Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy
Published by Berkeley Prime Crime, an imprint of Penguin
My review of the first book in the series: State of the Onion
After a grueling encounter with an old rival and a dangerous encounter with someone who was not who he seemed, Ollie Paras has finally realized her dream of being Executive Chef of the White House. However, if Ollie thought that things – out of the kitchen at least – would calm down once she was in her new role, she was dead wrong. Just in time for the busy holiday season there are mysterious and deadly occurrences everywhere Ollie turns: from mysterious deaths to fake bombs being planted in the White House. Now Ollie has to worry not only about the menus and staffing for some of her biggest events of the year, but she also has to find time to squeeze in mandatory explosives-recognition classes as well as some highly unofficial sleuthing.
I cannot think of much that is more fun than spending time with Ollie and her kitchen. She is smart and relatively confident and not afraid to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong. Hyzy did a good job beginning to grown Ollie into her new role. She is noticeably more comfortable with it than in State of the Onion, but not so much that it seems unreasonable for her given the amount of time in the new position. My only slight problem was with the resolution of the mystery. It was perhaps a bit more complex than I would have guessed and I thought it was perhaps a little much. Other than that, though, Hail to the Chef was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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