Welcome to Fiction Friday, your weekly opportunity to read excerpts of my novels or novels of other writers that I think you might like.
Today’s excerpt is from New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson with the permission of her publisher William Morrow and Diane herself. This seems particularly appropriate because Diane was one of my brainstorming buddies and this novel was part of our conversations. I’ve been looking forward to reading it ever since. The Whole Enchilada debuted at the end of August.
Diane’s wonderful mystery series features Goldy Schulz, Colorado caterer and amateur sleuth, and I can truly say from experience that Diane, herself, is a fabulous cook. The recipes are her own creations.
Diane’s Goldy mysteries may well have been the first series I read (listened to) and truly enjoyed, and I think Diane planted the seeds for my own series.
Entertainment Weekly says this about The Whole Enchilada: 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.”
Can you resist?
My friend Holly Ingleby died after a party I’d organized. She collapsed while walking with her son, Drew, to her car–less than a block from the house belonging to another close friend, Marla Korman. I knew I shouldn’t have blamed myself. But I did.
The seventeenth–birthday celebration for Drew and my own son, Arch, was not an official event put on by my business, Goldilocks’ Catering, Where Everything Is Just Right! It was a Tex–Mex potluck featuring sizzling–hot enchiladas, crunchy salted tortillas, cool guacamole, fresh–baked corn bread, and chile relleno tortas, those quivering, picante–laced custards brimming with lakes of cheddar and Jack cheeses. For dessert, there was dulce de leche ice cream accompanying a birthday cake with sparkler–style candles. The whole thing was supposed to have been carefree and fun.
What was the opposite of carefree and fun? That party.
Years before, Holly, Marla, and I, along with a few other women, had been in a support group, Amour Anonymous. We’d all given love to the wrong men for the wrong reasons. With a few banjos, we could have played Nashville. Ha ha, so funny I forgot to laugh.
More important, we kept each other upright as we marched through hell.
When I saw Holly lying inert on the pavement, an icy abyss opened in my chest. Tom, my second husband– as wonderful as the first one had been horrific– grasped my shoulders to keep me from pitching onto the concrete where Holly lay.
Afterward, I thought, That could have been me.
I knew people differed in their opinions of Holly. In our mountain town of Aspen Meadow, Colorado, perched at eight thousand feet above sea level, forty miles west of Denver, the charitable called Holly a loving mother who’d come from nothing, then shared her creative gifts with the world.
The uncharitable called her an untalented slut who chased rich men and charged too much for her work. Marla and I always stuck up for her– not that it did much good. Still, no matter what the charitable or the uncharitable said about Holly’s personality and ability, they all would have agreed that she worked hard to maintain her slender, muscled body. At thirty–eight, she was still leggy, still blond, with a bright–eyed, surgically enhanced face and a vivacious personality. She had no history of disease and was not on medication. As it turned out, there were many uncharitable people around my old friend. At the time, I didn’t know who these individuals were. Nor did I have an inkling as to their motives.
Most people were stunned by her death. Most. Not all.