January 11, 2012

Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy

I didn't like this book as much as the first one. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't as well done. Although it isn't necessary to read the first one before this one, you want be left too far in the dark. But hey, its a foodie mystery and at least those are usually entertaining.

Ollie, now executive chef at the White House, is preparing for the holidays and the rush and madness that accompanies it. She has several events to take care of and she and her staff are in overtime trying to get everything done. So when a bomb threat adds even more training and problems to the table, its hard for her to keep up. Especially when trouble just seems to fall into her lap. Trying to solve the mystery on her own and keep her friends and staff safe, Ollie may have bitten off a little more than she can chew this time though.

I like Ollie. I find her character to be a bit unbelievable at times but she's charming. She's not overly prideful and truly enjoys food which is good when the mystery centers around a White House chef. Her kitchen staff is always pretty unique as well and they have quirks all their own. Bucky, the cantankerous chef, especially is amusing to me. Cyan, another chef, didn't get very much time in this book though and I was a little disappointed in that. There are actually a lot of characters in this one because of the First Lady, the President, their friends, other staff, etc. and it can get confusing once in awhile. But that probably mirrors reality as I'm sure there is a lot going on at the White House. The bad guys, well they were somewhat easy to guess but were sneaky enough in their own way.

Because the mystery was somewhat easy to solve I was a little disappointed. Hyzy tries to throw you off but really, its easy to pinpoint at least some of whats going on very early in the book. There were some food descriptions this time, but not as much as in the first book and I found myself missing that. I just love when they talk about food, but at least they threw in some recipes at the end. There's even a few I may attempt because they sound so good. Its a quick read and as a cozy mystery it rates ok. Since it involves the holidays winter is a good time of year to read it and all that was really missing was a warm fire in the fireplace.

I definitely look forward to the next one in the series. Maybe it'll even be as good as the first.

Hail to the Chef
Copyright 2008
328 pages

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