January 17, 2012

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

I think this has been my favorite book of the series so far. It had the right amount of food, mystery and romance. And compared to the others, it doesn't really matter if you read this as a stand alone, although I always recommend reading a series in order.

A new President is in the white house, and for the White House staff that means they have to adjust and make him and his family feel welcome. Not to mention this President has young children, which is a new experience for them. Its the first day there when some famous chicken wings are dropped off at the kitchen, intended for the President's kids. Because she doesn't know where they came from, Executive Chef Ollie won't serve them, much to the consternation of the first lady and quite possibly puts her job on the line as a result. But when she finds out the wings were poisoned as part of a terrorist plot, Ollie knows she did the right thing. The only problem? She's not allowed to tell the first lady and when another chef is brought in, Ollie knows its only a matter of time until she's replaced.

I love Ollie in this one. She does the whole true to yourself thing and it really works for her and makes me like her as a character more. I also enjoy that she is devoid of the not so great boyfriend Tom in this one, and her new love interest is much better in my opinion. Tom was kind of a jerk and I was always secretly rooting that they would break up. Her side chefs are pretty great in this one too. Bucky continues to be an evolving character and I genuinely liked him in this one. The new chef by contrast is the new jerk in the kitchen and people will just love to hate him. The bad guys are also more menacing this time around too.

The mystery was hard to solve, but not completely impossible this time around. And there was a nice mix of mystery with food too. Food definitely took more of a share and I was glad to see that as I love the descriptions Hyzy uses for the food and some of the ideas for cooking. The recipes at the end didn't hurt either. And in this one I liked the elements of romance too. I like Ollie having a personal life and she doesn't really in the first few books, so it makes her into more of a real person. I do have to say that the ending felt quite abrupt and I wasn't a big fan of that. It seemed like there should have been at least one more chapter to round things out a little more.

I definitely can't wait to read the next book now and will have to go get it soon. A pretty nice foodie mystery in this installment.

Buffalo West Wing
Copyright 2011
305 pages

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