Sweet Revenge (Culinary Mystery Series #14)

Sweet Revenge (Culinary Mystery Series #14)

by Diane Mott Davidson

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Goldy Schulz is thrilled to be catering a holiday breakfast feast for the staff of the Aspen Meadow Library. But little does she know that on the menu is a large helping of murder. While setting up at the library, Goldy spots a woman lurking in the stacks who bears a striking resemblance to Sandee Brisbane—the Sandee Brisbane who killed Goldy's ex-husband, the Jerk. But Sandee is supposed to be dead . . . or so everyone believes.

Goldy's suspicions mount when the body of Drew Wellington, a former district attorney, is found in a corner of the library, with a map worth thousands of dollars stashed in his clothing. Goldy is convinced that Sandee, a confessed felon, is involved. But the holiday madness is only just beginning for Goldy. Soon she's drawn into the dangerous, double-crossing world of high-end map dealing. And like the ghost of Christmas past, Sandee keeps making an appearance. Could she be out to prove that revenge is oh-so-sweet?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060527341
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/26/2008
Series: Culinary Mystery Series , #14
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 243,622
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

Sweet Revenge

Chapter One

A month before Christmas, I saw a ghost.

This was not the ghost of Christmas past, present, or future. I didn't need to be reminded of bad things I'd done, nor, as far as I knew, of good things I ought to be doing. This wasn't, as my fifteen-year-old son, Arch, would say, any high woo-woo stuff either. I liked the past to stay in the past, thank you very much. Anything I hadn't handled well in my first thirty-four years I certainly didn't want to be reminded of in my busiest season, when I had twenty-five parties to cater between the first of December and the New Year.

Still, there had been that ghoul, that vision, that whatever it was.

The specter appeared on November 25, which fell on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I was on my way to Smithfield and Hermie MacArthur's house to book two parties. I'd been looking forward to seeing the MacArthurs' place, because the events promised to fill my Christmas stocking with dough, and I didn't mean the kind I made into cinnamon rolls.

Hermie MacArthur had introduced herself to me at a church-women's luncheon I'd done earlier in the fall. In her midforties, with a much-powdered face, grayish-blond hair, and a commanding Southern accent, Hermie possessed an imposingly tall body that was shaped like a McIntosh apple—a hefty chest on stick legs. The luncheon speaker, a local woman named Patricia Ingersoll, headed a weight-loss group. Patricia had been droning on about how nobody should be consuming my gingerbread, made with unsalted butter and freshly grated ginger and—secret ingredient—freshly grated black pepper. I'd enjoyedcatering Patricia's wedding reception four years ago. I also felt very sorry that she'd lost her relatively new husband to cancer in just the last year and a half. But I did wish she could have found another outlet for her energies besides telling people to stop eating.

The churchwomen had been shifting, murmuring, and whispering about regretting inviting Patricia. I'd escaped to my event center's kitchen, where I'd been wondering what I was going to do if nobody ate dessert.

Hermie MacArthur had followed me in, cornered me, and said, "Darlin', we need to talk." She'd fingered her multiple strands of pearls and diamonds while telling me that she and her husband had lived in Aspen Meadow's Regal Ridge Country Club area for only ten months, and she felt the holidays would just be a heavenly time to get to know her neighbors better. Yes, yes, I'd echoed as I reached for my calendar. Great idea. I was all for rich folks getting to know one another better.

We'd set up our November meeting date. But Hermie had been reluctant to leave the kitchen, and it wasn't because she couldn't standto listen to Patricia anymore. I thought perhaps she wanted a second helping of something. Or an early piece of gingerbread? But no. Finally she confided that she was eager for the parties to go well, for her husband Smithfield's sake. It had been Smithfield who'd had the idea that they combine their holiday parties with a celebration of his hobby.

"And what is his hobby?" I'd asked with trepidation, fearing something to do with snakes.

"Why, darlin'," Hermie had replied, "it's map collecting!"

I'd almost choked as I imagined having to make a cake in the shape of North America, complete with squiggly lines for the rivers. But Hermie didn't mention a cake. I smiled and reminded myself that I'd had plenty of practice dealing with ultrawealthy people and their eccentricities. So if the MacArthurs wanted to haul out their Rand McNallys along with some mincemeat pies, who was I to complain?

I did tell Hermie that the one famous map of Aspen Meadow, with its maze of dirt and paved roads winding through the mountains, was You Use'ta Couldn't Get There from Here! She'd frowned. She said she was hoping I could do some reading on map collecting before I came, in case Smithfield wanted me to help with a slide, and I needed to reach for South Africa and not the South Bronx. Plus, Hermie went on, there would be at least two map dealers at the party, and one of them, Drew Wellington, was a former district attorney. Did I know Drew Wellington? she asked.

Yes, I said after a pause. I knew Mr. Wellington.

Hermie also wanted a touch of elegance, she said, and shook a ringed forefinger with a diamond the size of one of Arch's old marbles. Elegant was my middle name, I replied cheerily. Of course it wasn't, and my business, Goldilocks' Catering, Where Everything Is Just Right!, could be as low-down as a cowboy barbecue. But Hermie had seemed satisfied.

So there I was on November 25, tootling along Regal Road, the curving mountain byway that led past one of Arch's favorite snowboarding places and ended at the entrance to Regal Ridge Country Club, a relatively new fancy development built after Aspen Meadow Country Club had filled up. Hermie and I were set to make decisions on the menus for a dinner for eight to be held on Saturday, December 16, and a luncheon on Monday, the eighteenth. Elegant meant we weren't just talking soup to nuts. I was offering her crab dumplings in fresh herb broth to precede her first event, a curry dinner that would conclude with lime—not mincemeat, thank goodness—pie. For the Monday lunch, Hermie had asked for lamb and potatoes. I was going to propose lamb chops persillade and potatoes au gratin. The potatoes would be made memorable with fresh sage and caramelized onions. After we'd decided on the food, we'd hammer out the details of a preliminary contract. I would see how the MacArthurs' kitchen, dining, and living areas were set up. Then, most importantly from my point of view, Hermie would write a check for a down payment.

Sweet Revenge. Copyright © by Diane Davidson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Sweet Revenge 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
interesting characters with supportive relationships. Goldie is a caterer and her murders are always involved with her catering jobs. There is usually a subplot involving her teenage son and her very entertaining friend Marla. She ia a full bodied,wealthy woman who always helps in the crime solution and adds humor to the story. Goldie's husband is a police detective is very supportive, and very sexy. this book involves a murder at the local public library where Goldie is catering a brunch.It then involves several wealthy families who also hire her. the story line revolves around valuable antique maps. greed and prestige lead to danger and murder.All Diane Mott Davidson's book include yummy recipes.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's the pre-Christmas season and Goldy has 25 parties to cater between the first of December and New Year's Eve. Two of them are for the ultra-rich MacArthur's. It's on the way to their house to firm up the menus that Goldy sees a ghost. Sandee Brisbane had killed Goldy's ex-husband and then disappeared into a forest fire right after she confessed. So how could she be driving a car down the road from the MacArthur's? Goldy tells her present husband, police detective Tom Schulz, but nothing much is done about it. Then Goldy thinks she sees her again in the library as she is setting up for the librarian's Christmas party. Just after seeing this apparition the librarian calls for help because one of the patrons has collapsed. It turns out Drew Wellington has been poisoned and stabbed and he is dead before the paramedics get there. Could Sandee have killed him too?In between cooking and catering Goldy investigates and learns more than she wants to know about the victim. After Wellington lost the election as District Attorney he went into selling antique maps but he may not have acquired these maps legally. He also had a penchant for teenage girls. Which of these avocations was the trigger for his murder?Read the book for the answer to these questions. It's also a low-cal way to indulge in all sorts of delicious treats like Chuzzlewit Cheese Pie, Bleak House Bars and Door-Prize Gingerbread. Or if you want to indulge in the real thing the recipes are at the back of the book.
JennyMcb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Couldn't finish the book, it was taking too long to get anywhere. Too many characters.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The holiday season means lots of business for Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz. She has a full weekend of bookings, starting with a Saturday morning staff breakfast at the public library. Goldy's event set-up isn't the only thing going on at the library late on Friday afternoon. Just before closing, ex-DA Drew Wellington is found dead in a corner of the library. Who might the culprit be? His ex-wife? His current fiancee? A disgruntled partner in his map dealing business? A rival dealer? An unhappy client? Goldy will have an opportunity to do some sleuthing as most of the suspects are on the guest lists of her weekend catering events.All of the suspects have something to hide, and their behaviors provide lots of red herrings. I found Goldy's behavior really irritating in this one. She couldn't stop meddling in her policeman husband, Tom's, investigation, and made a nuisance of herself with his police colleagues. Why Goldy and Tom aren't headed for divorce court, or at least marriage counseling, is beyond me.I usually try to read series books in order, but for some reason I've never done that with this series. In this case, it was a mistake. The events in this book are closely tied to an earlier book in the series that I haven't yet read. This book includes major plot spoilers for the earlier book. Thus, I recommend that you read Double Shot before reading this one.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christmas is always a hectic season for caterer Goldy Schulz in the town of Aspen Meadow, Colorado. This one is no exception. She's setting up for an event to be hosted at the library when she spies for the second time in recent weeks a person she believes to be the killer of her ex-husband. This killer was presumed to have been dead. A former district attorney who is dealing in rare maps turns up dead in the library shortly after this sighting. Was Goldy "seeing things" or was that really who she thought it was? All the suspects in the ensuing sheriff's department investigation seem to be hiding something. This series is getting to be somewhat like a soap-opera in my opinion. If you haven't read earlier installments, you need to read those before reading this one. This installment was rather long, especially for a cozy with a Christmas setting.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was all right but seemed somewhat repetitive of other books in the series as the protagonist, Goldie, continues to do somewhat stupid things, like confronting suspects and known killers, on her own. Not surprisingly, she gets involved in situations where she gets bruised, battered and choked. One would almost think that the author dislikes this poor caterer. I'm surprised Goldie's husband still has a career given the stuff she does that could contaminate a murder scene or result in a murderer escaping. I keep reading the series because I'm intrigued by the catering, recipes, other characters, and just finding out how Goldy will again stumble into a situation where she finds a dead body. I like to read the recipes because they sound fantastic but I would never make them because they sound like heart attacks about to happen, loaded with butter and cream.
kymmayfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well this was an ok book, it took a long time to pick up unlike the rest of the books. However, when it picked up I didn't want to put it down. Goldie gets caught in the worst situations ever in this book. Julian, Marla, Tom, Arch were there of course to offer the support but it makes you think how much are these guys going to be able to handle.Davidson has a total hit with the series even if this wasnt the best one in the series. I love the family dynamics in this series as funny and convoluted as they are. The surprise twist had a previous character come back into the story all though I'm not completley sure why. I of course thought I had the murderer picked out but was totally wrong, however I'm still baffled by the ending lol.This one ranked a 4 out of 5. I would like to recommend this one to anyone who is reading the series already lol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read for fans of cozy's. Had to overlook some absurd actions: Goldy calling the school, thinking the Secretary would give personal info about an alumni, and being perturbed when no one answered - on a Saturday - really ?! Also, the Police giving her a ride after she crashes her car, drop her off on the corner, making her walk home - in a blizzard. Content: no swearing, no gore, minor sexual references
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I enjoy Diane Mott Davidson's series. Sweet Revenge did not disappoint. However, Barbara Rosenblat's reading of the book was terrible. She was so overly dramatic, that I had to turn it off and get the book from the library to finish it. Find a new reader, please.
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