Written By: Julie Hyzy
Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
Audible Studios 2/11/14 originally published in pb on 12/31/12
Length: 8 hours and 5 minutes
White House Executive Chef Olivia “Ollie” Paras takes a well-deserved vacation and travels home to visit her mother and grandmother along with Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Gavin. He is not on official duty but is there as Ollie’s boyfriend, a fact they are trying to keep quiet in Washington. Years ago Ollie’s father was killed in a car crash and buried in Arlington National Cemetery, yet Ollie was never given any details. Sensing it was finally time to give those details, Ollie’s mother tells her it wasn’t just an accident but murder. To top it off, her father had been dishonorably discharged from the service.
Ollie learns that after his army service, Anthony Paras was vice president of management systems at a company making vitamin and food supplements called Pluto. The company is located outside Washington, DC, so Ollie talks to her dad’s old boss. After her father’s death, evidence of his selling corporate secrets had been found in his desk. Denying this possibility even though Ollie hardly remembered her dad, she then visits his old commanding officer who purportedly paved the way into Arlington. He seems confused with some memory loss yet Ollie isn’t so sure he isn’t deliberately hiding facts. Gavin contacts his old CO who has a checkered and secret past. Meeting clandestinely, he tests Ollie to see if he can trust her and to see if she will trust him. As a favor to Gavin, he will take his own route to investigate.
Meanwhile, Ollie had promised to work with the President’s young son Josh with lessons in the kitchen despite being on vacation. She lets slip that her plans for Saturday include attending a food expo where her pastry chef will perform. Josh immediately wants to go with her, despite it being in a public place that will be full of hundreds of people. They find a way to enjoy the show despite the precautionary security. However, once Ollie returns, she finds herself in greater danger. With Gavin rushing headlong to her aid, he is gravely injured.
This sixth entry in the White House Chef mysteries was engrossing, engaging, fascinating. The pace moved steadily forward with action constantly speeding up. There was no way I was going to put this book down without finding out if Ollie and Gavin were safe. Author Julie Hyzy has brought us another gripping story of life in and around the White House. Eileen Stevens continues to expertly narrate with numerous voices and emotions. Highly recommended.