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85 of 100 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 18, 2007
I have read every book in this series and have enjoyed each and every one -- until now. The books have always been entertaining, fun and light-hearted. This one was slow-moving and full of filler. It seemed like the author needed to produce a specific number of pages and didn't have enough material to do so. The solution -- recap over and over what had happened so far in the story. While a summation at various points can be helpful to the reader, every few pages Goldy (the main character) would "review what she knew so far". That review was always good for filling up the page but did nothing to advance the story. I found myself extremely impatient with the device since I lost count of how many times it was done. Many pages were also devoted to taking her son Arch and his friends to the snowboarding recreation area. There are only so many times I can read about planning on going, preparing to go, driving to the recreation area, planning on picking him up, loading the equipment in the van and driving back home or arranging for someone else to take him since Goldy was busy. FYI -- if you got impatient with reading that last sentence, think about it taking pages throughout the book to describe !!

In addition, the characters weren't developed in any fashion. Tom (Goldy's husband) spent the entire book enveloping her in big bear hugs and fussing at her for interfering. Her son Arch spent the entire book making sarcastic comments and being a general irritant.

I don't know if Goldy has run her coarse and needs to be retired, but more books of this quality diminish what has been an outstanding series. Either improve the quality or end it gracefully !
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2007
The Goldy Bear mysteries have been one of my favorite mystery series. I would look forward to loosing myself in the pages that went into great detail about the cooking of the recipes and found myself salivating as they were described. In the last few books DMD has moved farther and farther from the roots with which she started this series. The cooking
and recipes are now just a filler device that barely get more than just a mention. In the early DMD books the recipes were included in the section of the book where they were refered to and I would linger over them as Goldy described how she developed the recipe, steps in the cooking of it and lushious descriptions of how they tasted. The recipes are now listed in the back of the book, which may be easier for finding them, but takes part of the fun out of the book in my opinion.

I had to force myself to finish this book. The plot was so stupid, map dealers are in no way interesting. The new characters brought in to move the plot never seemed like real people and they were all bad or had questionable motives. They were never fleshed out. The regular cast of characters were flat and dull and predictable. The descriptive element was also poorly done. With such a beautiful backrop, you'd think DMD would include it more in her writing.

I have been at a DMD book signing and heard her speak and she is an amazing, intelligent and funny woman. I know she is capable of so much more than this book would lead one to believe. I will continue to hope that the next book in this series will be better. But I won't automatically pre-order as I have done in the past. Please DMD, go back to your original style!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2008
Do you ever find yourself reading a series and you just can't stop? Even though you're no longer truly enjoying it? I've found myself in that rut with this series. The first few I read (admittedly, I started out of order) were fine, but then as the series wore on Goldy got on my nerves more and more... her over-indulged son, Arch, during his `rebellious' nasty teen tantrums, running over her, all the lamenting about the abuse by her ex... it got tiresome. The character came across as whiney and pathetic. I think to mention it once or twice, sure, but to beat it into the ground over and over became so tedious that I just had to put the series down.

But for some reason I picked it up again. Out of habit? I'm not sure, but the first 100 pages of this book took me a long time to get through. I had to keep setting it down because Goldy annoyed me so very much. Even Tom, her loving husband, irritated me in this book. He came across as... arrogant. Once the actual mystery started, I was able to read it mostly for that and plowed my way through the book (though the people who kept coming to Goldy for help because she `solves crime' was trite and unrealistic... I think I'm getting more and more annoyed with the amateur sleuth series that seem to imply a regular person is so much smarter and more equipped to solve murders than, say, the police force. And Goldy's false modesty didn't ring true or sit well, either.). I think I'd give the mystery portion of the book four stars (a pretty decent cozy) and the characters a single star. Technically that averages out to two-and-a-half, but I'm rounding down. Maybe I'll be smart enough to not even start the next one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning but I was terribly disappointed with this effort. The character of Goldy has always been somewhat neurotic but now is additionally portrayed as rather shrill and overprotective, especially in the depicted relationship to her son, Arch.

I agree with a previous reviewer that much of the book was filled with Goldy's speculations about who might have been motivated to commit the crime as well as needless recapitulations of events. All in all, it was a tedious slog instead of a delightful bit of light mystery fiction.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 25, 2007
This could very well be the worst Goldy mystery yet. Not only are the characters mere two-dimensional puppets, Goldy has turned into a narcissitic busy-body who I found myself rooting against. The supporting characters are merely that -- props that allow Goldy to to do whatever the heck she wants and then pull her out of trouble when she finds herself stuck.

How many times can one person put themselves in harrowing circumstances with no clear reason? How often can Goldy tromp over her friends and lie to everyone under the sun to stick her nose where it doesn't belong? How many map dealers could there possibly be in one small town? And how often can DMD use the phrases "white stuff," "two-step," and "quickstep?" The mystery itself doesn't make much sense, and Goldy vacillates from feeling sorry for Sandy to quaking in her boots at the mere mention of her name.

I used to love this series, but I'm afraid it just went onto my "don't waste your time list."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2007
I enjoyed most of the earlier mysteries tremendously, and I relished the recipes since I have a passion for baking and cooking like Davidson and Goldie.
However, in this book Goldie seems to repeatedly put herself into peril without exercising any discretion, or thinking of what would happen to son Arch and husband Tom if she were seriously injured or disabled. She exercises no regard for other people's property: Borrowing a car from her best friend, Marla, is acceptable, but commandeering a party guest's vehicle is not. In general, Goldie seems like the Energizer Bunny running around, fueled by double espressos, and not at all like a sane, friendly person you would want to know.
Here's hoping in the next offering, Davidson is back on track, describing a Goldie who is a little less manic and a little more mature.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2007
Diane Mott Davidson needs to hang up Goldie's apron. This latest edition to the series is flat and uninteresting. I found myself rooting for the "bad guys" to finish Goldie off. The characters have no personality and are becoming dislikeable, particularly Arch. The scenes and the discussions between the characters are disjointed. The author uses question marks indiscriminantly and frequently; which became irritating (which lets you know the plot was not holding my interest). This edition has put me off the "Goldie" series permanently.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2009
Like several of the other one-star reviewers, I've been reading this series out of habit. I also confess to an interest in seeing how the character of Julian turns out. I don't always like Marla, but I enjoy her weight and her wealth as something different among the genre's usual sidekicks.

I am thoroughly sick of Goldy Bear Schulz, though. Davidson lost me a few books back in the installment in which Goldy suspects her husband of infidelity and then proceeds to be unfaithful to HIM (though not sexually) in truly spectacular ways, lying, sneaking, committing felonies of her own, and finally getting someone killed because she impersonated a police officer -- without Davidson seeming to have any personal moral awareness of her character's horrific conduct.

Goldy's just as criminal and neurotic in this episode. She steals a car, with no thought of how this will reflect on her husband if she's caught. She's still freaky about her 15-year-old son, overreacting to his every mood, nagging and brooding and generally carrying on as if he were a toddler instead of three years from emancipation. In the first few pages of the book, she cleans up a crime scene while the police are on the way, removing all evidence of the attack for which she called them!

Goldy continues to be abusive to the people she supposedly loves by endlessly lying to them about all things, large and small, and recklessly embarrassing them. A lot of the lying is simply childish. Example: ' "I'm fine," I declared, although in truth, I ached from what was now the third bust-up I'd had that day. Which had been worse, crashing [someone's] car, rolling to the creek bank, or being assaulted at a ski area?'

All three of these were depicted as creating potentially life-threatening head injuries, but Goldy lies to her doctor (!!!!) as well as her family and slogs on. Is this supposed to make us think she's brave? Admirable? No, she's a moron.

And obviously I am too, because I'll probably read new installments just to see how Julian's character turns out, but I'm smart enough to get them from the library.

Ms. Davidson, PLEASE allow Goldy to grow up. She's worse than a teenager right now. And her desperate, degrading sucking up to clients along with melodramatic nervousness about whether they'll like her work is something out of a bad 1950's sitcom. Evolve past it, please. She can be interesting without being a flake. You can depict the compromises service professionals have to make with unreasonable demands without turning Goldy into a complete lickspittle.

She should stand up for herself with dignity, not histrionic hysterics. She should treat her husband with respect and honesty, as if she took him seriously as a person instead of a caricature of Desi Arnaz: "LuuuuuUUUUUCY!!" He's her husband, not her warder. And for heaven's sake, moderate her obsession about with her son! It's getting really creepy!

Apologies for any hurt feelings; after all, these books sell very well and this is just one person's opinion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2008
This series used to be one of my favorites, but now it's gotten so bad that it's nearly unreadable.

The cooking/catering used to be a nice aside to the storyline. However, now it's taken over half the book with page after page after page dedicated to minute details about food storage, food preparation, food service and food cleanup. I found myself skipping over chunks at a time and not missing anything.

As many others have said, the book was also extremely repetitive with Goldy constantly stopping to recap what she'd learned. Over and over and over we had to read the same thing about one of the most boring subjects I've ever come across -- maps.

Goldy has also turned into a blithering idiot who can't seem to stand on her own two feet without constant reassurances from Tom. In one scene, she's driving on an icy interstate in a snowstorm and is hesitant to answer her phone in such bad driving conditions. However, after she does so and finds out it's Tom, she proceeds to not only keep talking to him, but to simper to him about how much she misses him and then call him back right after they hang up because he didn't tell her he loved her. Ugh. I nearly put the book down then and there.

And what's up with Tom? Most law enforcement professionals don't allow amateurs to help them with their cases. Not only does Tom allow it, but he encourages it -- telling Goldy confidential information, sending her out to talk to people, not saying a word to her when she does something idiotic like sneak into a crime scene and fall down a hill. His fellow police officers also don't do anything to discourage this -- for example, whisking Goldy away after she's just recklessly totalled her best friend's car and then dropping her off at the end of her street to walk home, which coincidentally just happens to be the scene of another murder Tom is investigating. The whole thing just became ludicrous after awhile.

DMD has made a nice living off this series, but when it's gotten as sloppy and bad as it has, it may be time to move on.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2007
After "Dark Tort" bored me to tears, I was looking forward to the latest release. "Sweet Revenge" was worse. I felt we were served leftovers. The recipes offered nothing that I even wanted to try. Maybe it is time for a new series - Goldy is in need of a polishing.
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