The Whole Enchilada (Culinary Mystery Series #17)

The Whole Enchilada (Culinary Mystery Series #17)

3.9 104
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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The Whole Enchilada 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Bookbetty43 More than 1 year ago
The usual characters are there, but the story line is a bit cloudy. Just not up to Davidson's normal standard. Was it written in a hurry! Only makes sense if you've read the other books first.
Mayor More than 1 year ago
A fairly good job, but the epilogue contained a whole lot more information than the rest of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is getting a little tired. The story was too long, and too much happens in the Epilog.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Goldy Schulz is at it again in the latest book in the series. When her good friend Holly dies after leaving her son’s birthday party, Goldy discovers that there was a lot going on in Holly’s life that Goldy knew nothing about. Goldy and Holly met when they gave birth to their sons at the same time and discovered that they were both married to Doctors, and not the nicest men to boot. Over the years they had lost touch with each other but Goldy considered Holly one of her most important friends and is devastated by her death. AS we would expect, Holly’s death is actually a murder and Goldy is determined to help her husband Tom solve the case. After she has a dangerous accident at Holly’s house, Goldy gets a 24/7 police escort in Officer Boyd. Goldy, her friend Marla, her fellow caterer Julian, and even Boyd becomes a mobile unit asking questions all over town and stirring up lots of trouble. Goldy finds out more about Holly than she would ever have wanted to know and many lives will be impacted by the information she uncovers. There are several side stories going on that have a relationship to the murder but also cause problems that aren’t related. I really love Tom’s character and would have liked to see more of him in the book. However, his part in the story might be small in time but ultimately BIG in impact on Goldy’s future. I enjoy the fact that he has learned to just let Goldy loose when it comes to a murder because she will do what she wants with or without his permission. Tom does the best he can to protect her and Goldy does take precautions so Tom doesn’t have to worry as much. Long time readers will be happy to see the usual cast of characters we have come to know so well but new readers will find the book easy to follow without too much backstory. The ending will satisfy everyone and the recipes at the end of the book look really yummy!
beedyr More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of ms Davidson's books and found them to be quite enjoyable. This one, not so much. The story went round and round from one suspect to the other and back again. As I remember, the murder was not solved until the epilogue. I've always loved her books and will not be turned off by one disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed The Goldy Series until this book. Marla has become obnoxious and I was completely turned off by the way Goldy and Marla treated some people (like the artist). They acted like a couple of "mean girl" teenagers. I know this is fiction but Goldy's involvement in the investigation was more implausible than in previous books. Her husband would lose his job if he really turned over so much of the investigation to Goldy. Not Diane Mott Davidson's best effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always LOVED Goldy Schulz and have read all of the books, however, this one was way too long. The Epilogue was far too long and I thought that the very end of the epilogue would have gone into the next book. I really missed Tom, the police officer in this book. Although Goldy is a sleuth, Tom handed over way too much in this investigation and having the whole police department watching and guarding them every second was overkill. I love Boyd as a police officer not as a babysitter, fill in caterer. Not your best Mrs. Davidson, but, I cannot wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much explaining and too little action!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book because I am a big fan but I was disappointed with the plot - it was easy to figure out "who dunnit" compared to her other books.  The way the book  ended made me wonder if this was the end of the series.  I wonder if Mott is running out of inspiration and interest.  That would be a shame - I enjoy the Colorado setting and her characters. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reads like it may be Davidson's "swan song". Most of the focus is on one character, a bit dull, with Goldie becoming the superhero! I miss the cooking interwoven throughout the story, the relationship Goldie had with Tom, and Goldie's quirkiness. The epilogue makes me hope this is the last book in the series, because after ready ALL Davidson's previous mysteries...I won't chose to read another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed.  The character of Goldy has always been like an friend I look forward to visiting with.  Unfortunately, in this book she makes it clear she doesn't like Republicans and is very stereotypical with her descriptions.  It wasn't necessary and seemed banal.  She also rips on fitness and just seems cranky and unhappy.  Maybe it has to do with switching to decaf.  Her family life is wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end and that's where we'll part ways, even if there is another book.  Arch is too moody and I was hoping he'd out grow that phase!.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mott has her usual great recipes and food prep/catering in this book. Her relationships with her husband and son are so weak....... maybe family therapy in the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those of us who love Goldy and her family this is a great book. From beginning to end it keeps you turning pages and wondering what happened. Even if you have never meet the group before you will be able to follow along. This one is very good and it is fun to watch the family grow through the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Goldy book to date. If you wanted more romance, danger, mystery and great recipes you got it. Even a few tears and surprises along the way. Hope this isn't the last one of the Goldy series, so many more potential plot lines popped up in this one. It's midnight on a work night couldn't put it down. Enjoy!
Lillianswriter More than 1 year ago
I have read many of Diane Mott Davidson's "Culinary Mystery Series" but "The Whole Enchilada" is the first one in a long time. Her books are a fun read with a mystery always involved. The characters are engaging and it feels like you are listening to a friend tell you about her adventures with her catering business. I was really stumped with the "who did it" until almost the last minute this time....Mott Davidson builds up the evidence that this character has to be the murderer, but then no it is someone else, and then someone else again. No matter how long it has been since you read a Goldie adventure you can slide right in and feel at home with the whole cast of characters. I went out after reading this on my Nook and got 2 more of her audio books for a long car trip I am taking next week. Her books are great for readers who are looking for a light read with a mystery and a look at many likable characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PRG1945 More than 1 year ago
Only reason I didn't give it a "5" is that there isn't anything unique. It's the characters we love and whimsical writing that typifies this series. If Diane Mott Davidson is a new author to you, start with #1 in the series. The books build on each other. You'll enjoy this book if you haven't read the others, but who wants to read a series from the end to the beginning?
mybookfriends More than 1 year ago
I love the humor used in Davidson's books! It keeps me a return customer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of Diane Mott Davidson's books . I think The WHOLE ENCHILADA is the best . I didn't figure out the killer . There were so many twists and turns . I read it in one sitting .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As far as i can see has never gone into soft cover so it is only borrow from library but as i borrowed this one doubt if i will bother just too annoying especially her constant injuries and complete disregard for caffine addiction too much can seriously cause filbrilation
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Harper Collins for a copy of The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson. I am familiar with this author from seeing many of her novels in the bookstore or on the shelves at libraries. Diane writes what many know as foodie mysteries. This type of mystery is a first for me. Synopsis: Goldy is preparing for her son’s birthday party. Her catering business will handle the food for the event. A good event could mean good prospects for her catering business! She is also excited to see her friend Holly who she has not seen in a while. They are getting back together to celebrate both of their sons’ birthdays. Holly has been rather secretly recently and Goldy wants to know what is going on. Before she has the chance to ask; Holly collapses at the party and dies. Now she has many questions with no answers. How will they help the Great Meadows police department investigate? My Thoughts: I had never read a foodie mystery before. The journey back into mysteries is a gradual dip into the water. Goldy and her friends’ story take place in this series. I dropped into the middle of this series. First you will notice if you have not read this series before the first fifty pages will catch you up on what has happened so far. I initially wondered how much background information we the readers would have to read. All of the sudden page fifty brought along the action and started to keep me interested in the story. The only other part that bugged me is how much time is spent discussing the recipes and prep. Yes, this story is about a caterer. I did enjoy the story and will probably keep my copy for the recipes. by Jencey/Writer's Corner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of Diane Mott Davidson's Culinary Mystery Series, and this is no exception. I read the excerpt at the end of Crunch Time, and I had to get The Whole Enchilada right away. If you enjoy this genre, be sure not to miss this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great! I still think that she's the best "foodie" mystery writer. It almost sounded as if it could be her last. Hope not.