State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Never let them see you sweat-that's White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras's motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She's hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There's just one thing her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry.
This was an interesting, dramatic, quick-moving book. There were puzzles to figure out and several chase scenes, but nothing too graphic or bloody even though there were shootings. Olivia Paras, Ollie to her friends, was a quirky, independent young woman living in Washington, D.C. and working as an assitant chef at the White House. She is also in the midst of a relationship with a Secret Service agent and in line for the executive chef position when her boss retires -- which is very soon. She gets caught up in an assassination plot when she gets between the Secret Service and an intruder on the White House lawn and clobbers him with the engraved silver skillet meant as a retirement gift for her boss. Of course, our heroine has lots of curiosity which doesn't work to her advantage and gets her several warnings from her Secret Service boyfriend and his colleagues. Meanwhile she has to deal with another set of personalities and problems in her daily work in the White House kitchen including the TV-show host who also wants the executive chef position. There is a lot happening in this book, but it's all good. I liked it especially since my son is a chef and I could relate to the problems the White House kitchen experienced planning state dinners and dealing with personal tastes in food. This is a the first book in a series. I expect the others to be just as entertaining.
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