Thursday, April 28, 2011

ARC Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson

Not the most flattering picture of me, but I love that I'm standing next to one of my favorite authors.

I always look forward to a new Goldy adventure. This one didn't disappoint. For me it was a quick, engaging read.

After reading this book I was surprised at the number of negative reviews this book received.  Sometimes I wonder if I am reading the same book as others. But readers have different tastes and expectations, especially mystery readers.

This is why I liked the book:

Though the series often deals with very serious issues (domestic abuse, being just one example), the tone of the books, including this one, is generally light and the entertainment level is high. Over the years I've come to really like Goldy and her supporting characters.  Yes, sometimes I have to suspend disbelief when Goldy's police officer husband, reacts very calmly to some of the scrapes she gets involved in - and yes much of what Goldy does is rather unbelievable - not what you would expect of a real person. But unless, you are reading a police procedural or a P.I. novel, the characters, including law enforcement are not going to behave as real people would.

Ms. Davidson always includes enough twists and turns so that I find I have to work to solve the puzzle before Goldy. I like to be challenged. I also like that even though the puzzle may be challenging, the solution never seems to just come out of left field.

I will say that once Goldy finally got away from "The Jerk" and became more sure of herself, her character seemed to even out - as far as terms of growing. Gold is Goldy, but without giving anything away, it looks as though Davidson has some changes in store for our favorite caterer.

I do have to admit that Gold can be somewhat of a helicopter  mom when it comes to Arch, but she's getting better about giving him some freedom. In fact one of the criticisms I read about this book was that she gives him too much freedom. While all the danger was happening, Goldy didn't seem concerned that he was not at home, but always at friend's house.  As the mother of a teen who drives, I can appreciate that sometimes, even though you would prefer they be at home, you'll take knowing where there are over fighting with them about them not being home and not knowing where they are.  Goldy always seems to know where Arch is.

And of course, the recipes are always an added bonus. Over the years I've made several of her recipes. My favorite is a cookie recipe from The Main Corpse.  I tried to make Crunch Time cookies (she gave us a sample at the book signing), but I can't figure out what to do with the pecans after I've toasted them, chopped them and then set them aside. I thought perhaps since I was given an ARC from the Amazon Vine program, perhaps there was a misprint in the recipe.  I checked Harper Collins's website which has the recipe listed - and I still can't figure out what to do with the pecans. I've sent Ms. Davidson a message on Facebook. Hopefully, I'll find out soon. My family is looking forward to the cookies.

Speaking of this book being an ARC. When I went to the book signing at one of our local Barnes and Nobles here in Colorado Springs, I was a little embarrassed that I wasn't buying a book. Instead I was taking in an ARC to have signed. I usually make it a point to purchase at least one book at a book signing since the store went to all the trouble to host the author.  But my budget is tight since we have to pay a huge sum of money to have a school window broken by youngest teen.  If I were Goldy, I could just offer to cater a lunch or something. 

Turns out that Ms. Davidson was a little embarrassed that I had an ARC as well - not because she was expecting me to buy the book, but because the ARC had so many mistakes (I hadn't tried to make the cookies yet, so I didn't ask her about that.)  Embarrassed or not, I'm still very happy to have the signed ARC. I have a couple of other finished hard covers signed by her. She's an author I was try to see when they are in town.  But this ARC is special because it was sent to me to be reviewed. I'm not sure that makes sense to anyone but me - maybe I need one of Goldy's Espressos.

This review has turned into quite a ramble. In my humble opinion, this is an enjoyable book. If you like cozy mysteries, especially ones about food, you really must try these. I'm looking forward to what happens in the next one.

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