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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson



I really shouldn’t read these kinds of books when I’m trying to lose weight.   The daily discussions about food are filled with detailed descriptions of dishes that sound downright delectable.  (How’s that for alliteration?)  Included at the end of the book are recipes of some of the dishes.   It’s just not right.
Unfortunately, the recipes were my favorite part of the book.
Goldy the caterer and amateur sleuth really has her hands full this time.  When Goldy’s fellow caterer Yolanda, and Yolanda’s great-aunt Ferdinanda, need a place to live temporarily after their rental is torched, they move in with Ernest McLeod, a private investigator who hires Yolanda to cook for him.  Ernest is found dead and his house is later also torched, actually while Goldy and Yolanda and Ferdinanda are in it.  Goldy offers her home to Yolanda and Ferdinanda, who came over from Cuba decades earlier.  She also becomes highly involved in solving the mystery of who murdered Ernest and who is setting houses on fire, along with a few other mysteries which completely befuddled me and made it nearly impossible to sort out just what was going on even though Goldy lays everything out multiple times.  That was a major problem with the book.  There were too many story lines and even at the end, it just didn’t gel.  Another major problem is that Goldy keeps sticking her nose in to things she knows darn well she shouldn’t.  She is married to Tom who is an investigator with the county sheriff’s department.  He is frequently upset with her because of this habit of hers but she does it anyway, gets in trouble, and then does it again the next day.  It doesn’t make sense to me.
I really wish I liked these books better because, despite Goldy’s proclivitiy for getting into trouble, I like her and Tom and several of the other characters too.  My favorite in this book was Ferdinanda, the irrepressible former member of Castro’s army.  She had become disillusioned with communism and emigrated to Miami in the 60’s.  She was shrewd and tough for an old lady in a wheelchair and I loved the parts with her in them.
Was it a clean read?  Yes, for the most part.  There was mild swearing  in the book and several things best described as adult situations, such as adultery, prostitution and drugs that would make it PG-13, but not too bad overall.

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