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Affairs of Steak (A White House Chef Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – January 3, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: A White House Chef Mystery (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425245837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245835
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She's won the Anthony, Barry, Derringer, and Lovey Awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.

Grace Under Pressure
Grace Interrupted
Grace Among Thieves
Grace Takes Off
Grace Against The Clock
Grace Cries Uncle (July, 2015)

State of the Onion
Hail to the Chef
Eggsecutive Orders
Buffalo West Wing
Affairs of Steak
Fonduing Fathers
Home of the Braised
All the President's Menus
Foreign Eclairs (January, 2016)

Short story, "White Rabbit" in MANHATTAN MAYHEM, Mystery Writers of America's 70th Anniversary anthology, edited by Mary Higgins Clark (June, 2015)

Originally published in hardcover books now available on KINDLE:
Artistic License (standalone romantic suspense)
Deadly Blessings (first in Alex St. James series)
Deadly Interest (second in Alex St. James series)
Dead Ringer (book two-and-a-half in the Alex St. James series, co-written with author Michael A. Black)

Also on KINDLE
Made for Murder (short stories)
Writing Dialogue

Available on KINDLE - under the N.C. Hyzy pseudonym (decidedly less cozy):
Playing With Matches
Tracer's Blues (short stories)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE VOICE on January 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first lady is throwing a birthday party for the Secretary of State to show the world that while her husband, the President, and the Secretary are from different political parties they get along very well. The problem starts when Ollie, the White House Chef, and the thorn in her side, Peter Sargeant, the White House Sensitivity Director, are assigned to work together to find a venue outside of the White House to hold the party. After a rough day of visiting different places, neither one of them agreeing on anything, they finally arrive a the last choice, Lexington Place. They are escorted to the banquet area and are waiting to meet with one of the first lady's assistants. As Ollie gets tired of waiting she decides to check out the kitchen where she finds the assistant, but she is very dead and when police arrive another body is found, that of the chief of staff.

With the assistant's death Ollie and Sargeant are assigned the job of organizing the party, but they are also going to have to work together to find a murderer. Their own lives are on the line. Did they see something they shouldn't have? Before they become the next victims they need to put their differences aside and find the killer.

Dollycas's Thoughts
A good portion of this book takes place outside of The White House so we see a little more of Ollie's personal life. She has the perfect neighbor. Everyone needs a Mrs. Wentworth next door. Ollie's love life is also evolving in a way both Mrs. Wentworth and I approve of.

The interplay between Sargeant and Ollie was unexpected, cleverly written, moving at times, as well as funny. Their relationship was taken to a new level that I really enjoyed. The total ineptness of the "interim" head usher just added to this multi-layered mystery.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Darcy on January 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As were the books that came before, the white House Chef Mystery number five was a pleasure. The plot was engaging throughout the entire story (I won't summarize it for you -- I really don't like spoilers!). The characters were well developed and interesting -- I found myself caring for people usually considered distasteful. That's no easy feat!

The one surprise for me was that the book did stray from it's predecessors in that Ollie does not discuss the food she prepares much. Most of the book is set outside the White House. I'm not sure if it takes a little away from the flavor of the series. It wasn't until the end that I realized that the food preparations were much more summarized than in previous books. I enjoyed the story so much, I didn't notice until it was over. Don't let this stop you from reading the book, it's just an observation.

I still loved it and will enjoy reading it again and again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Redfern on January 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ollie Paras returns again as White house Chef in a new mystery from Julie Hyzy. At the request of the First Lady, Ollie has to work with prissy Sensitivity Director, Peter Sergeant, to arrange a birthday party for the Secretary of State. On their way to the venue, they are stopped by Peter's ne'er do well relative, Milton, who is pushing Peter for a White House job. They also have a brush with a rude stranger. When the duo gets to the Lexington, they discover the bodies of two White House staffers in some kitchen equipment. Thus begins Ollie's wild ride.
Ollie tries not to get involved but the fates conspire against her. First the head usher, Ollie's friend Paul, takes an indefinite leave which puts an inexperienced guy in his place. Then she somehow gets involved in a kidnapping of a family member of the Secretary of State. Finally, if working with Peter isn't annoying enough, she gets saddled with Wyatt, a protocol aide who is a big blowhard know -it-all. Add to all of this the need to keep most of the situation a secret for security's sake and the ongoing feud with the First Family's private chef, the situation just keeps getting worse.
Ollie's personal life isn't any calmer. Her romance with Secret Service Agent Tom is a fading memory and her new romance with SAC Gavin is seemingly going nowhere. Poor Ollie, it seems as though she has no peace in her life at work, at home, or in her love life. Ms. Hyzy does a great job of depicting the ins and outs of DC life and the way the White House hierarchy works. The situations that Ollie finds herself in aren't so farfetched as to be unbelievable. The book is suspenseful from beginning to end with plot twists galore.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Gondelman on January 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If there is one person in the White House that Executive Chef Ollie Paras would not want to work with one-on-one, it would be Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant. Since day one, the two have butted heads. Unfortunately, they have no choice but to work together when the First Lady asks for their help in scouting locations for the birthday party that she is throwing for the Secretary of State.

On the way to the final venue to be checked out, they run into Peter's cousin, Milton. It's obvious that Peter wants nothing to do with Milton, but Ollie doesn't want to be rude and just brush him off. All Milton wants is for Peter to put in a good word for him at the White House so that maybe he can get a job there. He is so proud that Peter works there that when a guy bumps into him in the street he threatens him with arrest for assaulting a White House employee. Peter knows that Milton is not the right fit for the White House and pushes Ollie along, telling Milton they're late for their meeting and he'll be in touch.

They arrive at Lexington Place and go up to assess the kitchen area and function room to see if it would work for the birthday party. Expecting to find Patty Woodruff, assistant to the First Lady, waiting for them, they are surprised to find that she hasn't arrived yet. The two poke around and get a good feel for the place. They realize it could be a good place for the party. Upon closer inspection Ollie notices a thin red line on the floor she can't help but investigate. And the red stain leads her right to the tilt-skillet and the body of Patty Woodruff.
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