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Affairs of Steak
A White House Chef Mystery, No 5
Julie Hyzy

Berkley Prime Crime
Jan 2012/ ISBN: 978-0-425-24583-5
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Ollie (Olivia) Paras is the executive chef for the White House. Cooking is her passion and all she really wants to do is create dishes worthy of the First Family. Fate has other plans for her, once again, as murder intrudes on her schedule. In this book, Ollie has to work with Peter Everett Sargeant who is the White House Sensitivity Director. The plan is to find an appropriate venue outside of the White House for a dinner in honor of the birthday of the Secretary of State.

Once Ollie and Sargeant arrive at the final venue, Lexington Place, they find more than they bargained for. Patty Woodruff, an assistant to the First Lady, is dead, murdered. Shortly thereafter, the body of the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Cawley, is found, also murdered.

Having been involved in other murder investigations, Ollie doesn't want to be in the middle of this, but as things play out, Ollie and Peter have to lean on each other to solve these crimes before they become the next victims.

A large portion of this book is set outside of the White House, which is a change from the previous four books in the series. This change of setting allows readers to see more of Ollie's personality and to learn more about her home life and romantic life. The book is quite realistic and is written very intelligently. I found the dialogue brisk so that, at the end of each chapter, I felt compelled to read ·just one more chapter· and thus finished the book in one day's allotted reading time.

Hyzy also writes the Manor House mysteries, and if you find that you like Affairs of Steak, I recommend that you give them a try as well.

Reviews of other titles in this series

State of the Onion #1
Hail to the Chef #2
Affairs of Steak #5
Fonduing Fathers #6

Reviewed 2012