Title: Eggsecutive Orders
Author: Julie Hyzy
Copyright: 2010 (Berkley); 310 pgs.
Series: White House Chef #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Who: Olivia “Ollie” Paras, White House Executive Chef
Spoilers, but NOT about the mystery!
The Victim: NSA Special Agent Carl Minkus. Had a Joe McCarthy-like reputation when it came to people he suspected of having terrorist ties. His death is sudden and it is believed that he was poisoned.
The Suspects: Quiet a few, as it would be expected when it comes to a man like Minkus, who has dealings with people he suspects of being spies or terrorists. However, Ollie and her staff come under suspicion because he died after eating at the White House.
The Investigation: Ollie and her crew are banned from the White House. Naturally, Ollie is upset and wants to defend the reputation of her staff. She’s being pressured by the Secret Service to keep her nose out of their investigation. Tom, her Secret Service boyfriend, has been told that he’s being held responsible for her actions; that if she gets too involved, he’ll be reassigned from the Presidential Protective Detail. Ollie has no intentions of getting involved in the actual investigation. The Easter Egg Roll is just around the corner and her staff has a lot of things to do for the event. She wants to know when they can return to the kitchen, and if there is anything she can do to make that happen sooner.
Meanwhile: Ollie’s mother and grandmother are visiting. Her plans to show them the White House and have them attend the Easter Egg Roll are on hold, pending the outcome of the investigation. However, Ollie can’t seem to avoid the investigation. She accidentally encounters Ruth Minkus and her son, Joel while sight-seeing with her family, and an “investigative” journalist keeps printing things about her and the incidents at the White House.
Unexpected Developments: Corinne, Ollie’s mother, flirts with a guy that Ollie’s not really sure about. Corinne actually goes out on a date with the man. Apparently, romance is in the air. In the course of the book, Ollie learns of two other romances — just as her relationship with Tom is falling apart.
Fun Fact: While I was reading this book, the History Channel had a special about the White House, filmed during the last year or so of the previous administration, and it featured the real executive chef and chief usher.
The Verdict: I liked this one better than the last one. I thought the mystery was more believable. Ollie continues to be a little too stubborn for her own good and, in this book, it comes with consequences. Poor Tom, I really felt for him.
Recommended for: Mystery lovers and foodies (there are recipes in the back).
Started: 10 January 2010
Finished: 20 January 2010