FATALLY FLAKY is Diane Mott Davidson’s 14th culinary
mystery starring Aspen Meadow, Colorado’s favorite
caterer/sleuth, Goldy Schulz. Married to a policeman and longtime
resident, Goldy uncovers many local mysteries and often faces
dangerous, if not nearly deadly, situations herself. Included in
the index are 10 mouthwatering recipes made with ingredients
readily available in her plentiful pantry.
Aspen Meadow, Colorado is a delightful mountain town west of
Denver. Here Goldy owns and manages a catering company. In the last
few years she has seen steady growth in her business as residents
use her catering for all special occasions, meetings, events and
weddings. In FATALLY FLAKY, Goldy works with her talented assistant
chef Julian preparing for the wedding from hell. Bridezilla
returns! “Weddings are like olives. They can be the
pits.” Julian, the vegetarian chef Goldy trained years ago,
assists her with larger gatherings.
To make matters worse, there is a murderer on the loose who
recently killed Goldy’s godfather’s friend, drinking
buddy and fellow fisherman, Dr. Finn. That will not be the last
murder or attempted murder we will see.
Having read all of Davidson’s books, I admit to two
favorite recurring themes: Goldy loves her espresso, and she has an
incredible walk-in refrigerator/freezer that houses every fresh and
frozen ingredient known to man or chef. In FATALLY FLAKY, Goldy
invents an iced espresso with whipping cream over ice. Using four
shots of espresso in every drink, it is no wonder she is usually
“buzzed.” This is how she starts every day. Coeur a la
crème, Cuban bread, Fatally Flaky cookies with vanilla butter
cream frosting, and black-and-white cake are just a few of the
recipes found in the index.
There is one spot in Aspen Meadow where you wouldn’t
normally find the cookery of Goldy Schulz: Gold Gulch Spa. It is a
local resort for women hoping to lose weight and pamper themselves
for a few days. Their smoothies are famous and addictive. There is
just one thing that seems unusual: everyone who leaves after a few
days suddenly wants to return. Often they need to seek medical
attention. It is not necessarily healthy to hang around Gold Gulch
Spa. Worse, their owner/manager, Victor, makes life very difficult
for Goldy. Why does he see her as such a threat? What might he be
hiding in the Smoothie Cabin, where secrets abound?
Sometimes in a mystery novel, the reader finds that the
characters have previous relationships with one another. These can
certainly spice up a story, as in this case. Late in the book,
Davidson unveils the relationship among several central characters.
All of a sudden, FATALLY FLAKY goes from third gear to fifth gear
in three seconds flat! Everything suddenly makes sense. The loose
ends are tied up neatly in little bows. All in all, this is a
deliciously presented slice of mystery, without the accompanying
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on January 21, 2011