“Crunch Time” by Diane Mott Davidson finds the intrepid caterer Goldy Schulz juggling houseguests, puppies and a tough catering economy. The addition of chef Yolanda Garcia and her irascible francotiradora aunt Ferdinanda to the Schulz household gives a Cuban flavor to both the dishes being served and the culture being experienced. The murder of a former policeman/private investigator, mysterious attacks on his live-in cook and a series of inexplicable occurrences that threaten the health and well-being of Goldy and those around her spur the chef/amateur detective to perform her own investigations. Juggling the responsibilities of catering for a a couple of very different activities, Goldy also must find a way to handle the puppies that may provide clues to one of the murdered man’s cases. Yolanda’s reticence about her past and the man who may be stalking her impede Goldy’s unofficial and husband Tom’s official investigations but the escalation of violence makes it difficult to determine who is at risk, Goldy or Yolanda. Tom also startles Goldy with a special request that she must add to the list of things that she is worrying about but her irrepressible spirit and his unwavering support will be needed to get through the dangers that seem to be escalating.
Another entertaining addition to the mystery series that combines mouthwatering recipes prepared by Goldy, Yolanda and Tom with glimpses of small slices of Colorado. The multiple threads that are gradually unraveled as more clues are revealed makes an entertaining read that provides fans of the series with glimpses of their favorite characters including Goldy’s son Archie and good friend Marla.
When the rental house shared by chef Yolanda Garcia and her irrepressible aunt Ferdinanda is destroyed by arson, the pair moves in with cop-turned-PI Ernest McLeod. But then Ernest is shot dead and his house is set on fire, nearly killing Yolanda, Ferdinanda, and their good friend, Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz, along with nine beagle puppies that Ernest had recently rescued from a puppy mill.
Concerned for her friends, Goldy invites them to stay with her. But even her house isn’t safe. After a failed break-in and the discovery of a second body, the intrepid Goldy decides to swap her chef’s hat for a sleuthing cap. Now she’s got to move fast because it’s crunch time and a killer is getting dangerously close.