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.
About the Author
Diane Mott Davidson is the author of sixteen bestselling novels. She divides her time between Colorado and Florida.
Read an Excerpt
The Whole Enchilada
By Diane Davidson
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Diane Davidson
All rights reserved.
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
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
THE WHOLE ENCHILADA 7
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This series is getting a little tired. The story was too long, and too much happens in the Epilog.
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!
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.
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.
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!.
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.
I have read all the Goldy Schulz books and think this the best written of an overall well-written series. It is a somewhat complex plot, but it seemed to me to be skillfully presented. I enjoyed this very much. Like some of the other reviewers, though, I too sensed the possibility that this could be the end of the series. I fervently hope not and that we will have more culinary mysteries in years to come.
Loved this one. Hope she keeps them coming. These nooks are so enjoyable. Two thumbs up. Please let me know when her next one is coming.
All is going well for caterer Goldy Schulz as her son and his friend, Drew, celebrate with a joint birthday party, but then Drew’s mother, Holly, collapses and dies. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat brings the characters to life in author Diane Mott Davidson’s THE WHOLE ENCHILADA, the 17th installment in her Culinary Mystery Series. Rosenblat draws listeners in as she expresses the vast array of emotions woven throughout the story. Her cadence is crisp and clear holding you spellbound until the end. At first glance it appears Goldy’s best friend died of a heart attack. Later at Holly’s home, Goldy steps to get a note on the back deck and it collapses sending her into the frigid water below. Shaken, but not badly hurt, Goldy then learns that Holly had been poisoned and the deck sabotaged. Days later another caterer, one that was trying to imitate Goldy, is attacked and killed. When Goldy herself is attacked outside her home, she realizes the killer thinks she knows more than she does. Determined to find Holly’s killer, Goldy begins searching for answers Davidson continues to develop and evolve her main characters in the Culinary Mystery Series so that returning readers/listeners get to know them better with each book. New fans are not lose as there is enough background information to keep you on track. This book can be enjoyed as a standalone. The characters are well-balanced, realistic and likable. The secondary characters always add a flare to the story. THE WHOLE ENCHILADA moves at a steady pace with Davidson’s protagonist mulling over the ‘whys’ and ‘who could haves’ in a pragmatic manner. There are twists and surprises along the way. In addition, Davidson includes many of the delicious recipes Goldy and her crew create throughout the story. This is a story that is sure to whet your reading appetite, as well as your taste buds. FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Diane Mott Davidson never fails to entertain -- either her readers or the characters in her novels!!
I hadn't read any of this series for a while. Then I read an excerpt and was pulled into the latest offering. It is a very complex story that keeps you mentally challenged. Some things seem clear and then,oops, something happens to add more elements. It's fun, the food sounds tasty, and the finish is a sweet surprise.
This may be her yet. Loved it.