Her first big catering gig in weeks has Goldy Bear Schulz salivating. But before she can collect her Elizabethan-inspired recipes (Queen of Scots Shortbread, Damson-in-Distress Plum Tart) and hie herself to the restored English castle in Colorado where she's putting on a donor's luncheon in Hyde Chapel and a high school fencing banquet in the castle's Great Room, someone blows a hole in her living room window. No sooner has she unloaded her pots and pans at the catering venue than another someone--or maybe the same one--shoots a hole in her detective husband, Tom. To make matters worse, Goldy's ex-husband has just been released from jail, and he seems to have a few reasons to want to kill her, too.
Between trying to solve the riddle of the castle ghost, keep her son Arch and her wounded husband safe, and get the food on the table while it's still hot, Goldy is up to her elbows in trouble. The would-be lord of the manor still looks like a business-builder for Goldy, but his Swiss-born wife seems a little wacky. And even from a sickbed, Tom's got a crime wave on his hands that seems to involve Goldy's ex, his flashy new girlfriend, the castle owner, and the dead man Goldy found floating in the castle moat. Not to mention a woman Tom once loved, who seems to have returned from the dead and is causing Goldy no end of distress. But Diane Mott Davidson's gutsy, multitalented series heroine (Prime Cut, Tough Cookie) triumphs again--the proof is in the reading as well as the eating in this fast-paced, frothy dessert. --Jane Adams