The Last Suppers (Culinary Mystery Series #4)

The Last Suppers (Culinary Mystery Series #4)

3.8 27
by Diane Mott Davidson
     
 

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It should be the happiest day of Goldy the caterer's life.... After years of struggling to put the disaster of her first marriage behind her, she has finally found the courage to love again. And soon she'll be walking down the aisle of St. Luke's Episcopal Church to wed big-bodied, big-hearted Tom Schulz, a county homicide detective who shares Goldy's passions for… See more details below

Overview

It should be the happiest day of Goldy the caterer's life.... After years of struggling to put the disaster of her first marriage behind her, she has finally found the courage to love again. And soon she'll be walking down the aisle of St. Luke's Episcopal Church to wed big-bodied, big-hearted Tom Schulz, a county homicide detective who shares Goldy's passions for preparing food and solving crimes. But moments after Goldy's put the finishing touches on the scrumptious reception feast, and just before the ceremony is to begin, she receives an urgent phone call from the groom himself. The wedding is off and the reason is murder.... It seems that Tom had stopped by the Reverend Theodore Olson's house to pick him up for the ceremony, only to find the rector shot and dying. And there's worse to come. By the time Tom's fellow officers arrive at the crime scene, they find a corpse, signs of a violent struggle, and Tom's notebook containing a cryptic message, but no Tom. Has the groom been abducted by the killer? Or has he gotten cold feet and walked out of Goldy's life? Goldy sadly contemplates sending her Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes; her Fusilli in Parmesan Cream Sauce; and the other reception goodies to the local soup kitchen. The Dark Chocolate Wedding Cake with White Peppermint Frosting, however, is put on ice with a prayer that it can be thawed out soon, as Goldy sets out to discover who killed Father Olson and what happened to her missing fiance. With Tom's life on the line, Goldy desperately needs to decipher the hastily scribbled notes he left by Father Olson's body. Now the timer is ticking, and Goldy's future depends on uncovering the churchgoer whose murderous path may have begun on a road paved with good intentions but will surely lead straight to hell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Intrepid Colorado caterer Goldy Bear, last seen in The Cereal Murders, caters her own wedding in this latest adventure set amidst the community of St. Luke's Episcopal church, where upper lips may be stiff but someone's trigger finger is limber. Goldy makes it to the altar on the appointed day but is left standing there when, moments before the ceremony, her beloved groom, Detective Tom Schulz, discovers the minister shot dead. When Tom disappears, Goldy goes into action and quickly learns that the passions raised by the the charismatic minister, who some believe had performed a miraculous healing, run deep. To locate the killer and her fianc, Goldy relies on cryptic notes Tom left at the crime scene, while finding comfort and inspiration in his recipe file. Suspense builds steadily, whether Goldy is confronting physical danger or a short-notice request for dinner for 12. The solution iself may be something of a letdown, but the main course on Davidson's latest menu, served with lively pacing and characterization, is satisfying and tasty. Eleven recipes included. Author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The author of The Cereal Murders (LJ 10/1/93) offers more of the same: an appealing mixture of food and crime. A murder delays Colorado caterer Goldy Bear's second wedding when duty calls away the homicide-detective groom-to-be. Includes 12 original recipes.
Caroline Andrew
Caterer Goldy Bear's wedding would have been perfect except for two minor problems--the priest is killed shortly before the wedding and her fiance, homicide detective Tom Schulz, is kidnapped from the scene of the crime. Frustrated with waiting for updates from the police, Goldy attempts to find out who ruined her wedding. Is the killer the organist, recently fired by the priest? Or the disgruntled theology student snubbed by the ordination board? Sandwiched between the suspense and Goldy's 10 gourmet recipes are layerings of criticism directed at organized religion. The scandals of Goldy's church snowball as she pursues the killer. Battles over church funds, building projects, and hymnal music lead to suspicious miracle healing and cleric egocentricity as well as corruptness. And although Tom Schulz's character is never more than one-dimensional, Goldy's realistic thoughts and reactions to events make her an interesting personality--and turn this book into a substantive mystery.
From the Publisher
"A cross between Mary Higgins Clark and Betty Crocker."
—The Baltimore Sun

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553095876
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1994
Series:
Culinary Mystery Series, #4
Pages:
304

Read an Excerpt

"Hurry along now," chided Lucille as she pulled open the side door to St. Luke's. From inside the church, the high peals of organ music mingled with the buzz and shuffling of arriving guests. She shooed me into the sacristy, the tiny room adjoining the sanctuary where the priest ans acolytes put on their vestments before each service. On the counter next to the parish register lay two bouquets of the same type as the disputed altar flowers: luscious spills of creamy white stock and fragrant freesia, tiny pink carnations and white and pink sweetheart roses. There was one for me and one for Marla, who in addition to being best friend and matron of honor, was the other ex-wife of my first husband. Lucille informed me Marla was out in the narthex, "giggling wildly with that jewelry raffle committee, but what else would you expect?" She would send her back. Lucille's tone signaled her opinion of both the raffle committee and Marla, its chairwoman. Giving me another of her razor-edged glances, she commanded me to stay put.

Arch craned his neck around the door to the sacristy. He pushed his glasses up his freckled nose and said, "I know. You're nervous, right?"

"Remember your first day of seventh grade?"

"I'd rather not." He scooted through the door and closed it softly behind him. "Hate to tell you, Mom, but your hat's on crooked."

I smiled. Thin-shouldered and narrow-chested, Arch had taken great pains with his own scrubbed and buttoned-up appearance. But the kid-sized tuxedo only emphasized all the growing up he'd had to do in the last five years. First he'd escaped into fantasy role-playing games. Then he'd endured harassment at a newschool. Only in the last few months had Arch found a sense of family support from two people-- Julian Teller, our nineteen-year old live-in boarder, and of course, Tom Schulz. For the first time in years, my son seemed genuinely, if precariously happy.

Reluctantly, I turned to look at the crooked headgear in the long mirror behind the sacristy door. As I feared, the glass reflected a short, thirty-one year old female with blond corkscrews of hair protruding from a cockeyed hat that looked too sophisticated for her slightly rounded, slightly frecked face. I removed the odious beige silk thing, reseated it, and stabbed ferociously with the hat pin. I loathe hats. Even when catering the most elegant dinners, I never wear a chef's cap. But Father Olson had suggested my wearing a hat would appease the Altar Guild, whose many rules I was shattering by getting married in Lent, for the second time, with lots of flowers. Arch, on tiptoe behind me, frowned as he adjusted his black-and-silver-striped cravat. The tuxedo was a little big. Nevertheless, he looked absolutely dashing. I turned and gave him an impulsive hug.

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