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Book Review: Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy

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Hyzy kicks off 2012 with the fifth installment in her delightful White House Chef Mystery series. Hyzy infuses a breath of fresh air by pairing the ambrosial and empowering Ollie Paras with nemesis Peter Everett Sargeant. The blood-pumping action kicks into high gear immediately and doesn’t waver for a second. Hyzy shines in this volume.  Affairs of Steak proves unequivocally that this series burns as bright as the sun during a sweltering D.C. summer.

I love Washington, D.C. – am absolutely mad about it. I love all the inside dirt, but in this case inside dish is more like it. I have political ambitions. Yep, I do. I do. I do. Whenever I open a White House Chef Mystery, my senses go into overload – from the D.C. environment to the tantalizing culinary creations Ollie and Hyzy whip up.  Simply delectable. Hyzy must have a spy cam located somewhere in the White House because she nails it every time with her spot on laser delivery.  Rich in atmosphere, Affairs of Steak, sparkles. Oh, and the cuisine is so enticing, you feel the party happening inside your mouth!

White House Executive Chef Ollie Paras is assigned to work with her adversary, White House Sensitivity Director, Peter Everett Sargeant.  The First Lady is hosting a lavish birthday party for Secretary of State Gerald Quinones, and Ollie and Peter have been given the task of locating a venue for the celebration.  Instead the duo discover the body of one of the First Lady’s assistants and the Chief of Staff, both extinguished – and Ollie and Peter may have observed the killer making a break for it.

News reports insinuate that the assistant and the Chief of Staff were having a dalliance, but none of the staff believe the tawdry gossip.  With their jobs and lives in peril, Ollie and Peter must rely on each other to uncover who murdered their associates and why before they endure the same fate.

Hyzy fastidiously crafts a tale that displays her inventiveness and perception of what readers want. Hyzy’s characters are well-fleshed and simply fantastic — you long to spend time with them long after you reach the end.

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