January 22, 2012

Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy

Affairs of Steak is the fifth book in the White House Chef Mystery series by Julie Hyzy. While I always highly recommend you read things in order, this book could probably be read as a standalone in a pinch, you just wouldn't understand some of the character interactions.

Ollie has really gotten herself into it this time. When she and her arch nemesis Peter Sargeant have to work together on a banquet, they quickly dive into trouble when they discover the bodies of two White House employees. Not realizing just how much danger they are in they follow proper procedure, but then strange things start to happen and Ollie starts to believe that her life just may be in danger. With having to worry about that and the numerous dinners and parties going on at the White House, Ollie has her hands full. Especially since she and Sargeant are in this together and snipping at each other the whole way.

Ollie is always the better person, and as such, she is an inspiration. She tries to do right by people even if it isn't the most popular choice. In short, she's the kind of person I would like to be. Not to mention, she's a chef, and I love food. I also like how she can even relate to the people she doesn't like and overcome her initial anger at them. Her love interest Gav, is pretty special too. He is pretty level headed but seems to genuinely care for Ollie. I was pleasantly surprised by Sargeant's character in this one too. While still a jerk at least he had some depth for once and played more than the bad guy.

The plot was pretty exciting. There was a lot of action, but less of the romance this time,which I was actually pretty disappointed about. I had hoped for a little more than that after the last one, but once again its a slow process for Ollie. Unfortunately the mystery was kind of predictable and the bad guys a little smarmy this time. There wasn't as much food either with the exception of the recipes listed in back. In fact, I would say that there was barely time spent in the kitchen this time around. Which was a little sad since I had grown used to Ollie preparing food and working with the other kitchen staff.

It was still a good book. Just not as good as the previous one. I don't know when Hyzy plans on putting out the next book, but I definitely plan on reading it!

Affairs of Steak
Copyright 2012
293 pages

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