Sheri Swanson

Grab a cup of decaf before settling down with Goldy Schulz's latest culinary caper. Zippier than a double hit of espresso and filled with the usual array of mouth-watering recipes, Double Shot has more twists than a fresh batch of fusilli. Diane Mott Davidson's 12th culinary mystery begins as Goldy's jerk of an ex-husband, John Richard, is found murdered. No one is more surprised than Goldy when she's framed for the crime. Sure, both she and her best friend, Marla (a fellow ex-Mrs. Jerk), were still seething that he'd been let out of prison, but did they really wish him dead? With a heavy catering schedule serving most of the creme de la creme of Aspen Meadow society, Goldy barely has time to rework the menus, much less commit a murder. Of course, John Richard never had a problem making enemies, including a bushel of jilted women. Socialite Courtney MacEwan, the most recent casualty of John Richard's affections, certainly has reason to top the list of suspects. A few hundred thousand reasons, that is. No one believes for a moment that John Richard Korman could possibly afford his country club estate and all the trimmings without the help of Ms. MacEwan's checkbook. As rumors begin to boil surrounding John Richard's forays into money laundering and unpaid debts, and more of Aspen Meadow's social register comes under scrutiny, another dead body surfaces.

With questions swirling like the inside of a cinnamon strudel, Goldy is torn between investigating the murders and keeping her head off the chopping block. Perhaps worst of all, Goldy and John Richard's son, Arch, seems to be juggling his grief with a secret that could hold the key to his father's murder.

Seasoned with dicey characters from the local strip club, hints of church corruption and a dash or two of unrequited love, Double Shot serves up a mystery that even the most avid of fans won't unscramble until the last bite.

Sheri Swanson enjoys trying new recipes and heartily recommends Goldy's Nuthouse Cookies.

 

Grab a cup of decaf before settling down with Goldy Schulz's latest culinary caper. Zippier than a double hit of espresso and filled with the usual array of mouth-watering recipes, Double Shot has more twists than a fresh batch of fusilli. Diane Mott Davidson's 12th culinary mystery begins as Goldy's jerk of an ex-husband, John […]

Sassy, Irish-Jewish PI Tess Monaghan, protagonist of Laura Lippman's popular series, returns in the suspenseful By a Spider's Thread. This time out, Tess takes on a referral from her Uncle Donald (of the Weinstein side of the family) and finds herself getting in touch with her Jewish side. Hired by Mark Rubin, a devout Orthodox Jew, to find his wife and three children, Tess spars with tradition, treachery and of course Tyner, her former employer and soon-to-be uncle-in-law. She works this case without help from any of her usual companions: boyfriend Crow, former roommate Whitney, former client-now-friend, Jackie. However, ex-nemesis Gretchen O'Brien reappears as the leader of a whole new web of support for Tess and other women PIs. Rubin's penchant for privacy and naiveté regarding his wife and the state of his marriage make for an initially unsympathetic client. His oldest son, Isaac, however, instantly wins our hearts as a scrapper an instinctive survivalist. Without his beloved books to keep him company, Isaac spends his time concocting new ways to escape, or at least contact his father. Through him, we see a softer side of Mark, that of a father who wishes "first and foremost that you would be a virtuous man" but who also uses Advanced Mission Battleship to teach his son that he need not be the smartest one to win.

Trapped with a mother not acting herself and a man posing as his father who clearly considers him a threat, Isaac reminds us of both the resilience of children and their sometimes overlooked maturity beyond their years.

With her usual bullheadedness, Tess bends rules, interferes where she's not welcome and experiences a handful of near-death experiences. In the process, she attains a new level of self-perspection, and takes what fans might hope is a first step in the right direction. Acclaimed author Lippman knows how to keep the reader guessing: the only thing we know for certain is that in this case, the butler didn't do it.

Like Tess, Sheri Swanson has a grandmother Weinstein.

Sassy, Irish-Jewish PI Tess Monaghan, protagonist of Laura Lippman's popular series, returns in the suspenseful By a Spider's Thread. This time out, Tess takes on a referral from her Uncle Donald (of the Weinstein side of the family) and finds herself getting in touch with her Jewish side. Hired by Mark Rubin, a devout Orthodox […]

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