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Affairs of Steak (A White House Chef Mystery #5)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,207 ratings  ·  148 reviews
White House chef Olivia Paras and her arch nemesis, White House Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant, must work together to solve the double murder of one of the First Lady's assistants and the Chief of Staff-before they become the next victims of a merciless assassin with a secret agenda.
Paperback, 294 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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This was a solid cozy mystery. I liked Olivia more in this one. Sometimes, in previous books, she seemed a little bit snooty to me. But in this one, it was toned down and we got to see some solid character development. One of my favorite scenes is when she's considering her own behavior when it comes to a certain recurring villain getting on her nerves. I liked her realizing she added to the problem. Curious to see how this develops in future books.

Goodness I can't stand her ex Tom. What a jerk
Where I got the book: freebie at networking event.

This is the first book I've read of Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series, so once again I began in the middle of a series with no knowledge of any of the characters. This wasn't a problem, though, except as stated a bit later.

White House head chef Olivia Paras and a co-worker make a grisly discovery in a restaurant kitchen, and once again (for, like all mystery series heroines, she has a knack for getting involved where she shouldn't), Ollie is i
So, I debated between 3 and 4 stars. Still can't decide. I really do enjoy this series. I wish, though, that the titles were different. Somehow these titles imply pretty mindless, fluff books you can read with only half your brain. And that really isn't the case with these. The silly titles almost do a dis-service to the books.

This series has been fun. The characters are fairly real, the dialogue interesting and the plot complex enough that you really want to keep reading to find out "who-done-i
After discovering a body at a venue being considered for a White House event, the White House's Executive Chef finds herself once again in the firing line and needs to team up with the persistent thorn in her side, Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant.

Nothing particularly new or original but this series is consistently entertaining and at book #5 is still pretty good fun. Onto #6.
Michelle Randall
Affairs of Steak is the fifth book in the White House Chef Mystery Series by Julie Hyzy. She is another of my very favorite authors and I love reading her books.

This book finds Ollie being teamed with Peter Sargeant, you remember the guy who hates her, in helping the First Lady plan a birthday party for theSecretary of State of the President. They are looking at locations for the event, off-site, not at the White House and they have visited four places. As they are walking to the last location t
Mary Welk
AFFAIRS OF STEAK is the fifth "White House Chef Mystery" by Anthony and Barry award winner Julie Hyzy. In this episode, executive chef Olivia "Ollie" Paras has to put personal feelings aside when she's paired up with Peter Everett Sargeant, the unlikeable White House sensitivity director, to help choose a location for Secretary of State Gerald Quinones' White House sponsored birthday party. Ollie and Peter are told to meet the First Lady's personal assistant, Patty Woodruff, at Lexington Place, ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
How can the fifth book in a murder series, (A White House Chef Mystery) be equal to the prior four which were exceptional? It's easy if Julie Hyzy is writing it.

"Affairs of Steak" was non-stop, pulse thrumming action, from page one, when we learn Ollie is teamed up with Peter Sargeant, to multiple murders, attempted abductions, attempted burglaries, and yes, attempted murders... I still haven't caught my breath, ending on page 274 that ends with a laugh and a caution.

Added to this action, thank
I love this series. This time, Ollie is forced to work with Sargeant (who she does not get along with at all) for a large birthday party for the Secretary of State. When checking out locations, they fins two bodies hidden in the kitchen of the potential venue site. And those two are White House employees. Once again, Ollie is involved in mysterious doings that threaten her life.

The story is paced very well and the characters keep me interested. I like that Ollie does not play victim - she fights
Overall an enjoyable read. I'm excited to see what happens next with Gav and Ollie and I loved Sergeant in this one, let's hope he stays that way. The setting was good, there were some tasty recipes in the back, too. However, I didn't think this book built suspense like the other books,and I didn't feel the mystery was the best I've read. There were next to no clues, in my opinion, leading me to believe that the person behind all of the murders was really behind all of the murders. Overall, howe ...more
Lisa Stephenson
This was number 5 in a series of 8 mystery novels (so far) featuring White House Chef Olivia "Ollie" Paras, and each of the books' plots involves various White House staff, from the Presidential family to the cooks whom Ollie supervises, to the Secret Service agents (Ollie's currently dating her second boyfriend that is a Secret Service Special Agent). Ollie gets involved, unwittingly and otherwise, in a series of dangerous situations and always manages to save the day. The author, Julie Hyzy, h ...more
The new administration is proving to be challenging for the kitchen crew. Changes in staff also create tension. New people without the background knowledge of the prior staff make working difficult – especially when the new staff members need to show their power. One of the first challenges is for Ollie to prepare a dinner for over 1000 people in a new location she must find. The most logical quickly becomes a problem when Ollie and the new White House Sensitivity Director Peter Sargent find two ...more
Aurian Booklover
The new First Lady, Mrs. Hyden, wants to throw a lavish birthday party for Secretary of State Gerald Quinones. It can’t be held in the White House, and the new assistant, Patty Woodruff, wants Olivia Paras, the Executive Chef, and Peter Everett Sargeant, the Sensitivity Director, to check out the possible venues personally. As Olivia and Peter really dislike each other, that it is not fun for them to work together. But what the First Lady wants, the First Lady gets.

While walking to the fourth a
Affairs of Steak is the fifth book in the White House Chef Mystery series by Julie Hyzy. While I always highly recommend you read things in order, this book could probably be read as a standalone in a pinch, you just wouldn't understand some of the character interactions.

Ollie has really gotten herself into it this time. When she and her arch nemesis Peter Sargeant have to work together on a banquet, they quickly dive into trouble when they discover the bodies of two White House employees. Not r
Olivia and the haughty Sensitivity Director, Peter Sargeant, are to meet the First Lady's assistant at a local convention venue. They are reviewing several potential sites for the Secretary of State's birthday party and will decide which location is best for the party. When Olivia and Peter arrive at the last venue, it seems they are alone. They soon find the First Lady's assistant and the Chief of Staff dead in the kitchen. Olivia attempts to restrain herself from asking questions, but one even ...more
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 th ...more
In the fifth Ollie Paras instalment, the author takes a significant turn away from the light-hearted work within the White House and focusses strongly on the larger plot of a double murder. While using her regular cast of characters, Hyzy lessens the predominant focus on food preparation and chooses to strengthen the interaction between two sworn enemies, as they are forced to work together to piece together the aforementioned murders. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I missed the culinary t ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, review
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 obviou
This is Julie Hyzy's fifth book in the Olivia Paras, White House Chef, mystery series. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book, for me, it did not live up to the previous books in this series. The story centered more around White House staff problems than her previous books. I think covering these points was great , but it missed out on the chef and kitchen aspects of these books, that I have so come to love in this series.

Having said that, the co-ordination between the different people who keep
CJ - So, you wanna play with magic?
Exciting and tense addition to the series.

(view spoiler)
Sharon Redfern
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 staffer ...more
In Affairs of Steak, Ollie Paras, the Executive Chef at the White House, is paired up with Peter Sargeant, the White House's Sensitivity Director, to find a venue for the Secretary of State's birthday party. The problem is that they don't get along at all. When they inspect the preferred venue for its suitability, they discover two bodies, both with strong ties to the White House. As rumours and suspicions abound, Ollie and Peter must huddle together and figure out who the culprit is before they ...more
In Affairs of Steak, executive chef Ollie Paras must work with the persnickety social secretary Peter Sargeant. Ollie keeps her sense of humor and tries to make the best of a difficult situation but things get exponentially tougher when the two come across the corpses of fellow White House employees. The loss of co-workers is hard on everyone but when the White House loses employees, this means additional security and a need for secrecy.

Ollie's day gets progressively worse. As she heads home, sh
It's been awhile since I've read a book in this or the Grace series so I'm not sure if this has been true for all of the books, but this time I noticed that the author overprojected what was going to happen. I found myself wanting to yell "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO DON'T DO THAT!!!!" because you could tell that what Ollie was doing was just not the right thing. And I'm really surprised no one else around there had second thoughts. Things like, "maybe we should get the neighbor to describe the person she sa ...more
Frankly, this series has run straight into the problem faced by almost all series involving amateur detectives stumbling into crimes: after awhile it becomes unrealistic to expect the White House chef to take down threats to the President that the Secret Service cannot. I thought Buffalo West Wing was already outlandish enough, what with rogue secret service agents/terrorists and whatnot, but this one is far worse. It’s nigh time for Ollie Paras to retire.

None of this is meant as an insult again
In the 5th book in the White House Chef series, Executive Chef Ollie Paras loses an old ally as the Head Usher, Paul, takes an extended leave due to family illness, and she must work with her nemesis, Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant, on a lavish birthday party being thrown by the First Lady for the Secretary of State. As the pair head to the final party venue under consideration they are detained by Peter's nephew, Milton, who wants to work at the White House and is determined to con ...more
#5 in the White House Chef mysteries series. I guess in the fifth go-around of a series in a restricted venue, Julie Hyzy felt the need to somehow expand the boundaries. Getting White House Chef Olivia Paras a new job wouldn't work, but teaming her with her nemesis, Peter Sargeant was also a mis-fire. Chef Ollie and her staff and the White House kitchen and her Secret Service boyfriends pretty much define the series. I understand that there are limited growth opportunities within those boundarie ...more
I love Julie Hyzy's cozy mysteries! This one was no exception, since I'd been wondering how Olivia and Gav got together. The girl is a smart one, always following her kind heart and her gut instincts. Only Gav can appreciate her for who she is!

Peter was typically Peter, but it was nice to see him come through in a clinch. Virgil is still annoying, and Doug is very much out of his depth. I'm now all caught up in the series and am looking forward to the next book in the series!
This was another great White House mystery! I really love series books where I can get to know the characters and see them grow and change. It must be my early reading years with Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden that made me into such a lover of series. This mystery was a good one where, of course, Chef Olivia Paras gets thrown right in the middle of the action. Her relationships with several of the other characters also change in interesting ways in this book. Can't wait to start t ...more
Move over Frank Underwood, the latest addition to the White House Chef Mystery Series, Affairs of Steak have more ingredients than you can shake a stick at. Ollie Paras, the White House Chef has now been assigned to work with her nemesis, Peter Everett Sargent, erronously named the 'sensitivity' director. But that is just the beginning. As with any workplace there are scandals and rumors afloat, and when one the new First Lady's assistants and Chief of Staff meet an untimely end, when then, the ...more
For Cozies...Julie Hyzy is one of my very favorites! I adore this series because she is a no-nonsense, tough woman with my dream job! I love hearing about the inner workings of the white house (even though it is fiction!) and I think although not a hugely intellectual read, it is entertaining and fun. She writes well.

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Author of the White House Chef Mystery series, including the 2009 Anthony and Barry Award-winning State of the Onion.
Books in the series:
State of the Onion
Hail to the Chef
Eggsecutive Orders
Buffalo West Wing
Affairs of Steak
Fonduing Fathers
Home of the Braised

Also author of the Manor House Mystery series:
Grace Under Pressure
Grace Interrupted
Grace Among Thieves
Grace Takes Off
Grace Against the Clock

More about Julie Hyzy...

Other Books in the Series

A White House Chef Mystery (9 books)
  • State of the Onion (A White House Chef Mystery, #1)
  • Hail to the Chef (A White House Chef Mystery, #2)
  • Eggsecutive Orders (A White House Chef Mystery, #3)
  • Buffalo West Wing (A White House Chef Mystery, #4)
  • Fonduing Fathers (A White House Chef Mystery, #6)
  • Home of the Braised (A White House Chef Mystery, #7)
  • All the President's Menus (A White House Chef Mystery, #8)
  • Foreign Éclairs (A White House Chef Mystery #9)
State of the Onion (A White House Chef Mystery, #1) Grace Under Pressure (A Manor House Mystery, #1) Hail to the Chef (A White House Chef Mystery, #2) Eggsecutive Orders (A White House Chef Mystery, #3) Buffalo West Wing (A White House Chef Mystery, #4)

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