The Whole Enchilada (A Goldie Bear- Schulz Culinary Mystery #17) by Diane Mott Davidson

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Published: August 27, 2013

Caterer and sleuth extraordinaire Goldy Schulz jumps from the frying pan into the fire as she tries to solve a puzzling murder that is much too close to home, in this latest entry in the New York Times bestselling series from “today’s foremost practitioner of the culinary whodunit” (Entertainment Weekly)

The Whole Enchilada

Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she’s leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in.

But what looks like a coronary turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking.

When a colleague—a woman who resembles Goldy—is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before that killer can serve her up cold.

Review –

I love this series for many reasons but the main one are the recipes included in each book. They make the stories come to life and are fun to try and make after I have finished each book .

This book was full of interesting characters and plot twists and it was a very pleasant read.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable series to start,the Goldy Schulz  books would be perfect.

 

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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Book Description

Release date: February 26, 2013 | Series: Hannah Swensen Mysteries
It’s a hot summer evening in Lake Eden, Minnesota – and the Grand Opening of the refurbished Albion Hotel. Hannah Swensen’s famous Red Velvet cupcakes are being served in the new Red Velvet lounge. The party starts off with a bang with the arrival of Doctor Bev, who left town in shame after she two-timed her fiance. But the gossip comes to a screeching halt when another partygoer takes a dive off the hotel’s rooftop garden. As the police investigate, the only one who isn’t preoccupied with the case is Doctor Bev. She’s too busy trying to stir things up with her old flame Norman, who’s reunited with Hannah. Just as Hannah’s patience with Bev runs thin, her rival is found dead at the bottom of Miller’s Pond. To everyone’s shock, Hannah is now the target of a murder investigation – and she’s feeling the heat in a way she never has before…
Review –
I enjoyed this book much more than the last few in the series because even though things were chaotic there didn’t seem to be as much drama for drama’s sake.  The recipes included in each book are a bonus and I’m  going to try a couple of the latest ones.  A great easy Summer read.

Crunch Time (Goldy Schulz Series) by Diane Mott Davidson

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Book Description

Release date: April 5, 2011 | Series: Goldy Schulz

Caterer and sleuth extraordinaire Goldy Schulz returns in another tasty and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson

Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz cooks up big trouble as she tries to help her longtime friend and fellow chef Yolanda Garcia. When the rental house shared by Yolanda and her irrepressible aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson, the pair move in with cop-turned-PI Ernest McLeod. But then Ernest is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Goldy, Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill.

Concerned for her friends, Goldy invites them to stay with her while the sheriff’s department investigates. Yet even Goldy’s house isn’t safe, and after a failed break-in by an unknown intruder a cop is sent to keep an eye on things. Then a second body is found.

Swapping her chef’s hat for a sleuthing cap, the intrepid Goldy steps up the investigation. But she’s got to move fast. It’s crunch time to close in on a killer, before he can close in on her.

Filled with danger as well as laughs, wonderful food, and scrumptious recipes, Crunch Time is a delicious indulgence sure to satisfy all of Goldy’s fans.

Review –

This book was not very exciting and spent a lot of time on unnecessary characters. I used to enjoy reading the stories to find out what kind of trouble Goldy could into but over the years the quality of plots has decreased and left me wanting.

 

 

 

Cake Balls by Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon

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Book Description

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Authors Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon started The Cake Ball Company in 2006, and it has quickly become the leader in the cake ball market. Perfect for both new and experienced bakers and all those who are sick of boring plain cakes and the cupcake trend, cake balls are bite-sized bits of moist cake blended with rich icing and surrounded in a beautiful chocolate shell. Cake balls are super-fun to make and the end product is cute yet elegant—not to mention delicious—making them the ideal dessert for parties, brunches, showers, weddings, and more.

Included within this tasty little cookbook you will find three cake and three icing recipes, for which all of the 51 cake ball recipes in the book are based on, troubleshooting tips, decorating and packaging ideas, and 45+ full-color photos throughout. Some of the tasty recipes include Southern Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate Chip, Gingerbread, Tiramisu, Carrot Cake, Strawberries and Cream, and many more.

Review –

Cake Balls and Cake Pops have become all the rage in the last year or so and this book tells you how to achieve perfect results with clear recipes and instructions and beautiful pictures.   If you enjoy making  Cake Balls/Pops  you will love this book.

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Book Description

Publication Date: October 20, 2009
Mark your calendar. It’s the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how thatstory might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they’ve regretted, the hard choices and amends they’ve had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlman has written a novel that speaks to us all.

Review –

I listened to this book for the first time last January  and I loved it. It’s about 12 women who get together every Christmas season for 16 years and exchange cookies. It tells of their relationships, their hardships, the deaths they have experienced, the births  they have experienced and the  love they have experienced in the last year.  As a bonus we get 12 Christmas cookie recipes given in detail.  I love to bake so I love the recipes and have tried a few, so  if you like the holidays and Christmas cookies you really should give this one a try.

Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) by Joanne Fluke

Book Description

Publication Date: February 28, 2012 | Series: Hannah Swensen Mysteries
When Hannah Swensen hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at a festival in Lake Eden, Minnesota, she bakes up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome them. But tragedy strikes when their tour bus overturns on its way into town. And keyboard player Buddy Neiman’s minor injuries turn deadly serious when someone plunges surgical scissors into his chest…Turns out, Buddy Neiman isn’t the victim’s real name. In fact, no one is really sure who he is. Hannah’s investigation digs up a few local suspects. There is Doctor Bev, who seems to know more about “Buddy” than she’s willing to admit. And Devon, an aspiring keyboard player who may have had a fatal case of jealousy. Hannah isn’t sure how she’ll unravel the mystery, but one thing’s for sure: there’s nothing sweeter than bringing a killer to justice…
Review –
I had read every book in this series and I love the characters and the antics they get into, but my favorite part of each book are the recipes.  In this installment of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries I especially love the recipe for  CHEESE AND GREEN CHILIES BISCUITS.  They were fantastic!
If you’re looking for a new series to read give this one a try and get the bonus of wonderful recipes.  Yum Yum, you won’t be disappointed.

The Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries #10) by Joanne Fluke

Book Description

Publication Date: February 1, 2009 | Series: Hannah Swenson Mysteries With Recipes
 
Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unravelling the mystery of her cat Moishe’s recent strange behaviour, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she’ll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who’s in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa’s long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years. Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion. He’s almost as popular as Hannah’s scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus’ favourite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor – and Gus’ corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest!Now Hannah’s got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer – even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise…
 
Review –
I like this series so much that I read this book a second time.  All of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries  are light,pleasant and fun to read evcn though some of the story lines(like this one) are predictable  and easy to figure out. BACKGROUND INFO:  Hannah Swenson is the owner and operator of a bakery by the name of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota and always included in the books are several recipes discussed in the story line.  Although I didn’t make any of these recipes this time,previously I had made the RED VELVET COOKIES, BLACK FOREST BROWNIES and the MEXICAN HOTDISH (what they call a HOTDISH in Minnesota we call a CASSEROLE here in Oklahoma) and they were all excellent.  So if you’re looking for a fun,fast paced, recipe packed series to start give The Hannah Swensen Mysteries a try.
 
 
 

Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier

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“Gingerbread Cookie Murder” is written by Joanne Fluke. When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbour Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list. “The Dangers Of Gingerbread Cookies” is written by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents’ retirement community’s play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he ‘accidentally’ falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor’s jealous lovers was capable of murder. “Gingerbread Cookies And Gunshots” is written by Leslie Meier. When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick’s car. With the hours quickly ticking till Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.
 
Review –
 
This is what I call a “bonus” book. Not only did it have a wonderfully entertaining story by Joanna Fluke, but two  more stories by different authors.  All involving GINGERBREAD COOKIES.  That is a good thing.  These stories take place at the Christmas season and seeing the words on paper just seems to cool down the blistering heat of the 2011 OKLAHOMA DROUGHT.  Anything that will take my mine off this heat is a very very good thing.
 

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

Product Description

It’s June in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and for Hannah Swensen, that means bridal showers galore, plus a massive fundraising event in need of confections – not to mention a killer who never learned that charity begins at home…Early summer brings plenty of work for Hannah, even before Mayor Bascomb’s wife drops by The Cookie Jar to place an order…for eleven-hundred cookies! Stephanie Bascomb is organizing an elaborate three-day event to support local charities, and though it’s a worthy cause, Hannah almost flips when her business partner, Lisa, suggests setting up an apple turnover stand. Hannah’s never made a turnover – but, pushover that she is, she places her faith in Lisa’s mother-in-law’s recipe and agrees to be a magician’s assistant in the fundraiser’s talent show…Dozens of pastries and one hideous purple dress later, Hannah has to admit that stepping out of her comfort zone has been fun as well as profitable. The only snag is the show’s host, community college professor Bradford Ramsey. Hannah and her younger sister Michelle each had unfortunate romantic relationships with Ramsey, and when the cad comes sniffing around between acts, Hannah tells him off. But when the curtain doesn’t go up, she discovers Ramsey backstage – dead as a doornail with a turnover in his hand…Now, to protect her reputation and Michelle’s, Hannah must get to the bottom of the professor’s bitter end. There are plenty of scorned suspects, including an ex-wife who feels cheated in more ways than one, and a prominent local who may have been using Ramsey to avenge her own randy spouse. But who was unstable enough to snuff out Professor Love? A killer who’s flakier than puff pastry – and far more dangerous… –This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
  
  
Review-
This was not one of my favorite stories in the Hannah Swenson line and I can’t really say why.  It just didn’t hold my attention.  But I do have to say I enjoyed the recipes in the story very much and will be baking a couple of them.  It’s a clean book with a quirky characters and good cookies recipes galore so I’d rate it worth reading.