Working in the White House is never boring. As a matter of fact, I enjoy my job as Executive Chef there so much, I actually prefer working to taking a vacation. But this time, I need to get away. Gav and I have decided to fly back to Chicago to visit Mom and Nana. The time has finally come, I think, for my mom to tell me exactly what happened the night my father died.

My mom and grandmother haven’t ever met Gav before, but I’m sure they’ll like him. They have to. I’m finding myself quite caught up with this man, in way I’ve never experienced before.

We only plan to stay a few days and when we get back to Washington, D.C. I have a very special assignment. Even though I have a few days off, the First Lady asked me to come in to work with their son, Josh. He’s a wonderful little boy, and ever since we were kidnapped together, he and I have a special bond. I’m delighted to come in if it means working with that kid. He’s great.

In the kitchen, Bucky and Cyan are fine. Virgil is still an enormous pain in my backside. Doug, who has taken over the chief usher position (temporarily, please let it be temporarily!) now that Paul is gone, isn’t exactly helping matters. He and I seem to be on a collision course. And Sargeant…what can I say? Things are better with him lately. I wouldn’t go so far as to term our relationship “good,” but it is a little better. Facing death together will do that for you.

Back to the trip: Truth be told, I am a little nervous about approaching my mother to talk about my dad’s death. She’s been pointedly close-mouthed about it since it happened… and that was more than twenty-five years ago. Back then I was very young. No one told me anything. There’s no doubt that I could have found my father’s death certificate on my own, but my mother always begged me not to. That makes me believe there’s a lot more to this story. And that’s what FONDUING FATHERS is all about. I think it’s time I knew the truth, don’t you?


Meet the author
Julie Hyzy writes the White House Chef Mystery series as well as the Manor House Mysteries, the newest of which, Grace Among Thieves, came out in June. Julie saw one of her fondest wishes come true in January 2012, when she hit the New York Times Extended Bestseller list. Julie has three daughters, a patient husband, and lives in the Chicago area.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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