Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: All The President's Menus

All the President's Menus (A White House Chef Mystery, #8)Author: Julie Hyzy
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Series: A White House Chef Mystery # 8

It’s an old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth. But when a tour of the White House kitchen by a group of foreign chefs ends in murder, it’s Olivia Paras who finds herself in the soup… 

Due to a government sequester, entertaining at the White House has been severely curtailed. So executive chef Olivia Paras is delighted to hear that plans are still on to welcome a presidential candidate from the country of Saardisca—the first woman to run for office—and four of that nation’s top chefs.

But while leading the chefs on a kitchen tour, pastry chef Marcel passes out suddenly—and later claims he was drugged. When one of the visiting chefs collapses and dies, it’s clear someone has infiltrated the White House with ill intent. Could it be an anti-Saardiscan zealot? Is the candidate a target? Are the foreign chefs keeping more than their recipes a secret? Once again, Olivia must make sleuthing the special of the day…

“Diplomacy has to start somewhere.”

As Executive Chef at the White House, I was responsible for feeding the First Family and – whether they be friend or foe – all the home’s guests.

“Your instincts tell you something is amiss. And your instincts haven’t failed you yet, have they?”
The White House always has the best cuisine with Olivia Paras working the kitchen. Ollie’s life has totally transformed over the course of this series; she is now married to her secret service agent, Gav. In this eighth installment, I can hardly believe this series is already on its eighth book, Olivia is charged with entertaining a group of chefs from Saardisca and making sure they have an enjoyable time, without getting into any trouble, at their stay in the White House. These chefs are to watch and learn the ways of the staff at the White House and see if they can’t learn a thing or two. Ollie tries her best to keep out of trouble, but as we all know it always finds her. When one of the visiting chefs collapses and dies right under all their noses, Ollie is the first one on the track, searching until she finds an answer to the mysterious death of the foreign chef.

One reason that I have been such a dedicated follower of this series is because I simply love the inner workings of the staff in the White House kitchen. Ollie is a great character all around and I just love following her as she leads her chefs and as they prepare so many wonderful dishes that we get to read all about. As readers, we also get a bird’s eye view into some of the most elaborate dinner parties thrown in the White House. None of these books have ever disappointed me. I could tell that Hyzy dropped some subtle hints as to things that might be changing in upcoming books, but I am confident that she will continue writing stories that we love and enjoy!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***

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