Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy is the fifth book in the “White House Chef” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), January 2012
White House executive chef Olivia Paras just wants to create first-class cuisine for the First Family. Unfortunately, dangerous politics keep spoiling her recipes.
Assigned to work with her arch nemesis, Peter Everett Sargeant, the White House sensitivity director, Ollie must find a venue for an event to honor the secretary of state. Instead they find one of the First Lady’s assistants and the chief of staff, both murdered—and Ollie and Peter may have witnessed the killer making his getaway.
News reports suggest that the assistant and chief of staff were having an affair, but no one on the staff believes the rumor. Now, with their jobs—and their lives—in jeopardy, Ollie and Peter must depend on each other to learn who killed their colleagues and why—before they become the next victims of a merciless assassin with a secret agenda.
Ollie is back and teamed with the one person who grates her nerves, Sargeant, when their discovery leads to complications involving a wayward relative, a top official and national security. Ollie tries to stay out of it, but she’s dragged into this case when she herself becomes a pawn in someone’s game and she’ll have to quickly douse out the fire before she gets burned. What a great read. This well-written and action-filled drama kept me in suspense from the moment I picked up the book. The author did a great job in hiding the killer among the cast with a surprising twist in the caper. Like fine wine, this series gets better with age and I look forward to more adventures with Ollie and the gang in this charmingly appealing series.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book