe I should quit doing weddings," I told Tom when Bridezilla Billie stopped insisting we have lunch, and instead started phoning me an average of seventeen times a day. She'd already moved her wedding date twice. The reason? She said she wanted to lose twenty pounds to fit into a new dress she'd just bought. She claimed she was working with Victor Lane out at Gold Gulch Spa to get into tip-top shape. Getting into tip-top shape was the euphemism Billie used for trying to sweat off some of her rolls, the kind that had nothing to do with Parker House.

Did I know Victor Lane? Billie asked. Yes, I began, but she tossed her highlighted blond hair over her shoulder, helped herself to the Key Lime Pie I'd left on the counter, and cut me off just as she placed an enormous piece of pie on a plate in front of herself. Once she'd forked up a mouthful, she was eager to provide me with an update on embroidery that was being added to the waist of the new dress. Then I heard about the seed pearls that were being sewn into the train, and the lace now edging the veil.

Fatally Flaky LP
A Novel
. Copyright (c) by Diane Davidson . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Fatally Flaky 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely a guilty pleasure. Every time DMD comes out with a new one, I run to get it, but lately I've found myself questioning why. It's beginning to feel like the Goldy character has run its course. In this book, she is indeed flaky, unable to hold a thought or put off an impulse for more than 10 seconds. C'mon, how can she be smart enough to solve a mystery if she's not smart enough to stop herself from following a clue to a deserted place - alone - at 3 a.m.? Duh! DMD, look again at some of your earlier books in which Goldy was somewhat more three-dimensional. Over time, Goldy's faded into a less interesting, and certainly less likable, character.
Super_J-Rob More than 1 year ago
Diane Mott Davidson is one of a very few authors whose books I don't go to the back of the book to read the last chapter by the time I've gotten through chapter 3. Her books are very enjoyable and highly recommended. Enjoy!
DrDSB More than 1 year ago
Having read all of the previous books in this series, I was not disappointed in the most recent catering murder mystery. Too bad godfather Jack will not be a continuing character--he had real potential. Davidson's attention to detail, both culinary and medical, is excellent. I could not guess the ending until the very end - very well done. And I love the great recipes at the end; several will be making their way into my kitchen binder. I have used many of the previous recipes over and over again. Eagerly awaiting the next adventure - "Where everything is just Right!"
suzyqmacdo More than 1 year ago
A truly fun read! Goldy Schultz, caterer extraordinaire and amateur sleuth (much to the chagrin of her detective husband) returns in another roisterous, rowdy, mouthwatering mystery. In this latest installment we find her catering the wedding reception of the local bridezilla at the "Health Spa/Fat Farm" created by her arch-enemy, Victor Lane. But is Victor's spa as healthy as he would like everyone to believe? Is the death of the local favorite doctor an accident or murder? How is Goldy able to deal with all of this craziness and still stay sane? As that old TV commercial used to say "Read the book!"
Chatte More than 1 year ago
This latest offering from Ms. Davidson proves just as satisfying and mouth watering as all her previous works. This latest installment starring our favorite chef and caterer, Goldy Schultz draws you in yet again as she tries to solve a murder that touches closely to home. I love the way the plot unfolds and has just enough twists to keep you hooked all the way to the end. And all those recipes are an added bonus that I always look forward to in every one of Ms. Davidson's books. For those of you who love murder mysteries and cooking, this is one book that gives you the best of both worlds.
americanbulldogmom More than 1 year ago
I read Davidson's books in between my love of non-fiction. Her books are a fun easy escape and this title is no different. Absorbing and entertaining, Davidson has hit the mark again. Plus, the recipes are pretty tasty - how fun to get a great book and new recipes to try. It may be a gimmick, but I love it!!
suzopp More than 1 year ago
Funny, interesting and great food! What could be better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book had a few moments but not nearly enough to hold my attention. It was a struggle to finish it. Serious overuse of the words godfather and godchild. Apparently the author was afraid we would forget who was who.
AbbysmomKW More than 1 year ago
Not only does Goldy cater two difficult weddings, she cooks at a spa and solves several murders! Wow! If you are familiar with the series, you will enjoy finding out what Goldy is up to next. But the action gets pretty frantic and there seem to be a lot of minor characters that don't add much to the plot. That said, one of the reasons I buy these books is to check out the recipes and I wasn't disappointed with Fatally Flaky. I can only use Diane Mott Davidson's recipes for very special events, but Fatally Flaky Cookies and the recipe for Black-and-White Cake with Chocolate Glaze look deliciously unforgettable.
LDNV More than 1 year ago
the book is a good read and fast readers (like me) finish it in a short time...day or less. The recipes by the author are usually good ones to try, but this time they seemed a bit more than I would want to put into making them. Joanne Fluke books are very similar and the latest had more recipes that I liked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the whole series, I think it is better to start with the first one.
cincmom-53 More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of the series and this installment was very good. Interesting characters along with all our old friends. You can feel Goldie's frustration with her psycho bride, her sadness and, well, I don't want to spoil anything! Enjoy.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
This novel was truly a "culinary" delight. Enjoyed "eating" this mystery right up. The novel plot, characters, and descriptions were well developed, and kept me wanting to read until the mystery was unraveled. As with all of Diane Mott Davidson's culinary capers this was a delight. Wish the book came with some of the foods tucked in it to enjoy while reading about them.
kpw814 More than 1 year ago
I confess: Diane Mott Davidson's catering mysteries are my guilty pleasures. Reading this book I wondered what it is about Goldy that I like. Honestly, she's a caffeine-addled, obsessive busybody in unrealistic situations. Yet she is loveable. At least in this book she doesn't just happen to stumble upon a corpse as she frequently does in others. But I digress . . . This is a fun, quick read. Fans of DMD won't be disappointed. And the mouth-watering descriptions of the food she prepares will inspire you to try out some of the recipes or at least wish you had your own personal chef.
book_ladyVA More than 1 year ago
Diana Mott Davidson's latest bite into the culinary mystery has you feeling full and satisified when you finish reading. The book takes on a new mystery as the local caterer Goldy and her detective husband work to solve the mysterious deaths of her godfather and his best friend. Lots of mystery surrounding the new spa and its owner, along with disasterous weddings will have any fan of culinary mysteries wanting second helpings. I can't wait for serving #16.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Serious Trouble like boxer "punchy" also caffine adduction can cause filbrillation also all that freezing means her food can be affected by cell breakdown in other words is not fresh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! I'm a foodie and a bookworm so this series is perfect!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fatally Flaky is an interesting story written to entertain the reader with humor and pathos. I felt empathy for the heroine, and the writer kept my interest with a clever plot. I enjoyed this book very much, and look forward to the next in the series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fourteen books ago I read the first of these cylinary mysteries, and was totally turned off. This one helped change that. The characters are well developed, have great voices and verve, and the storyline is intriguing. I may have to search for the other 13.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago