In Julie Hyzy's State of the Onion, the first installment in the White House Chef Mystery, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. For Olivia Parras, her dream job is to be the executive chef of the White House and be in charge of the staff and menus. But she had a couple of obstacles in the way. It all started, when she picked up a present for her mentor Henry Cooler, who was retiring from his job. But when they were an intruder who invaded the White House's lawn, Ollie put a stop to it with her skillet. But as soon as the intruder was escorted away, she became hooked and intrigued into his warning shot about the president being in danger. Little did they know, things weren't cut and dried as it seemed. She had to contend with a lurking terrorist in the midst to followed her around, an insensitive sensitivity director who made life unbearable, and an arch rival for the coveted spot. With all this, she put herself into danger and became close of being killed, when she uncovered a ghastly plot from someone she knows in disguise. In the end, she came on top and unearthed a big hatched plot to ruin world peace between the nations.
This was a great culinary cozy debut with a great cast of characters. I liked Ollie and her determination to reach for the goals. I think she makes a great couple with Tom. I couldn't stand Sargent and Laurel Anne Braun. I loved the locations of the inner workings of the White House and the Washington D.C. Metro area. We do learn what goes behind the scenes in the White House's kitchen that you don't hear or see on TV. This would make you whet your appetite in every page turn and take you on a great journey. This was intrigue, suspense, non-stop action and plenty of drama.
Will you crave a reading of State of the Onion?
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