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by Diane Mott Davison
William Morrow, August 2013
384 pages
ISBN: 0061348171

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Goldy Schulz's catering company, Goldilocks' Catering, has a busy weekend ahead. First, she is in charge of the food for the joint birthday party for her son Arch and Drew Ingleby, her friend Holly's son. Then there is the dinner at the church following the "Plan Your Own Funeral" seminar. And finally there is the surprise twenty-first birthday party for Ophelia Unger. Goldy and her assistant Julian have everything planned down to the last detail, so even with the busy schedule, the weekend events should come off without a hitch. But things start to go wrong before the first guest arrives for the first event. Goldy discovers that a woman who slightly resembles her has set up a catering business, named it Goldilocks' Catering and is trying to poach Goldy's customers by offering ridiculously cheap prices. Then the father hosting the surprise party shows up and hovers in the kitchen complaining that Goldy's computer has spread a virus.

The pre-event issues are just minor headaches compared to the drama of the joint birthday party. Holly fails to invite her son's father and stepmother but they come anyway and create a scene. A mysterious man, also uninvited, arrives and Holly is clearly upset to see him. Then Ophelia and her boyfriend show up to give a talk and ask for money for their pet trail project, even though Goldy and Marla Korman, the party host, asks them not to do so. But as bizarre as all of this is, what happens when Drew and Holly leave the party is worse - much worse. As Holly starts down the driveway, she collapses and dies. Even though Holly's death is ruled a heart attack, Marla and Goldy start looking into Holly's past-especially the months leading up to her death.

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA, the seventeenth book in the series, is a good book for readers unfamiliar to the series to begin with. Holly, Marla and Goldy have a long past together built on their divorce support group. The three became friends outside of the group and have been friendly ever since. Marla and Goldy's investigation into Holly's death really reviews the back story of the entire series up to this book. This would also be a good book for people who stopped reading the series because of the domestic violence plot line in the books to step back into the series without having to read the gritty details. For those readers who have read them all, then sit back and enjoy. This is Goldy and Marla at their best.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, August 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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