Book Review: Buffalo West Wing – Julie Hyzy

Title: Buffalo West Wing
Author: Julie Hyzy
ISBN: 9780425239230
Pages: 320
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publicist
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

White House Executive Chef Ollie Paras is preparing her staff to welcome a brand new First Family into the White House.  She knows it will take some time for the First Lady to warm to a kitchen staff she is unfamiliar with, but what Ollie doesn’t expect is that it seems like the universe is conspiring to make things even more difficult.  When a box of chicken wings is found in the White House kitchen with the names of the President’s young children on it, Ollie is immediately suspicious and refuses to serve them.  This decision only serves to make her unpopular with the First Family, but what Ollie doesn’t realize is the chicken wings are just the beginning.

Review:

I really enjoyed the first three books in the White House Chef Mystery series (reviews of State of the Onion and Hail to the Chef), so I was looking forward to Buffalo West Wing to see what Ollie was up to next.  The overall premise of a new family moving into the White House created a lot of natural tension and drama.  Ollie had come to a place of mutual understanding and respect with the Campbells, especially because they saw how far she was willing to go to protect the White House, but she had absolutely no capital with the new family, the Hydens.  If anything, they might see her as a nuisance because of everything she had been involved in.  I really appreciated watching Ollie fight for her job, and often putting aside her personal feelings in order to do her job.  She is a great manager and that really comes out in this book.

Ollie herself had a lot of character development in Buffalo West Wing, which is rare for a cozy mystery series.  She really comes into her own, and accepts some of the more difficult parts of herself.  While she knows deep down that she doesn’t want the spotlight, she accepts that she is going to find herself in the middle of difficult situations, and that she shouldn’t fight that.  She begins to realize who she is and what is truly important to her.

Hyzy does an exceptional job keeping this series fresh.  Each of the plots are very different, along with Olivia’s involvement in them.  Hyzy also keeps a healthy balance between the inner workings of the kitchen and the overall security threats that face the White House.  As a result, these books never get boring; they keep the reader hooked from beginning to end.

Buffalo West Wing is an immensely enjoyable fourth installment to one of the best series I’ve read in recent memory.  It’s creative and Hyzy continually finds ways to keep things new and exciting without introducing artifice in order to keep the plot going.  This is a series I’m so glad to have discovered, and will definitely be continuing with in the future.

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Comments

  1. Being a fan of Julie Hyzy, I am excited to read the book! Thanks a lot for the review!

  2. Being a fan of Julie Hyzy, I am excited to read the book! Thanks a lot for the review!

  3. I’m pretty excited about this series now — fun, fun, fun! 🙂

  4. I’m pretty excited about this series now — fun, fun, fun! 🙂

  5. The more I hear about this series, the more excited I am to try them. It seems like these books are not at all gimmicky, which is what I might have expected from them, but that they are interesting and fresh. I am really interested in picking up the first book and seeing how it goes with me. I am glad to hear that the series continues to impress you. Wonderful review!

  6. The more I hear about this series, the more excited I am to try them. It seems like these books are not at all gimmicky, which is what I might have expected from them, but that they are interesting and fresh. I am really interested in picking up the first book and seeing how it goes with me. I am glad to hear that the series continues to impress you. Wonderful review!

  7. Everyone seems to love this series. I definitely need to give it a try.

  8. Everyone seems to love this series. I definitely need to give it a try.

  9. I’d never heard of this series before but it sounds really cool!

  10. I’d never heard of this series before but it sounds really cool!

  11. I’d never heard of this series before but it sounds really cool!

  12. I’d never heard of this series before but it sounds really cool!

  13. All these reviews have made me really, really want to read this series.

  14. All these reviews have made me really, really want to read this series.

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