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Double Shot    by Diane Mott Davidson order for
Double Shot
by Diane Mott Davidson
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Goldy needs more than one Double Shot of expresso to survive everything her creator throws at her in the 12th episode in Diane Mott Davidson's popular culinary mystery series. Be warned though, it's tough to get through this book without emulating its heroine as she indulges in two of her favorite vices - caffeine and cookies!

First, Goldy's mugged at the entrance to the Roundhouse, the location she's leased as her new 'catering-events center'. Second, Dr. John Richard Korman is out of jail and as obnoxious as ever - and how is the jobless 'Jerk' ex-con funding a high rolling lifestyle that include his 54th conquest, nubile stripper Sandee Blue? Third, Goldy stumbles upon a corpse and all the evidence points back to her. Of course, more deaths follow, as a very stressed caterer struggles to meet her business commitments and solve a mystery with connections to Korman's murky past before she's hauled off to prison. Oh yes, there's a forest fire raging in the background too.

Luckily, Goldy has the support of good friends, especially her wealthy best buddy Marla, whose ear is perfectly attuned to Aspen Meadow's gossip channel. Marla hires her friend a criminal attorney who looks like a surfer dude but knows his stuff. Cop husband Tom rallies in support, despite his own recent bout of job-related angst. Even son Arch seems to be maturing, with only a brief, and not unreasonable, relapse. Goldy skillfully handles reporters in a feeding frenzy. And she deals with up and coming new series nemesis - slimy, vindictive Roger Mannis - by slapping a strawberry cream pie in his face (this recipe and all the others mentioned are included at the back of the book).

Double Shot is one of the best yet in this best of cozy series. In it, Goldy munches her way through the usual mayhem and murder, while handling crotchety clients, including a group called 'PosteriTREE', the catering gig from hell. And there's the surprise addition of a new cast member to the series, who's sure to add interest to future well-fed episodes. I'm salivating already in anticipation.

Audiobook Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

I always enjoy one of Diane Mott Davidson's mysteries with her food-driven plots and tempting edibles. Double Shot is no exception. Caterer Goldie Schulz's ex-husband (heretofore known as the Jerk) wangles an early release from prison only to be found murdered. Goldie, of course, is under suspicion.

Since it can't be the Jerk, who else could be undermining Goldie's catering efforts and also putting her in jeopardy? Another of the Jerk's ex-wives (Goldie's good friend Marla) helps where she can. Is it wrong to be glad the two of them are shut of him forever?

It's a delightful series and I was glad to find this one on CD. The only problem is the narrator. Though Patricia Kalember is an accomplished actress, her rendering of this clever tale sounds more like someone reading a grocery list. At times, her voice allowed the suspense to grow but for the most part it was a monologue, detracting from the story.

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