August 8th, 2018

smirk by geekilicious

Books 93-94

Yeah I got off on my number again. Sigh.

Sticks & Scones (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #10)Sticks & Scones by Diane Mott Davidson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a Goldy Schultz mystery and I was partly reminded as to why. Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t an awful read but it did have some cringe-worthy moments. It’s a good reminder as to why the cozy mystery isn’t my favorite subgenre of mystery.
Goldy’s husband, Tom, is on the east coast following a lead about a stamp heist, stamps worth in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands a piece. He was lead there by a young man, Andy, who had gotten swept up in this mess trying to pay off a different bad decision that might lead to his father’s death by heart attack.

Goldy is home alone with her son Arch worrying about everything. She has earned that right because part of the worry is her abusive ex (Arch’s dad) might be getting out of prison and her own catering career might be tanking because she reported Charde and Buddy Lauderdale, very wealthy clients, after Buddy shook his infant daughter so hard she blacked out. The Lauderdales, having bought their way free of charges are out to ruin her, and potentially sue for loss of reputation. That’s when someone shoots out her front window.

Goldy and Arch end up at Sukie and Elliot Hyde’s castle. It’s an honest to goodness castle that he’s trying to pass off as a conference center and hotel. She was meant to be doing a series of Elisabethean themed dinners for him. To her horror, soon Andy is dead, Tom’s been shot, someone from his past has resurfaced (and she sees it as a threat to their marriage), the Lauderdales are redecorating for the Hydes and Goldy’s ex shows up with his newest conquest, Viv who seems to have dated half the town.

My problem with this wasn’t so much the mystery as it was all the outside nonsense. It had enough melodrama for two books but not enough potential suspects. I mean most of the suspects are somehow linked to Goldy and each other and all are so obnoxious you just want them all to be guilty. I found the end too over the top Hollywood for belief and Goldy’s insecurity and jealousy made this hard for me to read in places.

I’ve read several in this series. Who knows, I’ll probably read more. At least the recipes were interesting and not all baked goods. (That always makes me sad when the recipes are all cookies and stuff as I’m diabetic).

Now for a minor spoiler. There comes one point when Goldy confronts someone she thinks is selling the stolen stamps and at first passes herself off as a police investigator before backing off that story. All she really does is make him take off in the middle of the night. If this was the real world, she’d probably be arrested for obstruction. At best, she just lost the actual cops a valid lead. And this is what bothers me with cozies. Sometime I wonder why I read so many.

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デビルズライン 7 (Devils' Line, #7)デビルズライン 7 by Ryo Hanada

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one is another one filled with Machiavellian plotting. Anzai, Lee and F Squad, along with the still suspicious Ishimaru, are trying to locate and protect/interrogate list members. This leads them into a clever trap that is designed to be potentially deadly and make the devils look bad at the same time.

The F squad members still can't fully trust Ishimaru. They know someone in the group is betraying them. It's possible someone could be a double agent and they all could be killed.

The story telling is very good if convoluted. I'm enjoying this one.

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