The Whole Enchilada (Culinary Mystery Series #17)

The Whole Enchilada (Culinary Mystery Series #17)

3.9 105
by Diane Mott Davidson

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Caterer and sleuth extraordinaire Goldy Schulz jumps from the frying pan into the fire as she tries to solve a puzzling murder that is much too close to home, in this latest entry in the New York Times bestselling series from "today's foremost practitioner of the culinary whodunit" (Entertainment Weekly)

The Whole Enchilada

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Caterer and sleuth extraordinaire Goldy Schulz jumps from the frying pan into the fire as she tries to solve a puzzling murder that is much too close to home, in this latest entry in the New York Times bestselling series from "today's foremost practitioner of the culinary whodunit" (Entertainment Weekly)

The Whole Enchilada

Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she's leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in.

But what looks like a coronary turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking.

When a colleague—a woman who resembles Goldy—is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before that killer can serve her up cold.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Davidson’s beguiling 17th mystery featuring Aspen Meadow, Colo., caterer Goldy Schulz (after 2011’s Crunch Time), Goldy fears that the death of her friend Holly Ingleby immediately following a birthday party she catered was caused by something Holly ate. When Holly—who was part of the unofficial group of emotionally and often physically battered wives that Goldy and mutual friend Marla Korman belonged to—turns out to have died from a medication overdose, the caterer knows she owes it to Holly to investigate. Digging into her friend’s past, particularly through the reams of notes Goldy took during long-ago sessions of the support group Amour Anonymous, she discovers unsettling secrets involving Holly and other prominent members of Aspen Meadow society. It becomes clear that whatever tidbits Holly took with her to the grave may have provided a motive for murder. Davidson, as usual, deftly weaves her mouthwatering recipes through the plot, which takes several emotional turns. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Three women formerly married to doctors had formed a support group named Amour Anonymous. Now the past has caught up to one of them. After her divorce, it took caterer Goldy Schulz years to recover her sense of self-worth. Now she's happily married to Tom, a police detective in Aspen Meadows, Colo., who hardly minds that she occasionally meddles in his cases. Goldy and her helper Julian are catering a Mexican-themed birthday party for her son Arch and his friend Drew, whose mom, Holly, has been part of the support group. The party is to be held at the home of wealthy Marla, the third member. After Drew's father and his second wife show up uninvited, things go from nasty to tragic when Holly collapses and dies in Marla's driveway. Goldy and Marla, determined to discover why, review all Goldy's notes from their meetings. But the research they do on Holly's current life is more revealing. Holly lost her house and had to sell her expensive cars and move Drew to a cheaper school even though she was awarded child support from her well-heeled ex. Although Holly seemed to be living on the money from her artwork, even that turns out to be not quite the truth. The plot thickens with an attack on an Episcopal priest who may have been counseling Holly and the death of a Goldy wannabe who just happened to be with him. Goldy is lucky to escape violence at her own home from an attacker who's obviously searching for something. Goldy, Marla and the police had better figure out what before more people die. Davidson snaps back from the mediocre Crunch Time (2011) with a more tantalizing puzzle. But fans may well skim the mystery and focus on the many appended recipes and bits of cooking lore scattered throughout.
Library Journal
No chance you'll want to forget ordering Davidson's 17th series title (after Crunch Time). First a friend dies of poisoning, and then Goldy gets attacked. [See Prepub Alert, 3/27/13.]

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Culinary Mystery Series, #17
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Whole Enchilada

By Diane Davidson

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Diane Davidson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-134817-4

Before Holly died—before everything went south—I enjoyed the
prep for the boys' party.
As I grated cheese for the enchiladas, I remembered meeting Holly
on the maternity ward when our sons were born. She was standing
very still outside the newborns' nursery, staring through the glass as
tears dropped from her high- cheekboned face. I put her despair down
to postpartum blues, and hugged her. She was quite a bit taller than
yours truly, so we made an odd picture.
Within moments, Holly and I also discovered that neither of our
doctor husbands had bothered to show up. She dabbed her eyes and
said, “I feel so sorry for Drew. He has to know his own father doesn't
For a change, I bit my tongue. I hadn't been surprised that Dr. John
Richard Korman had not made an appearance. Later, I dubbed him the
Jerk, both for his initials and his behavior, which included breaking my
right thumb in three places with a hammer.
I set aside the shredded cheddar and veered away from that mem-
ory. I touched my thumb, which still wouldn't move properly. Then I

6 Diane Mott Davidson
tore the skin off rotisserie chickens and ripped the meat from the bones.
Who says cooking isn't cathartic?
Drew and Arch had been in the same Sunday School and attended
Aspen Meadow's Montessori preschool. There, Holly enthusiastically
helped students with their clay sculptures and tempera paintings. I felt
lucky to have known Holly before her artwork made her famous.
I blinked at the pan of softened tortillas, then stacked them between
paper towels to remove excess oil. Next I mixed crema—homemade
sour cream—with the chicken, cheddar, and a judicious amount of salt.
I began rolling the tortillas around spoonfuls of the filling and carefully
placing them in buttered pans.
Goldy and Arch; Holly and Drew. I had a sudden image of Drew,
Holly's darling son, at age five, his face splashed with freckles, his mop
of strawberry- blond curls blowing in the breeze beside Cottonwood
Creek. After church, Drew and Arch would hunt for garter snakes by
the water. When they held one up for our inspection, we would shriek.
When the boys finished kindergarten, I put Arch into public school.
Holly enrolled Drew at Elk Park Prep, an expensive local private insti-
tution. But the boys remained church pals until they were nine. Back
then, Holly swooned over the cookies I brought in for the Sunday
School class; she even begged for the recipes. She gleefully admitted she
never made them herself, but gave them to the cook who worked for
her mother- in- law, Edith. The cook was one of the benefits of living
in the red- brick plantation- style house that Edith's deceased husband
had built. George the First, as Holly called him, had made millions
as a genuine oil baron. When I said it must be nice to have somebody
else prepare meals, Holly replied that living with Edith wasn't worth a
dozen chefs.
Holly also confided that she'd discovered, too late, that her
husband—George the Second—was a mama's boy and a cheapskate.
Despite Holly's pleas, George refused to buy a house for their little fam-
ily. His mother might get sick, he maintained. She might fall down
the stairs. No, George wouldn't hear of it. Worse, George and Edith

put Holly, who had to look up the word profligate, on a stringent cash
budget. Humiliated and furious, Holly came to hate them both. The
boys were in fourth grade when she began divorce proceedings.
As I chopped onions for the enchilada sauce, the tears filling my
eyes may have come from the onion. Still, I didn't enjoy recalling how
much I'd missed my friend when she bought a house in Denver. I hated
remembering how Arch had pined for Drew.
I found a tissue, blew my nose, and washed my hands again. I heated
oil in a Dutch oven, then tossed in the onion. When it was almost done,
I ladled in minced garlic. I stirred and inhaled the luscious scent. Next
I added chopped Italian tomatoes, chiles, and oregano to the enchilada
sauce, gave it a good stir, and smiled—for this was when the memories
started their trajectory back up.
Not much more than a year after Holly left George the Second, the
boys had an opportunity to get reacquainted. Holly sold the place in
Denver. She purchased a fire- engine- red four- wheel- drive Audi and a
house in Aspen Meadow Country Club, then called to say she was back.
By then, Marla Korman, the Jerk's second ex- wife, and I had be-
come pals. I invited Holly to join Amour Anonymous. While the group
met, Arch and Drew moved from remote- controlled cars to board
games. In winter, the two of them sledded down nearby hills. Drew,
tall and athletic like Holly, began to tower over Arch. Sometimes the
boys would build a jump for their sleds and plastic saucers, and laugh
themselves silly when one of them wiped out.
At the beginning of each Amour Anonymous meeting, we would
check in with a brief description of our current physical and emotional
health. Then we took turns choosing discussion topics. I was the secre-
tary. This was all before laptop computers became commonplace, so I
wrote the notes by hand.
I sighed, poured the sauce over the first pan of enchiladas, and put
them in the oven. I made myself an espresso and sat down. What came
next was my best memory of Holly from those dark days.
Not long into my own years of singlehood, Marla was out of town

8 Diane Mott Davidson
when a sudden snowstorm postponed an Amour Anonymous meeting.
Arch was spending the night with a friend, whose parents invited him
to stay on. I couldn't have picked him up anyway, because my tires had
once again been slashed. I suspected the Jerk, of course, but could prove

Excerpted from The Whole Enchilada by Diane Davidson. Copyright © 2013 Diane Davidson. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

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

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