Fatally Flaky (Culinary Mystery Series #15)

Fatally Flaky (Culinary Mystery Series #15)

by Diane Mott Davidson

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It's been a long summer for Goldy Schulz, who is engaged in planning a wedding reception for Aspen Meadow's nuttiest bridezilla. But then Doc Finn, beloved local physician and the best friend of Goldy's godfather, Jack, is killed when his car tumbles into a ravine. Jack thinks Doc was murdered because of the research he was doing at the local spa—allegations that are confirmed when Jack himself is attacked.

So Goldy adds more work to her plate and dons chef's whites to go undercover at the spa, where coffee is outlawed in favor of smoothies. But if she doesn't find the clever killer on the spa grounds who's watching her every move, catering weddings and cooking low-fat food might just be the death of Goldy Schulz . . .

And enjoy Goldy's delectable recipes, including fatally flaky cookies and nutcase cranberry-apricot bread!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061348143
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/13/2010
Series: Culinary Mystery Series , #15
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 83,476
Product dimensions: 6.84(w) x 4.26(h) x 1.18(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

Fatally Flaky LP
A Novel

Chapter One

Cynics say getting married is a death wish.

Now, I'm no Pollyanna, but I try to ignore cynics. Anyway, what I usually say is that catering weddings is a death wish. My assistant, twenty-two-year-old Julian Teller, and I laugh at that. Yucking it up provides a bit of comic relief within the stress of serving trays of appetizers with drinks, then lunch or dinner with wine, followed by cake with champagne or Asti Spumante—and doing it all quickly—to a hundred guests. Trust me: if there's one thing caterers need at weddings, it's comic relief.

Unfortunately, the events surrounding Bridezilla Billie Attenborough's wedding proved the truth of the original axiom. Still, it wasn't a death wish that proved troublesome. It was death itself. And as the bodies piled up around the Attenborough nuptials, I began to think someone was gunning for me, too.Turned out, I was right.

I'm always telling my husband, Tom, an investigator with the Furman County Sheriff's Department, that I should adore weddings. The reason? I love being married—to him, that is. With his mountain-man build, handsome face, jauntily parted cider-colored hair, and eyes as green as a faraway sea, he's not only kind and loving—he's gorgeous.

"You're prejudiced," he says.

"So what?" I reply. "You're still the greatest."

"There are any number of criminals in our state penal system who would take issue with that assessment."

"I'm not married to one of them."


Actually, having Tom for a husband means I can watch brides and grooms kiss, laugh, and embrace, and I can smile tomyself, knowing I'm going home to a great man. So when there are wedding glitches, I remind myself: I'm helping people get married. And by and large, this is a good thing.

Here in Aspen Meadow, Colorado, if someone is going to have a hundred or fewer guests at their ceremony and reception, I'm the caterer of choice, by which I mean, I'm the only caterer you can choose. Our town also has but one florist, one photographer, one printing press—for invitations and the like—and a few bands. But these days, most couples choose a DJ.

Aspen Meadow has one of those, too.

If the bride, groom, or either family wants a bigger celebration, she, he, or they usually do all their own arrangements, and have their wedding down in Denver, forty miles to the east. There, you can hire a wedding planner, book a fancy venue, and have your pick of caterers, stationers, florists, even chocolatiers. If you go that route, though, you're going to pay. What with the gown, limos, and all the rest, you're probably looking at about a hundred grand.

I can remember when a hundred grand used to buy a house. And a nice one, too.

But for a hundred or fewer guests, I can do all the arranging. Once I'm given a budget and specifics as to menu, flowers, photographer, music, you name it, I draw up a detailed contract, then get signatures, along with a down payment. After that, I call the vendors, set the schedule, and arrange deliveries. Any changes to the contract mean big bucks, so generally, people are content to leave well enough alone.

But Bridezilla Billie, as I'd come to call her, was never content. Billie's long-suffering mother, Charlotte, was footing the bill—Attenborough père having died of a bleeding ulcer long ago—and Billie seemed not to care that every single new arrangement she was demanding was costing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

"It won't be a problem," Billie would say breezily, each time she called in April, then May, then June, to say we absolutely had to have lunch so she could talk about new things she wanted. "We can just put all this on my tab."

And then I would arrive at the appointed time, at whatever place she'd said she wanted to have lunch. And she would be late, usually more than an hour late. The reason? She'd say she'd gotten lost, never mind that she'd lived in Aspen Meadow all her life. Or her Mercedes wouldn't start. Or she'd thought we were meeting an hour after when she'd originally said. One time, when she didn't show up at all and I called her house, she said she thought we were meeting the following week.

Billie was, in short, a flake.

Like most of the weddings I cater, Billie's ceremony was taking place in the summer. Let the weather cheer you up, I told myself as I typed up contract change after contract change and faxed them through to Charlotte Attenborough.

And so I planned and ordered food, and waited for spring, which at eight thousand feet above sea level, generally doesn't arrive until June. By then, the thick crust of ice on our town's lake has melted. The fresh scent of pollinating pines and newly leafy aspens fills the air. With snow still blanketing the Continental Divide—visible in the distance—the setting is particularly idyllic.

But this summer was different.

"Maybe I should quit doing weddings," I told Tom when Bridezilla Billie stopped insisting we have lunch, and instead started phoning me an average of seventeen times a day. She'd already moved her wedding date twice. The reason? She said she wanted to lose twenty pounds to fit into a new dress she'd just bought. She claimed she was working with Victor Lane out at Gold Gulch Spa to get into tip-top shape. Getting into tip-top shape was the euphemism Billie used for trying to sweat off some of her rolls, the kind that had nothing to do with Parker House.

Did I know Victor Lane? Billie asked. Yes, I began, but she tossed her highlighted blond hair over her shoulder, helped herself to the Key Lime Pie I'd left on the counter, and cut me off just as she placed an enormous piece of pie on a plate in front of herself. Once she'd forked up a mouthful, she was eager to provide me with an update on embroidery that was being added to the waist of the new dress. Then I heard about the seed pearls that were being sewn into the train, and the lace now edging the veil.

Fatally Flaky LP
A Novel
. Copyright (c) by Diane Davidson . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Fatally Flaky 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 201 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely a guilty pleasure. Every time DMD comes out with a new one, I run to get it, but lately I've found myself questioning why. It's beginning to feel like the Goldy character has run its course. In this book, she is indeed flaky, unable to hold a thought or put off an impulse for more than 10 seconds. C'mon, how can she be smart enough to solve a mystery if she's not smart enough to stop herself from following a clue to a deserted place - alone - at 3 a.m.? Duh! DMD, look again at some of your earlier books in which Goldy was somewhat more three-dimensional. Over time, Goldy's faded into a less interesting, and certainly less likable, character.
Super_J-Rob More than 1 year ago
Diane Mott Davidson is one of a very few authors whose books I don't go to the back of the book to read the last chapter by the time I've gotten through chapter 3. Her books are very enjoyable and highly recommended. Enjoy!
DrDSB More than 1 year ago
Having read all of the previous books in this series, I was not disappointed in the most recent catering murder mystery. Too bad godfather Jack will not be a continuing character--he had real potential. Davidson's attention to detail, both culinary and medical, is excellent. I could not guess the ending until the very end - very well done. And I love the great recipes at the end; several will be making their way into my kitchen binder. I have used many of the previous recipes over and over again. Eagerly awaiting the next adventure - "Where everything is just Right!"
suzyqmacdo More than 1 year ago
A truly fun read! Goldy Schultz, caterer extraordinaire and amateur sleuth (much to the chagrin of her detective husband) returns in another roisterous, rowdy, mouthwatering mystery. In this latest installment we find her catering the wedding reception of the local bridezilla at the "Health Spa/Fat Farm" created by her arch-enemy, Victor Lane. But is Victor's spa as healthy as he would like everyone to believe? Is the death of the local favorite doctor an accident or murder? How is Goldy able to deal with all of this craziness and still stay sane? As that old TV commercial used to say "Read the book!"
Chatte More than 1 year ago
This latest offering from Ms. Davidson proves just as satisfying and mouth watering as all her previous works. This latest installment starring our favorite chef and caterer, Goldy Schultz draws you in yet again as she tries to solve a murder that touches closely to home. I love the way the plot unfolds and has just enough twists to keep you hooked all the way to the end. And all those recipes are an added bonus that I always look forward to in every one of Ms. Davidson's books. For those of you who love murder mysteries and cooking, this is one book that gives you the best of both worlds.
americanbulldogmom More than 1 year ago
I read Davidson's books in between my love of non-fiction. Her books are a fun easy escape and this title is no different. Absorbing and entertaining, Davidson has hit the mark again. Plus, the recipes are pretty tasty - how fun to get a great book and new recipes to try. It may be a gimmick, but I love it!!
suzopp More than 1 year ago
Funny, interesting and great food! What could be better!
AbbysmomKW More than 1 year ago
Not only does Goldy cater two difficult weddings, she cooks at a spa and solves several murders! Wow! If you are familiar with the series, you will enjoy finding out what Goldy is up to next. But the action gets pretty frantic and there seem to be a lot of minor characters that don't add much to the plot. That said, one of the reasons I buy these books is to check out the recipes and I wasn't disappointed with Fatally Flaky. I can only use Diane Mott Davidson's recipes for very special events, but Fatally Flaky Cookies and the recipe for Black-and-White Cake with Chocolate Glaze look deliciously unforgettable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book had a few moments but not nearly enough to hold my attention. It was a struggle to finish it. Serious overuse of the words godfather and godchild. Apparently the author was afraid we would forget who was who.
LDNV More than 1 year ago
the book is a good read and fast readers (like me) finish it in a short time...day or less. The recipes by the author are usually good ones to try, but this time they seemed a bit more than I would want to put into making them. Joanne Fluke books are very similar and the latest had more recipes that I liked.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't know why I read the Goldie books. I've read most of them and I keep on reading them. Every time someone says to Goldie 'Don't do such and such' she goes and does it. And of course gets into trouble. Sometimes I think the author hates this character. She is always getting beaten, slapped, etc. In almost all of the books someone tries to murder her but in the course of these unsuccessful attempts, she gets damaged. Of course, this is the main way she figures out who the murderer is -- it's the person who attacks her. As in this book, the murderer explains all of the loose ends in the book before he/she attempts the coup de grace. I think I read the books for the food descriptions. They sound wonderful. I wouldn't actually make any of these dishes. They sound like a heart attack even on the page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the whole series, I think it is better to start with the first one.
cincmom-53 More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of the series and this installment was very good. Interesting characters along with all our old friends. You can feel Goldie's frustration with her psycho bride, her sadness and, well, I don't want to spoil anything! Enjoy.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
This novel was truly a "culinary" delight. Enjoyed "eating" this mystery right up. The novel plot, characters, and descriptions were well developed, and kept me wanting to read until the mystery was unraveled. As with all of Diane Mott Davidson's culinary capers this was a delight. Wish the book came with some of the foods tucked in it to enjoy while reading about them.
kpw814 More than 1 year ago
I confess: Diane Mott Davidson's catering mysteries are my guilty pleasures. Reading this book I wondered what it is about Goldy that I like. Honestly, she's a caffeine-addled, obsessive busybody in unrealistic situations. Yet she is loveable. At least in this book she doesn't just happen to stumble upon a corpse as she frequently does in others. But I digress . . . This is a fun, quick read. Fans of DMD won't be disappointed. And the mouth-watering descriptions of the food she prepares will inspire you to try out some of the recipes or at least wish you had your own personal chef.
book_ladyVA More than 1 year ago
Diana Mott Davidson's latest bite into the culinary mystery has you feeling full and satisified when you finish reading. The book takes on a new mystery as the local caterer Goldy and her detective husband work to solve the mysterious deaths of her godfather and his best friend. Lots of mystery surrounding the new spa and its owner, along with disasterous weddings will have any fan of culinary mysteries wanting second helpings. I can't wait for serving #16.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bridezilla Billie is getting Goldy ready to tear her hair out. The bride has changed the date three times, the menu twice, and now in the middle of catering another wedding, Billie informs Goldy that she has added 50 additional guests for her wedding 2 days away which means that there has to be a venue change as well more preparation cooking.In the meantime, Goldy's old doctor is found dead at the bottom a ravine, which leads her dear godfather to investigating the cause. When he is found mugged at the reception for Bridezilla Billie, and later dies, Goldy takes over. Lead by clues from her godfather and her overwhelming need to find out what happened to her friend and loved one, Goldy gets involved in intrigue surrounding fraud, drugs and murder.This was a quick read because the story kept drawing you further and further into the web as your intuition glistens. Davidson never fails IMHO!
aziemer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Diane Mott Davidson is phenomenal. Her books keep me guessing until the very end. I love the mysterious events and story lines she conjures up as well as the tasty recipes interlaced throughout her books. This latest book by Davidson was full of numerous emotions-sadness, happiness, humor, and above all else intriguing excitement! There is a murder and Goldy finds herself in the thick of the case. She must find out who the murderer is before it's too late and before she becomes the next victim. Goldy must endure an obnoxious, high maintenance bride and her outrageous demands as Goldy caters her wedding. All the while, Goldy must tread lightly around the owner of the wedding venue as there is a deliciously, scandalous past between the two. To top things off, someone close to Goldy is murdered and it is up to Goldy not to make herself the next target. I was guessing until the very end! I will be anxiously awaiting her next book!
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Seeking light and fluffy, I opened the latest Diane Mott Davidson, Fatally Flaky, which I found ¿ somewhere. These are most definite ¿cozies¿, those strange murder mysteries where ordinary people (that is, not cops or PI¿s or other people with some business investigating murders) keep tripping over bodies, and then end up finding the killer before the police. Davidson¿s series has the distinction of being, I *think*, the first to have recipes in the text (because the heroine, Goldy, is a caterer) ¿ so it¿s all her fault.Hey, I can¿t criticize these books too hard ¿ one of my favorite recipes of all time came from Dying for Chocolate: Strawberry Super Pie. It¿s responsible for a couple of the extra inches I¿m carrying ¿ I was making it pretty darned often for a while there. It¿s amazing.But they¿re not exactly Literature. They¿re fun and undemanding, which is all I was looking for this week, and the recipes are often pretty terrific. And Fatally Flaky was one of the better books in the series, even if it did adhere pretty strictly to the ¿client is a flipping crazed bitca¿ formula. It was a cute story, it was interesting to see Goldy¿s son suddenly 16 (I missed a couple of books in there somewhere), and, er, et cetera.
jbemrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like this book it is about this cater that help her detective husband solve cases. The story reminds me of the TV show murder she wrote.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The summer wedding season is almost over and caterer Goldy Schulz is at the end of her rope. Not only is she dealing with the bride from hell, but she¿s also consoling her beloved godfather, Jack Carmichael, when he loses his good friend Dr. Harold Finn. His death at first appears to be a tragic accident but when Goldy realizes her husband, police detective Tom Schulz, is on the case, our heroine knows it¿s pretty certain Doc¿s death was no accident. Then Jack is attacked and, in a semi-dazed state and unable to speak because of a tracheotomy, he writes Goldy a note with three cryptic words. Goldy and Jack have a long history of solving puzzles together and Goldy is sure he means her to solve one more for him ¿ and that the clues lead to whoever attacked Jack and killed his friend. The clues lead her to nearby Golden Gulch Spa, where Goldy confronts a thoroughly obnoxious man from her past ¿ Victor Lane, the spa¿s owner. Diane Mott Davidson has writing mysteries down to a science. Her books are tightly plotted, smoothly written and contain a small cast of characters, all of whom are important to the story. Readers have been with Goldy for her ups and downs, and have watched her grow both professionally and personally ¿ plus they like perusing (if not actually using) the recipes. Fatally Flaky is #15 in this culinary mystery series and just what fans expect. I won¿t say the series is getting stale, but I would be overjoyed if the author would break out of her established pattern and really shake things up just once. By Diana. First published in Mystery News, Jun-Jul 2009 issue.
bookladychris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book 15 in the Goldy the caterer mysteries. Goldy is busily planning a wedding for the bride from hell, when a doctor friend dies mysteriously in a car accident. If you've read any of these mysteries, you'll remember that nothing is by chance. Goldy gets involved in an investigation (which her homicide detective husband isn't too thrilled about) at a health spa where it's suggested that drugs are put in the fruit smoothies offered to the clients in the afternoon.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another wonderfully fun Goldy Schulz food filled mystery. This time the story centers around the wedding of Billie, the Bridezilla, who keeps changing plans, and thinks that the world does not revolve around the sun, rather she is the center of the planetary system. Goldy's godfather Jack, the town's retired Dr (old Doc Finn) and her effervescent endlessly rich friend Marla all play starring roles.As usual Davidson treats us to a good plot, fun characters and scrumptious recipes.
hammockqueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
quite good for a quick read. Goldy is a caterer and is doing a wedding for bridezilla billie. Her uncle Jack lives across the street and has given her money for her start-up business. Her husband is a police detective. There are lots of bad guys, but who is doing the killing? There is also the Golden spa-----are there drugs there?