Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy

Julie Hyzy won the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best Paperback for her first White House Chef mystery, State of the Onion, but the third book in the series, Eggsecutive Orders, is also the best. That's no "eggsaggeration."

White House Executive Chef Ollie Paras should be on top of the world. It's time for her staff to get ready for the Easter celebration, the dinner and the Easter Egg Roll, and her mother and grandmother are finally coming to visit. She should be anticipating her family's visit to the White House, and the fun of Easter. Instead, on the morning her family is due to arrive, she's escorted to the White House by the Secret Service, and her entire kitchen staff is suspended from their duties. It's only then that she learns a guest died at dinner the night before. Until the cause of death can be determined, the food, and the staff, is suspect.

Her mother and nana came to visit Ollie, and she could look at the suspension as the perfect vacation time. But, she feels responsible for her staff and the kitchen, and she has a hard time sitting on her hands. But, it's not just her job and her staff that is threatened. Her boyfriend's job on the Presidential Protection Detail is also threatened, and Tom has been warned to keep an eye on Ollie, and prevent her from interfering in the investigation. But, when she becomes a target for a newspaper columnist, and her mother shows an interest in a man who is connected to the dead White House guest, it's just too much for Ollie. Somehow, she has to get back into the kitchen, and find a killer.

Although I enjoyed both of the previous books, and Ollie's work in the kitchen, it was refreshing to see her out of her element. By forcing Ollie to stay home, Hyzy added another element to Ollie's life. We met her family, enjoyed a little bit of Washington as she showed them around, and learned more about the personal life of Bucky, the irascible chef. There's also the fascinating "locked White House" mystery. Not too many people would have had access to the dead guest. Top it off with a climax at the annual Easter Egg Roll, and Eggsecutive Orders is another "eggcellent" mystery feast served up by Julie Hyzy.

Julie Hyzy's website is She's also one of the authors at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2010. ISBN 9780425232033 (paperback), 352p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought this book.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Yay--great review for Julie! I love the idea that she restricted Ollie's activities and showed readers a different side of her. I've got this one on my nightstand! :)

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Lesa said...

That's exactly what I liked about the book, Elizabeth. It gave us a chance to learn more about Ollie. You're going to love it!

Mason Canyon said...

Ollie has been an interesting character. I'm glad we get to see a different side of her. Who knew cooking could be so intriguing. Great review.

Julie Hyzy said...

Lesa - thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed seeing Ollie out of her element. That was a chance I took and you summed it up exactly what I hoped readers would take away from this story. Thanks for such a wonderful review!


Lesa said...

Thanks, Mason. And, I loved your blog about the women of Mystery Lovers Kitchen. I'll be back when part II is posted.

Lesa said...

Julie -

Eggcellent book! The ultimate compliment is when I read a book, and know exactly who would love it. I read Eggsecutive Orders, and thought, my sisters are going to love this. That always means I think enough of a book to not only recommend it, but know who will appreciate it.

Thanks for taking Ollie out of the White House, so we could get to know her better. And, I love her nana!

Lorna Barrett said...

I just bought the book on Tuesday and haven't had a chance to start it yet--now I can't wait!

Lesa said...

I have no doubt you're going to enjoy it, Lorna. Happy Reading! An eggcellent choice.

Janel said...

I love it when you get to know some of your favorite series characters in a different way, away from their usual environment.

I can't wait to read this!

Anonymous said...

I'm so looking forward to this book. I need to read #2 first, but then I'll get to this one. I'm thinking that Easter time might be the right time to read it!

By the way, I've got my Bald Faced Writing up on my blog. Come play!

And, yes, I have retired. For now at least. Too much going on and more to come. Moving Mom to dementia care next week. It will be very hard. I decided that I needed to cut the string that I had control over and that was work. I'm still volunteering, but no fulltime job. Thus more blogging. :-)

Lesa said...


Taking Ollie outside of her normal environment showed us a whole new side of her. And, wait until you meet Bucky outside of the White House kitchen! Plus, I just loved Ollie's nana.

I think you're going to enjoy the change.

Lesa said...

You're right, Kay. Easter will be a perfect time to read this. It's a fun series, isn't it?

I'll be over at your blog in just a minute. Can't read what you made up!

I understand having to change some things in your life. I have to say, everyone I know who retired from the library looks so much younger! They're not trying to work, and continue another full-time job at home and with family. And, with the issues you're having, you probably have two other full-time jobs. Take care of yourself, too, Kay!

Hugs & I'll be thinking of you this next week.

Ingrid King said...

I just finished the first in this series and LOVED it!!! I ordered it after Lesa gave a preview of Eggsecutive Orders here a while back (at least I think it was here that I found out about i). I've got the other two on order. I can't wait to read this one!

Lesa said...

I love it when someone discovers a new series, and enjoys it, Ingrid. Julie's books just get better, so you're going to enjoy the next ones, too.

Janet Rudolph said...

I loved this book, as I did the others. It was quite a different approach to Ollie-taking her outside the kitchen. I missed the White House Kitchen and cooking, but Hyzy pulled it off for me by great sight seeing in the Capitol and the introduction of her family. Looking forward to more in this series.

Lesa said...

You're right, Janet. We were still in D.C., and, since I lived there for a year, I enjoyed the sight seeing. I think we might tire of the books if all we ever saw was the White House. It was refreshing to meet Ollie's family, and see her city.