Dlora's Reviews > Buffalo West Wing

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy
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's review
May 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure-action
Read in May, 2011

This White House chef mystery was back up to par, with lots of details about cooking for the White House and the presidential family. I love those behind-the-scenes details, although I'm sort of appalled by the bickering, competition, and backstabbing. In this book, a new president and First Family have moved into the White House and we see how the kitchen staff transition to serve the tastes and needs of new residents. Although, every four or eight years, the president changes but the staffers largely remain the same. On the very day of the inauguration, a box of hot wings show up in the White House kitchen--favorites of the president's elementary-age children--but Chef Ollie won't let them have the wings because the security protocols have not been followed and no one knows who sent it as a gift for the kids. Ollie gets a black eye with the First Lady for denying the children a treat but it turns out Ollie was right because the hot wings were arsenic-laced. while the President is informed, the First Lady is not, and Ollie can't seem to get into her good graces. Tension builds when the First Lady hires her own personal chef to take over the presidential meals. Although Ollie is still the head chef for all state meals and other functions, she is worried that her days are numbered. And then to complicate the storyline, a group of terrorists who had targeted the president's children as a ploy to get their imprisoned leader released are still plotting. The only thing that disappointed me with this book 4 of the series was that although Ollie saved the day, there was no resolution with the tension over the family chef and the First Lady. I wanted Ollie to be vindicated more, but I guess that is part of the job working at the White House--the staff is there to serve in a professional manner, not make a name for yourself or cause ripples. Besides, I suspect that this story line conflict will continue into the next installment!
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