Goldy Bear, recently divorced, has made a home for herself and her young son in scenic Aspen Valley, Colorado. There, calls for Goldilock's Catering have been steady enough to pay the bills. But when a mourner is felled by rat poison during a funeral buffet Goldy is serving, the police quickly close her business. Now it's up to Goldy to find the rat who has tainted her food and her reputation.
Diane Mott Davidson whips up a spicy mixture of cooks and crooks, and veteran narrator Barbara Rosenblat brilliantly conveys Goldy's intelligence, wit, and energy. As the mystery unfolds, its tension is sweetened by delectable recipes, including Goldy's Dream Cake, Dungeon Bars, and Honey Ginger Snaps.
©1990 Diane Mott Davidson; (P)1996 Recorded Books, LLC
I bought this audiobook because it was on sale. I'm glad I didn't spend a lot of money on it. There were several things wrong with this audiobook, so I'm going to try to list them. In no particular order:
1)The Writing. I thought for sure this book was written in the 50s or 60s. You know how those books read; the language is dated and the characters all feel stiff. I couldn't keep up with the amount of times a character said "gee" or "golly". The detective in the story referred to himself and other detectives as "dicks". Then various dates and times were mentioned in the book, and I realized this book had to have been written much later than I'd thought. Turns out, it was published in 1990. I never would have guessed. Then I started doing the math...a lot of the history goes back to when the main character (Goldie)'s ex was 10 (in 1967). They say the current time is 20 years after, so 1987. Goldie's ex is a gynecologist, with an 11 year old son. He was practicing when he met Goldie. If they hooked up right away, that would've made him 19 when they met. I've never in my life met a 19 year old gynecologist, and frankly I never want to.
In addition to dated language, the language is just dull. The jokes and puns (and there are a lot of them) aren't funny. Characters would refer to something being odd or unusual, when it wasn't at all. For example, the main character thought it was very funny when her 11 year old son asked, "What's geometry?" That's it. Context isn't needed; it was no funnier in the story that it was just there where I typed it. I actually created a drinking game listening to this book. Take a shot for every time Goldie says "my business", Vonette says "I have a headache" or Patty Sue says "I feel sick". Go ahead. You'll be falling down drunk in an hour.
2)Characters. I'm pretty sure Diane Mott Davidson named her characters after her pets. Fritz and Vonett and Goldie Bear and Tricksy and Patty Sue and Pomeroy. Oh, and let's not forget the 11 year old boy named Archibald. Stupid names aside, every character constantly sounded angry. This was only partly the fault of the narrator, but mostly the fault of the author. You know in bad movies, when people want to show emotion and it comes off as anger? Excitement, sadness, fear, whatever, it all comes out as anger. That's how these characters were. And annoying. There wasn't a sympathetic character among them. I wanted every single one of them to end up dead. There was the philandering grandfather and the drunken grandmother, the abusive ex, who Goldie seemed to bend over backwards to accommodate all while calling him "the jerk". The vapid roommate, boring-as-hell love interests...the whole town should just be burned and the earth salted.
3)Unbelievable Plot Points. The driver ed scene had me actually cursing out loud. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, but I just couldn't get over how ludicrous this scene was. I can't even go on...this is making me angry.
4)Narration. Barbara Rosenblat managed to make 95% of the characters sound like Phyllis Diller...even the men. Actually, especially the men. It was impossible to figure out who was speaking.
5)Pauses. There were weird, rather long pauses in between chapters. At one point I thought the book had just stopped, it was at least 30 seconds.
Despite all of this, somehow the story itself managed to be compelling. I wanted to know how it ended. Also, the recipes thrown in every now and again were nice. I want to try the one for coffee cake.
I love a good story that entertains and has well developed characters and realistic life situations where good is recognized as good.
Barbara Rosenblat does an outstanding job narrating this 'light hearted' murder mystery. I love her semi-sarcastic style! The story was not 'corney' although it contained romance, friendship and family love. There were suspenseful scenes and it wasn't easy to figure out the ending! In fact, I didn't figure it out...I had to read it. Quite enjoyable!
Say something about yourself!
I would rank this in the middle.
Description of Colorado, characters and food. Dianne Mott Davidson is a gifted writer with an outstanding ability to draw you into her story.
I liked Goldy the most.
No, I like to savour the mystery.
I had read a review complaining about Barbara Rosenblat's breathing. I found this to be a trivial matter as most people have idiocycrancies in their breathing patterns. Went well with Goldy's exasperation at being closed for the busiest season of the year.
This series is delightful. Romantic, funny, and clever. A really good read made incredible by the narration of Barbara Rosenblat. The characters have become my good friends! I'm going to listen to them all!
So I actually disagree with the other review about how you can hear her breathe and swallow. You can a little but it isn't distracting. The problem is her interpretation of the text. Sure, the main character is carrying around a ton of baggage, has absolutely no patience, and is insecure about her ability to do almost anything (and yet keeps doing it all), but the tone the narrator gives to the woman makes her flat-out unsympathetic. Goldy ends up just sounding immature and whiny. This same treatment is given to multiple female characters. It's one thing to read these books and see the issues of the characters but the narration adds an extra level which pushes them over the top. The wimps are wimpier and whiners are whinier, and the cheerful optimists are so full of bon mots in the face of grumpiness that they all become extreme caricatures. I listened to this book on a road trip and found myself not caring about how it all ended up even though I have enjoyed reading other books in the series (actually reading, not listening). A different tone for many of the sentences uttered by characters could have salvaged this. They are predictable but would be pleasant enough to listen to when falling asleep except for this issue.
This first book is not bad if you can stand it when words are mispronounced (and Rosenblat never does that...but she did) and when details are wrong. The book suffers from inadequate editing and results in scenes where characters in the room seem to be forgotten by the author, details of events are wrong (e.g.: she has a scene with a stick-shift driver's ed car, and the author does not describe driving that kind of car accurately to the detriment of the story, and she actually gets a couple steps wrong in two recipes), and in the end the villain and hero have weird motivations and actions that don't match their characters or their ages. But if you listen to books like this for a bit of fluff and fun, this one is as good a choice as any. Buy on sale, and FYI: this takes place in the late 1980s or early 1990s, so it feels a bit old.
The narrator was constantly taking deep breaths. Also there was noise in the background
I can't decide if it is the delivery of the story by Barbara Rosenblatt (who, btw, I have liked very much in other performances) or the story itself, that makes the main character SO unlikeable! She is surrounded by many very appealing character; her best friend, the cop investigating, her alcoholic mother in law, but I found myself wondering WHY any of them spent time with this whiny, argumentative, disrespectful PILL of a person? DISLIKE!!!
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