Picks and Pans Review: Sticks & Scones

updated 06/04/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/04/2001 01:00AM

by Diane Mott Davidson

Beach book of the week

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Goldy Schulz is having one heckuva day. First her living room window is shot at. Then she finds a dead body. Then her husband takes a bullet in the shoulder. As if that weren't enough, the caterer has to plan a luncheon for a new client. Time for an Advil? You bet. But Goldy refuses to wait for the police to figure out how the crimes connect. Moving into a restored castle where she has signed on to cater a banquet, Goldy whips up a few batches of fudge cookies and a baker's dozen of theories. Suddenly everyone is a suspect, from her ex-con ex to the creepy castle's eccentric owners to her husband's old flame.

In her 10th "culinary mystery," Davidson cooks up such a complex batter that the ingredients don't blend until the very end, while the suspense factor rises higher than a champagne soufflé. Warning: With Goldy sharing her recipes (her Queen of Scots Shortbread looks particularly good), you may want to pull your reading chair up next to the oven. (Bantam, $23.95)

Bottom Line: Cuisine art

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