Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

 Last week saw the release of Julie Hyzy’s latest in the White House Chef Mystery series, Buffalo West Wing. I read the first three in this series this summer after learning about them on the Mystery Lover’s Kitchen blog. I liked them enough to buy this one on its release date.

Product description: With a new First Family, White House executive chef Olivia Paras can’t afford to make any mistakes. But when a box of take-out chicken mysteriously shows up for the First Kids, she soon finds herself in a “no-wing” situation. After Olivia refuses to serve the chicken, the First Lady gives her the cold shoulder. But when it turns out to be poisoned poultry, Olivia realizes the kids are true targets.

I liked this book as well or better than the previous ones in the series. In this one, Ollie seemed much more sure of herself. One thing that is a bit off-putting for me (and this occurs in each book of the series) is that there are a lot scenes in which supporting characters tell Ollie to butt out or “not worry her pretty little head” about things. And while I guess part of that is to keep it real (who would want a chef interfering in secret service business?), it really takes away from the progress of the story. Having said that, I really like Ollie and I love reading about food! The White House history and tidbits are very interesting, and the mystery kept me guessing (I did not figure out the mole). I would definitely add this to your TBR (to be read) list. And while it can be read as stand alone, I’d recommend starting at the beginning; the characters and their nuances will make much more sense.

Book One is Hail to the Chef. It’s product description reads

White House executive Chef Ollie Paras has a lot on her plate, what with holiday meals to map out, the First Lady’s matchmaking plans to deflect, safety classes to take, and terrorist plots to avoid. Oh, and a senator’s assistant has been begging Ollie to rig the countrywide gingerbread-man-decorating contest in favor of the senator’s kids …

Then a cautious, kindly electrician is electrocuted, and the First Lady’s nephew doesn’t show up for an important event when not twenty-four hours before he was happily cleaning shrimp with Ollie. Ollie suspects there’s something going on that’s fishier than shrimp cocktail. Now, she’ll have to watch her back — and find a killer unlikely to be pardoned …

The second in the series is State of the Onion and its description is

Never let them see you sweat — that’s White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras’s motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She’s hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There’s just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry…

The highly-trained Secret Service agents couldn’t do it. Snipers swarming the White House grounds were no help. Only Ollie Paras was able to stop the intruder-hitting him with a frying pan. She’d like to wash her hands of the whole thing, but after she witnesses a murder, there’s no going back…

Ollie’s Secret Service boyfriend warns her that the killer is a world-class assassin. And Ollie’s the only person alive who can recognize him. Still, guilt propels her to investigate, even if it means putting herself — and her relationship-in hot water…

Book 3 is Eggsecutive Orders.  This book’s description is

Ollie’s mom and grandmother have flown out to D.C. for the annual Easter Egg Roll and a personal tour of the White House. But plans are scrambled when executive chef Ollie is banished from the kitchen after one of the president’s guests dies at the dinner table. Who killed Carl Minkus? Ollie is at odds with her Secret Service boyfriend, Tom, who has been charged with making sure his intrepid girlfriend keeps her nose out of official business this time. But Ollie is determined to restore her reputation. Will proving her innocence mean the end of a relationship with Tom?

Again, I enjoy this series. It’s fun and teaches me random facts (what more could a girl want). I know it is short notice, but the author is hosting a contest for the release of Buffalo West Wing. If you have read the book, consider entering. The deadline is tomorrow! The details are here.

Happy Reading!

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2 Comments

Filed under Cozy Mystery, Reading for Fun

2 responses to “Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

  1. I agree that in some of the cozies the character constantly being told to butt out or not worry their head can be a bit annoying, yet also understand that it’s somewhat important to the story (I mean..it can’t be normal for average people to help solve murders.) I wonder if there’s a better way to word it or do it though, so that it helps with the story but doesn’t bother the reader?

    I haven’t read any in this series but have this one at home. So unfortunately I will be reading it out of order. Glad to hear you liked it though, hopefully that means I will too.

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