Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy
Julie Hyzy may have won the Anthony and Barry awards for the first mystery in her White House Chef series, State of the Onion, but she tops herself with the latest, Buffalo West Wing. White House executive chef, Ollie Paras, is at the top of her game in this fourth book in the series, as is Hyzy.
There's a new family in the White House, and it's going to take some work for Ollie and her staff to adjust to a young family with two children. Ollie's prepared, with kid-friendly menus, but things go wrong, beginning on Inauguration Day, and they only get worse. Someone left a box of chicken wings for Abigail and Josh, the President's children, but with no knowledge as to where they came from, Ollie steps up, and refuses to allow the children to have their favorite food. No one is happy with Ollie - the children, their mother, or Ollie's arch-enemy, Peter Everett Sargeant, the Sensitivity Director. When the chicken turns out to have been poisoned, Ollie knows she prevented a tragedy, but the Secret Service keeps it a secret. So, it's even more disturbing when the First Lady brings the family's personal chef to the White House to cook for them. Are Ollie's days numbered as the White House chef?
Every White House chef mystery is cause for celebration. The daily schedule in the White House kitchen is trauma enough, but Hyzy always ratchets up the tension with plots and danger. Ollie is a wonderful character, revealed a little more in each book. The characters, particularly Ollie's staff, are fascinating. Hyzy's recipes are enticing. But, it's Ollie and the White House, along with the intrigue, that continue to bring readers back. With a new First Family, there's sure to be more changes, more danger and excitement. Thank heaven's Ollie's still able to take the heat, and the pressure. She's still the star, in the White House and the kitchen. And, Julie Hyzy's star shines brighter than ever with Buffalo West Wing.