Affairs of Steak, by Julie Hyzy
This is the newest entry in the White House Chef Mystery series by Hyzy. Olivia (Ollie) Paras is the White House executive chef, the first woman to hold that position. She is dedicated, hard-working, and has the strong ethics required of any White House employee.
The problem is that she is frequently in the wrong place at the wrong time and stumbles across things she shouldn’t, such as dead bodies. And her curiosity sometimes gets the better of her.
These stories involve lots of insights into the doings at the White House and interesting tidbits about how the rather small kitchen staff prepares the meals for the First Family, as well as the details involved in planning the large events—state dinners and luncheons.
The White House sensitivity director, Peter Everett Sargeant, and Ollie, who have had clashes in the past, need to work together to prepare a lavish birthday party for the Secretary of State. Things go awry immediately, and the complications compound. The Secret Service is involved, as well as numerous other White House employees.
This book does not focus as closely on the First Family as the earlier ones do, but it is a fun read, clever, and Ollie is a fine, well-developed character. The rest of the kitchen staff is also well-drawn.
Hyzy includes some recipes in the back of the books also. Anyone for Pastry-Wrapped Asparagus Spears with Prosciutto?
The other books in the series are: