1. Title of book you read or reviewed this week: State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy2. Words that describe the book : Culinary , Thriller
3. Settings where it took place or characters you met:
- White House in Washington, D.C.
- Ollie Paras: assistant executive chef who is in competition with Laurel Ann for Head Executive Chef position. Not only does she have this going on but somehow she manages to get into the middle of a secret service investigation just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, a world notorious assassin, The Chameleon, may be after Ollie.
- Laurel Ann: former white house chef who now has her own cooking show and is determined to beat out Ollie by any means for the Head Executive Chef position. She's one of those characters you want to slap silly when she starts throwing her weight around, but she added a lot of fun to the story.
4. Things you liked and/or disliked about it:
- I loved the setting in the White House kitchen with all the daily drama going on in preparation for a very important heads of state dinner. Julie has obviously done a lot of research into the happenings and protocol at the White House.
- The diversity of characters and personalities in the book added reality to the story. Even the minor characters were amusing, especially Ollie's next door neighbor, a feisty older lady who keeps an eye out for any monkey business going on and who is not afraid to act if the need arises.
- All of the scrumptious sounding recipes at the end.
- No cozy is complete without a little romance thrown in the mix. Ollie and secret service agent Tom are finding a few bumps in the road to romance as Ollie gets involved in what Tom thinks should be secret service business only.
Note: This is the first in the new White House Chef Mystery series. The second book is Hail to the Chef . Julie's latest, Eggsecutive Orders, just hit the shelves so be sure to pick up a copy. Julie is a "new to me" author but State of the Onion will not be the only book of hers I'll read. I definitely plan to read the whole series! Julie can be found at her website and also at
Mystery Lovers Kitchen.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was sent to me by the author, Julie Hyzy. Thanks, Julie! Congrats on winning the Anthony and Barry awards for best paperback novel of the year for State of the Onion. That's quite an accomplishment.
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