Crunch Time

by Diane Mott Davidson

Paperback, 2011



Caterer and amateur sleuth-extraordinaire Goldy Schulz digs into a deadly smorgasbord that includes a heaping helping of murder, a double dose of arson ... and nine adorable beagle puppies!

Library's rating


(172 ratings; 3.5)

Media reviews

Davidson’s fans will not be disappointed with the usual lavish appended recipes. This time, though, the tale is overlong, with too much attention to food and a chaotic mystery.

User reviews

LibraryThing member cee2
I've read a few of the early books in this series and was glad to get "Crunch Time" through Amazon's Vine program. In this outing, Goldy is helping a chef friend, Yolanda, and Yolanda's aunt after they have been burned out of their 2 prior residences. The second fire also involved the murder of a
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former P.I. who was Yolanda's employer.

Goldy invites her friends to move in with her family and as she tries to balance her catering business with keeping her friends safe, the danger just keeps ratcheting up for everyone. There's a lot going on in this one: a stalker, ex-boyfriend; missing gems; cheating spouses; a puppy mill; murders; and church fundraising. It all gets pulled together in the end, but sometimes I felt a little lost along the way.

Though this one isn't my favorite, I like this series and plan to continue reading it.
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LibraryThing member cyderry
I have been looking forward to this book since the middle of last year. I love Goldy and the adventures that she gets herself into without thinking about it, as well as the delectable food that she describes and provides recipes for. I especially love it when I get an audio version that is narrated
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by the great Barbara Rosenblatt. (I honestly believe Barbara Rosenblatt could make the construction of a cement truck sound fascinating.)

In this latest installment of Goldy's adventures, Goldy is trying to help a friend who has lost her job and her home. Yolanda starts as an assistant to several of Goldy's catering jobs. As we start we are told of the death of Ernest McLeod, a retired cop turned PI, who was a friend of both the ladies. The story of the investigation into Ernest's murder is mixed with the cases that he was working on at the time of his death - puppy mills, stalkers, missing family jewels. Goldy manages to gather all the info and finally figure out where the evidence is and nearly gets killed in the process.

Goldy as she always is…enjoyable and delicious!
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LibraryThing member khiemstra631
This is a perfectly serviceable entry in the Goldy Schulz catering series. There are a couple of dead bodies, an abused woman, teenage Arch who is almost human again, and a bit of sex to sweeten the pot. It's neither the best nor the worst of the series, but it's a good read so don't hesitate to
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pick it up.
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LibraryThing member onetiredmom
I really shouldn’t read these kinds of books when I’m trying to lose weight. The daily discussions about food are filled with detailed descriptions of dishes that sound downright delectable. (How’s that for alliteration?) Included at the end of the book are recipes of some of the dishes.
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It’s just not right.
Unfortunately, the recipes were my favorite part of the book.
Goldy the caterer and amateur sleuth really has her hands full this time. When Goldy’s fellow caterer Yolanda, and Yolanda’s great-aunt Ferdinanda, need a place to live temporarily after their rental is torched, they move in with Ernest McLeod, a private investigator who hires Yolanda to cook for him. Ernest is found dead and his house is later also torched, actually while Goldy and Yolanda and Ferdinanda are in it. Goldy offers her home to Yolanda and Ferdinanda, who came over from Cuba decades earlier. She also becomes highly involved in solving the mystery of who murdered Ernest and who is setting houses on fire, along with a few other mysteries which completely befuddled me and made it nearly impossible to sort out just what was going on even though Goldy lays everything out multiple times. That was a major problem with the book. There were too many story lines and even at the end, it just didn’t gel. Another major problem is that Goldy keeps sticking her nose in to things she knows darn well she shouldn’t. She is married to Tom who is an investigator with the county sheriff’s department. He is frequently upset with her because of this habit of hers but she does it anyway, gets in trouble, and then does it again the next day. It doesn’t make sense to me.
I really wish I liked these books better because, despite Goldy’s proclivitiy for getting into trouble, I like her and Tom and several of the other characters too. My favorite in this book was Ferdinanda, the irrepressible former member of Castro’s army. She had become disillusioned with communism and emigrated to Miami in the 60’s. She was shrewd and tough for an old lady in a wheelchair and I loved the parts with her in them.
Was it a clean read? Yes, for the most part. There was mild swearing in the book and several things best described as adult situations, such as adultery, prostitution and drugs that would make it PG-13, but not too bad overall.
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LibraryThing member bookladychris
Goldy Schulz, caterer to the Colorado elite, takes in her friend and fellow chef Yolanda Garcia and her aunt (a real character) when Ernest, the friend they were caring for is murdered. While trying to protect Yolanda from her former boyfriend they discover an illegal puppy mill and drug
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trafficing. The book is filled not only with her wonderful recipes but lots of interesting suspects!
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LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
(fiction – cozy mystery) Don't get me wrong – I like cozy mysteries, I really do. Generally they are light reading without overly gory murders and with interesting and fun characters. I've read some of the other books in this series about Goldy Schulz, Colorado caterer and amateur sleuth, and
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have enjoyed them. This one just didn't appeal to me as much.

First of all was the length. I'm prepared to spend two to three hundred pages. This one, including recipes at the end, is 471 pages. Okay, I'm a big girl, I can deal with that. But shortly into the book, Goldy's husband, a member of the local sheriff's department, starts an interrogation I thought would never end. Way too much repetition. Maybe I can't deal after all – I almost gave up at this point.

Then there were rescued beagle puppies. Rescued puppies – how can I not like that? You know I'm a sucker for anything furry. In this story...well, I don't want to ruin anything, but the puppy positives didn't outweigh the negatives.

And Goldy herself...her employee drops and breaks $1000 of a client's Limoges and Goldy makes it up to the hostess by serving the fruit and cheese trays. Really? Yolanda – what a wuss. Some of the characters came across as ridiculous rather than just quirky.

While I am whining, do I really have to read so many details about every time the weather changes, every tomato sliced, every dishwasher loaded? This could have been a very entertaining 250 page book. As it was, just too much mind candy for me.
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LibraryThing member gma2lana
I have tried and actually read a few of the Goldy Stories, and they just don't really grab me. I stuck it out and finished, but it was oh hum. Very repetitve, and I tired of hearing about food preparations and what they were going to eat. I give it a 3 star, as it held my interest just enough to
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LibraryThing member phyllis2779
Pretty good mystery from Davidson. The only reason I don't give it 4 stars is because I can't get over how many stupid things Goldy does. Someone tells her that such and such is dangerous and not to do it and she immediately goes ahead and does it. Over and over in every book and of course she gets
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hurt over and over. It's a theme. Plus she is obnoxiously nosy, well beyond anything that would be bearable in real life. So the 1/2 star deduction is for this totally unreal TSTL heroine who nevertheless usually solves the crime and has friends. Unbelievable.
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LibraryThing member susiesharp
This is #16 in the Goldy Schultz series and as usual Goldy puts herself in the middle of a murder investigation. I liked the new characters Yolanda & her aunt Ferndinanda especially the aunt, she made me laugh. This one had a lot going on puppy mills, marijuana, cheating husbands and a hooker who
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used to tutor Arch!

Poor Tom still thinks just maybe this will be the time Goldy will actually tells him what she’s doing and just maybe she will listen to him when he tells her to stay out of it, Oh Tom will you never learn!

I enjoyed this one better than Fatally Flaky, these books are just good escapism and for a laugh or two. The author always keeps you guessing who did it and you’re never sure just how it’s going to turn out. I look forward to the next book because of the ending will be curious how that works out!

4 Stars
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LibraryThing member sail7
Another Goldy Schulz mystery; this one has almost too many threads thrown out to keep track of in the first 1/3 of the book. A former cop turned private eye is murdered, so of course all his current clients are suspects. The last 1/3 is the best; vintage Goldy taking the investigation into her own
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hands and causing the suspect to be exposed
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LibraryThing member dd196406
Another enjoyable entry in the Goldy Schulz series. I had a hard time getting into this one, but it may not have been the book's fault. Still enjoyed the plot and the new characters. Yolanda and Ferdinanda were interesting people to get to know.
LibraryThing member dragonflydee1
I listened to this book from audible--hilarious!!!
LibraryThing member drebbles
The economy has been tough on everyone and caterer Goldy Schulz has seen a drop-off in people hiring her. Still, she knows Yolanda Garcia is struggling and hires Yolanda to help her on the few jobs she has. Yolanda has a lot of problems, including an abusive ex-boyfriend, and soon, due to a chain
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of circumstances, Yolanda and her aunt Ferdinanda are living with Goldy, her cop husband Tom, and her son Arch. Trouble follows Yolanda and soon Goldy is involved in arson, murder, theft, a puppy mill, and more.

"Crunch Time" is the fifteenth book in Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Schulz series - a series that at this point I think I'm reading out of habit rather than enjoyment. While better than some of her more recent books (for example Sweet Revenge) it is not as good as the early books in the series. Some of the plot devices are stale at this point - for example you know that Goldy is going to get beat up or injured several times in the book. The things Goldy does to try to solve a mystery have always been a bit too much, but in this book she went way over the top (it amazes me how often her husband and the entire police force simply turn their heads as Goldy breaks law after law). The book also relies far too much on Goldy being in the right place at the right time (or is it the wrong place at the right time?) that puts her in the center of action and danger. Goldy's best friend Marla was barely in the book and while I hardly missed her, I did miss Julian's character quite a bit. His convenient absence seems to serve merely as a way to get Yolanda in the book. While she grew on me as a character, she felt awkwardly thrust into the book - Davidson tries to make it seem like she was always an important part of Goldy's life, but if she was in earlier books I don't remember her. As for the mystery - parts of it were very good, but there were so many things going on the book felt a bit convoluted. Finally, while the book is a good size, the ending still felt a bit rushed and Davidson left a few plot lines dangling.

So why do I keep reading Diane Mott Davidson's books? Because, despite it all, I like the characters and setting. I just wish the characters would grow a bit more (Arch is 16, it's time Goldy treated him that way). Davidson does add something to the plotline that may change the direction of future books - let's hope it's for the better.
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LibraryThing member DrLed
Interesting, sometimes amusing, continuing story of Goldie and her catering. This time cuban food is the focus of the recipes. As to the 'who done it', the reader is left wondering until the end if the suspect is really guilty or a scape goat. You're also left wondering if the tales told by the
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great aunt are really true. The last chapter is a synopsis that would have been better woven into the story rather than an afterward.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
Goldy is crazy! The risks she takes to figure out the mystery made me completely sympathize with Tom, her husband. While the mystery was full of twists and turns, it seemed like there wasn't as much about Goldy's personal life. At this stage in the series, I keep coming back because I'm interested
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in those characters, so I hope the next installment includes more. Overall entertaining.
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LibraryThing member JalenV
While it's nice that Goldie got to help a fellow victim of domestic abuse and that the murderer of her friend was discovered (not to mention some other wrongs were righted), I can't say I thoroughly enjoyed Crunch Time.

Yes, the depictions of dysfunctional relationships were well done. I felt
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particularly sorry for the grandson whose grandmother was oblivious to how miserable her ambitions for his future were making him. Speaking of being obvious, that was so true of one of the lesser mysteries that I got really annoyed with Goldie and Tom for not figuring it out.

Do you remember Disney's animated 'Alice in Wonderland'? Quite often I found 'Tom gives Goldie very good advice, but she very seldom follows it...' running through my head to Alice's tune. *Shrug* Where would the plot be if Goldie had better sense than your average slasher flick cannon fodder, right?

I must say that the cop-turned-private-detective was turning in some really good work during his last days. Kudos.

Dog lovers: Not only do we get Arch's bloodhound, Jake, that dog gets to spend some time with no fewer than nine adorable beagle puppies!

Cat lovers: I'm afraid that Scout is not happy with the puppy invasion.
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LibraryThing member Judiex
Crimes, especially murder, are always on the menu for Goldy Schulz’s catering business in Aspen Meadow, Colorado. In CRUNCH TIME, her sixteenth book of the series, the first one is noted in the first sentence with the report the death of retired police officer and working private investigator
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Ernest McLeod. McLeod, a good cop and well-liked by almost everyone was set up to be at a specific location at a specific time where he was then killed. Because of the cases on which he was working, there are no shortages of suspects.
Other people, including Goldy and some of her friends, also become possible targets as “accidents” and fires keep happening, often while she is catering an event.
As in all of the books in the series, the characters are realistic and well-developed and change as they age and their lives evolve. There is an extensive, interweaving, well-developed storyline that moves smoothly through the book. Everything is tied up at the end.
One short-coming of the book is that Goldy still thinks she has to give her sheriff investigator husband advice which he probably learned long before they met such as suggesting showing someone’s picture to another person to see if she recognizes him. She also should know the way the process works by now and should not say “I can’t do this now” when told she has to be questioned about a killing she has just witnessed.
She talks about dangerous, snowy road conditions but still uses her cell phone while driving on them. And she still deliberately gets into dangerous situations when she knows she shouldn’t.
There is a lot of repetition when she mentally reviews what she (and the reader) have already learned. Omitting that could have saved several pages of copy.
At the end are ten recipes for things from soup to desserts.
Interesting observation: “People love to gossip, but when they discover how much being the subject of gossip hurts others, they often don’t love it so much anymore.
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LibraryThing member readingover50
I have read most of the books in the series, and usually enjoy them. This one, I didn't enjoy so much. Maybe it was because I didn't care about any of the characters. Ernest is killed. Who is Ernest? We don't really know since when we meet him he is already dead. His tenants, Yolanda and Ferdinanda
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come to stay with Goldy. While Ferdinanda is amusing, Yolanda is nothing but annoying and seems to take Goldy's generosity for granted. The Humberto Captain character was confusing. Was he really as bad as everyone says he is? Sometimes he seems pretty nice and generous. He didn't really need to be in the book at all. The only thing I was a little interested in was the mystery of the beagle puppies. I was really curious to find out why they were getting sick. This book was ok, but not the best in the series.
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Avon (no date), Edition: Reprint, Unknown Binding

Original publication date



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