Tough Cookie Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Tough Cookie

Goldy's catering business is presently shut down because the local health inspector told her that she will need different drains to operate out of her house. The problem is that the new drains will cost several thousand dollars, and since Tom and Goldy just did some remodeling in the house, they are short of money. Goldy's friend Eileen helps her out by getting her a cooking show that will air on PBS for a few weeks, but even though Goldy appreciates it and hopes it will get her a position as a personal chef, the show itself will not provide Goldy with enough money to get the new drains.
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Tom and Goldy have also tried to sell Tom's historic, signed skis valued at about $10,000, but the shops they've contacted offer them only about half that amount. Goldy decides to contact Doug Portman, a man she once briefly dated, because she knows he collects historical items. He agrees to buy the skis, but because Goldy knew Tom would not approve of her selling the skis to Portman, she asks Portman to meet her where she is filming the show. Portman agrees and brings the cash, but before the transaction can take place, he is killed while skiing. Goldy then finds out from the police that after she had dated Portman, he became the chairman of the parole board in Colorado. This makes her look suspicious to the police, as it looks like she may have tried to use the skies to bribe Portman to not give parole to her ex-husband who had been abusive to her.

Then as Goldy is driving back home, she is in a pile-up that sends her van over a cliff. Miraculously, she is not killed, and she finds out later that the pile-up was not an accident. Someone deliberately hit the vehicle in back of hers to make it hit her van. Now that Goldy knows the incident was personal, she wonders whether Portman's death was not an accident either, and whether the two incidents may be linked. Goldy once again starts her own sleuthing.

The review of this Book prepared by Crystal

Chapter Analysis of Tough Cookie

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999    -   2000+ (Present) Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   food/cooking Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   chef Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Mountains:    -   climbing on trails    -   skiing off Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing Unusual forms of death    -   dropped from large heights Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Diane Mott Davidson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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