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State of the Onion (White House Chef Mysteries, No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 2008


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State of the Onion (White House Chef Mysteries, No. 1) + Hail to the Chef (A White House Chef Mystery) + Eggsecutive Orders (A White House Chef Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425218694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425218693
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras—you can call her Ollie—faces challenges aplenty: a heated competition for the soon-to-be-vacant top chef's job, the sneering antagonism of the president's newly appointed sensitivity director and, of course, the mysterious intruder she unwittingly stops on the White House lawn with a couple of swift blows from a frying pan—an unarmed man with news of a threat to the president. Though the Secret Service disapproves of her interference, Ollie soon takes on the mantel of amateur sleuth, which could endanger not only her life but her cozy relationship with handsome Secret Service Agent Thomas MacKenzie. The tension mounts as the president negotiates a major peace plan for the Middle East, Ollie stumbles on the path of a nearly invisible enemy known as the Chameleon, and obnoxious TV celebrity chef Laurel Anne Braun shows up to threaten Ollie's career. Hyzy (Deadly Interest) launches her White House Chef Mystery series with a compulsively readable whodunit full of juicy behind–the–Oval Office details, flavorful characters and a satisfying side dish of red herrings—not to mention 20 pages of easy-to-cook recipes fit for the leader of the free world. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

This is a well written, well researched book.
erie
We wondered about that, because it seems like these culinary mysteries are often great fun to read.
Big Mac
White House Assistant Chef Olivia "Ollie" Paras loves to cook and loves her job.
Indian Prairie Public Library

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Butch VINE VOICE on March 10, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the 3 star rating, I really enjoyed this book. The three stars is on a comparative basis. The most interesting feature of the book is the White House kitchen setting. Most of us have probably not ever thought about the White House Kitchen, and Ms. Hyzy makes it very interesting. On the negative side, there wasn't much to the plot - we read on because we enjoy the characters and the setting. Finally, no one else has mentinged it, but I really disliked Ollie's super-bossy FBI boyfriend, who basically threatened to break up with her because she didn't automatically do what he told her to do. Hope Ollie gets rid of him.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on January 18, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Olivia "Ollie" Paras is the White House Assistant Chef, a job that she loves but she'd also love to be promoted to Executive Chef since her boss is retiring. There are just a couple of problems: first, the other candidate for the job is a TV chef and Ollie's least favorite person, and second, Ollie accidentally got involved in stopping a man fleeing the Secret Service and now it appears Ollie is in danger.

Tom, Ollie's Secret Service boyfriend, tries to convince Ollie to stay out of the mystery of the fleeing man and let the Secret service do their job-but Ollie's curiosity keeps putting her right in the middle of things. Will Ollie's involvement in the mystery spell the end of her relationship with Tom, or even worse, cost her the job of Executive Chef? When Ollie figures out that she is the only person alive who can identify an international assassin, will she even live long enough to be offered her dream job?

I have really enjoyed several "culinary" mystery series but I think this is my favorite. State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy is the first book of a new White House Chef Mystery series, and this series is off to a wonderful start. This isn't just a book for people who like the mixture of recipes, cooking, and a mystery-this is a first-rate thriller that is filled with interesting tidbits of Presidential history, White House trivia, and of course cooking tips and secrets.

Ollie, the main character in State of the Onion, is intelligent, curious, ambitious, tenacious and fun. I would love to know her personally. Several wonderful secondary, support characters help round out the story too. Tom, Ollie's Secret Service boyfriend, is an interesting character although I wanted to kick him a time or two for being so stubborn and not being there when Ollie needed him.
Read more ›
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 6, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sometimes, with genre fiction such as mysteries, all I really expect is to not feel irritated by anything as I read the book. I want the writing, the plotting and the characters to be written with an accomplished enough hand that I can lose myself in the story instead of cursing as I encounter something that interrupts the flow. "State of the Onion" gets full marks for not having any annoying stumbles. The White House kitchen is a fresh and interesting setting and a new twist on the cooking mystery angle. The writing and especially the character development is better than I've found in some other long running, popular mystery series and that is very refreshing. I liked "State of the Onion" and will read more in the series. I think the author is well on her way to creating a good series that will get even better.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amy J. Alessio on March 10, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a librarian and a professional reviewer, I want to urge mystery fans not to miss this book! State of the Onion has something for readers who like police procedurals, cozies, recipes, action, humor - in other words, this has something for everyone!

Others have said it here, but I want to reiterate that Ollie is one of the strongest, most intelligent women sleuths seen in a long time in mystery fiction. The White House details are also well researched and fascinating, especially the information on diets of different cultures and history of the furnishings in the famous building. But the action begins on page one and continues through to the end.

What I also liked about this one, and I've given it a positive review in two places, is that Ollie is neither too tough to be believed nor too perfect in her piecing of the clues. She is likeable and human, and easy to relate to even in her exotic setting.
The plot has plenty of surprises. It's well paced and realistic, and readers will be eagerly waiting for the next in the series. I've bought this for gifts for most of my family and suggested it to many patrons of the library. All have enjoyed it!
-Amy Alessio, Schaumburg Township District Library
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Assistant chef Olivia Paras works at the White House under the outgoing executive chef Henry Coley who has fed five administrations. Olivia hopes to succeed him and is on her way back to the kitchen with a going away gift for Henry a man Naveen is spotted running away from the Secret Service. Olivia bangs him over the head with a frying pan and she thinks he is hauled off to jail. She later learns he is an agent from one of the other espionage agencies with news that the Chameleon, an assassin has a hit out either on the president or his guest.

Naveen contacts Olivia to meet him to give her the information because he believes the Secret Service is compromised. She agrees to meet him but witnesses instead a secret service operative killing the agent and later learns the culprit is Chameleon. She is the only person alive who knows what he looks like which puts her life in danger. He comes after her but she always manages to escape. The president is hosting guest from countries that been at war for years and while Olivia is getting ready the meals she starts investigating who the target of the Chameleon really is.

STATE OF THE ONION is a combination political thriller and amateur sleuth mystery. The protagonist is a strong willed woman who tries to balance her job with her romance to a Secret Service agent; she also hopes to replace Henry instead of a rival. She is also dealing with the newly appointed head of the Cultural and Faith Based Etiquette Affairs Dept who makes it plain he hopes Olivia's rival gets the job. Julie Henry has written a delightful and mesmerizing crime caper with the added bonus of seeing the support staff who works behind the scene at the White House.

Harriet Klausner
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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.

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

WHITE HOUSE CHEF MYSTERIES
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)



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