Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy is the fourth book in the “White House Chef” cozy mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), January 2011

With a new First Family moving into the White House, executive chef Olivia Paras can’t afford to make any mistakes. But when a mysterious box of take-out chicken shows up for the First Kids, she soon finds herself in a no-wing situation.

No way is Ollie handing over a suspicious box of barbecue chicken wings to Abigail and Josh Hyden, children of the country’s new commander in chief and her new boss. With no clue who provided the culinary gift for the kids, Ollie’s not about to put them at risk.

With the First Lady giving her the cold shoulder for her decision, and the family’s personal chef being brought in, Ollie starts to fear she may be plucked from the White House staff. When it turns out the chicken was poisoned, Ollie realizes the First Kids are targets—and she’ll need more than a wing and a prayer to keep them out of harm’s way.

Ollie just can’t help herself and ruffles some feathers when she refuses to serve undocumented chicken wings to the First Kids, which later is proven to be tainted. Already on slippery terms with the First Lady, the family’s personal chef arrives to join the staff with his own agenda. Ollie’s primary concern is the safety of her kitchen and the food she prepares and when that is threatened, Ollie wants answers and in this caper, it’s Ollie’s heroic measure that keeps the pot from boiling over. What a tailspin of emotions contained within the walls of this book. I was rooting for Ollie as she adjusted to the demands of the new inhabitants of the White House, the uncertainty of her job and the promise of new beginnings. The writing was superb as was the mystery which kept me turning the pages. The character’s relationships were more defined and explored. I enjoyed how easy the conversation was between all the characters with a bit of humor to whet your appetite. But mostly I love the White House and D.C. setting which made me wish that I was there with Ollie. This fabulous read will leave your hunger delectably satisfied. My rating: 5 stars

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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