State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery Series #1)

State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery Series #1)

by Julie Hyzy

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425218693
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2008
Series: White House Chef Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 190,846
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Julie Hyzy writes both the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and has won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for her work. A native Chicagoan, she thoroughly enjoys researching her books, especially when traveling to exciting new places is involved.

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State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty, believable and well paced. Great characters and story line kept me reading late into the night. I'll be looking for the second onr right away. The recpes included look great. I will be trying them soon.
PumpkinKV More than 1 year ago
I am not sure how I came upon this book but I am glad I purchased it. This book is excellent in that I can't put it down. It is so well written that I will continue with this series. Kudos for Ms. Hyzy - she has a new fan in me. Buy this book, you won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Olivia Paras is an assistant chef at the White House. While returning to the White House with a going away gift for executive chef Henry Cooley, she spies a man charging across the lawn with Secret Service in hot pursuit. She tries to stay out of the way, but when he runs by her, she's afraid he might gets away and stops him cold by hitting over the head with the frying pan gift. As you can imagine, the Secret Service is not too happy about all of this, especially her Secret Service boyfriend no one knows about. Olivia soon becomes aware of an apparent cover up, and since no one will explain things, she tries to contact Naveen, the man she clobbered, to see if he is okay and find out what is going on. This brings on more heat from the Secret Service. When he contacts her, she sets up a clandestine meeting and hopes the Secret Service doesn't find out. When he is murdered before her eyes, she unknowingly becomes a target herself. To make matters even more complicated, she's up for the executive chef job against Laurel Anne Braun who hosts a TV cooking show and is friends with the First Lady. Can Olivia make sense of this murder and keep herself safe without bringing repercussions on herself for the executive chef position? I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It grabbed me from the first chapter and didn't let go! Olivia is such a likeable character, and getting a glimpse into life behind the scenes at the White House was very interesting. I can't wait for the next book to be published! The fabulous food and wonderful recipes and menus provided in the book just enhanced my reading pleasure. The mystery was well crafted, and there were plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep me guessing to near the end as to the killer's identity. In this world of high security and alarm, this book fit right in, and I was sad to see it end. It is a great book and I highly recommend it!
the-PageTurner More than 1 year ago
I love any book that grabs me and holds me to the point that I can not stop reading till the last word. So this one really fills the bill there. I live in the Washington Metro area and like to read boos that take place here. And this one has all the best things about Washington Ollie Paras works as an assistant chef at the White House. Like all cozy girls she is a bit of a nosey-poker. And of course this gets her in trouble and leads the reader on an exciting adventure with her. This book contains fun people heads of state-landmark locations and yummy food. You will love this one I did..
nancydrew123 More than 1 year ago
This is more than just a cozy mystery-- political intrigue and a behind the scenes look at the White House. It was interesting to learn how the chefs must adhere to the dietary needs of the guests. I liked the strong willed character of Ollie. The recipes were interesting. The story line could have been a little bit more about the mystery but I realize the author was introducing us to the characters. That being said, there were several twists and turns. This was a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was interesting enough to keep me reading.
TayRe More than 1 year ago
Very good does not get boring
123shannon More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Chick Lit! It combined all my faves gastronomy, protocol, diplomacy, DC, intrigue, event planning... I couldn't put the book down! Now onto the 3rd and I hope there are more coming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
White House chef Olivia ¿Ollie¿ Paras was on her way to the retirement party for the executive chef Henry Cooley when she spotted a man charging the White House with the Secret Service in close pursuit. Just as he was about to elude them, though, Ollie makes a decision that places her in the middle of a political emergency she clobbers the man with a commemorative frying pan, laying him out for the agents with whom, oddly enough, seem to be on very familiar terms. Even though Ollie¿s boyfriend, an agent with whom she¿s been hiding a secret relationship, warns her away from asking any questions when newscasts show an entirely different man being arrested. Feeling guilty for attacking a man who may have had information about an assassination attempt on the president, Ollie is unable to resist seeking out answers despite the fact that this is the one time in her life that she doesn¿t need distractions. Ollie is competing for her dream job as executive White House Chef against Laurel Anne Braun, a cooking show host who is friends with the First Lady. In the midst of preparing a tasty menu to wow the president¿s wife, planning a banquet for two Middle East leaders who are on the brink of either war or peace, she must also deal with a pretentious head of Etiquette Affairs who seems intent on sabotaging her. The author of three previous mysteries, Hyzy¿s first White House Chef mystery impresses with its tasty descriptions of food (recipes included!) but also for the detailed and fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of the White House. From menus that must be designed around dignitaries¿ elaborate religious requirements to the food that must be purchased through approved vendors, all the details make for an intriguing read. Descriptions of food accentuate rather than compete with the complex political plot, which timely reflects the post Sept. 11/election-year atmosphere. Funny, suspenseful, and full of delicious descriptions of menus, Hyzy has created what is ultimately a unique, well-written, and enjoyable culinary political thriller. Spicy, saucy, and never too sweet.
grshppr215 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I really liked the premise of this book. The main character is a chef in the White House kitchen and gets caught in the middle of an assassination plot of the president. It was a great, quick read and will read of the rest of series.
cyderry on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This is the first of the White House Chef series and was, for a cozy mystery, filled with personalities, intrigue and suspense.This story starts with Assistant Chef Olivia Paras whacking an intruder to the White House grounds with the Sterling silver frying pan that is supposed to be Chief Executive Chef Henry's retirement gift. The intruder is trying to reach the President to warn him of a plot but is prevented and later killed before he can disclose the specifics to the Secret Service.Olivia is involved more than she wants to be and more than the Secret Service suspect and the clues and tricks of the mystery are cleverly woven throughout.I believe of the 45 new series that I started in 2009, this is one of my favorites.
porch_reader on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I heard about this mystery series from lindapanzo and cyderry. The premise, a White House Chef solves mysteries, intrigued me. And this week I taught Vacation Bible School for two hours every night and needed something easy to read when I got home. This book fit the bill.Olivia Paras is an Assistant Chef at the White House. It is clear from the beginning of the book, when she hits an intruder at the White House over the head with a frying pan, that she might best be described as feisty. This trait serves her well as she tries to catch as assassin. In addiiton to the main storyline, Hyzy takes us on several side trips as well. Olivia competes again her rival to become White House Executive Chef, attempts to save her relationship with a secret service agent, and helps to plan a state dinner in a week. With all of these plot elements, the story moves along quickly. Olivia is a likeable heroine. And the behind-the-scenes look at the White House is interesting. This book even includes some recipes at the end. I'll definite continue reading this series.
CozyLover on LibraryThing 22 days ago
'State of the Onion' is an excellent start to a new series. Very fast paced, lots of details about the inner working of the White House kitchen and enough diversity in characters to keep things interesting. I'm looking forward to the next one in this series!
debs4jc on LibraryThing 22 days ago
An intriguing setting--the kitchen of the White house--is what drew me into this mystery story. Ollie is an assistant chef at the White house and in line to become the next head chef, although she faces stiff competition from a popular cooking show host. While on her way back from picking up a commerative frying pan as a gift for Henry, the head chef who is retiring, she spots a man running across the White house lawn with the Secret Service on his heels. They subdue him (with the help of Ollie and her frying pan) but before they do Ollie hears him pass on a myserious message about the president being in danger. Thus begins Ollie's involvement in a mystery that has her running around trying to figure out if the president is really in danger, and if so from whom, while at the same time planning a state dinner for the White House and stressing about who will be chosen as the next head chef. I greatly enjoyed the behind the scenes look at working at the White House, and the author also did a good job at creating a likeable main character who was easy to relate to. I definitely would recommend it to fans of mysteries, or of books with strong contemporary female characters, or who enjoy stories where ordinary people get caught up in out of the ordinary circumstances.
Squeex on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I am glad I have the second in this series all lined up. I really enjoyed my time with Ollie and the view into the White House kitchen. I can see how murder and intrigue can happen in this high profile political arena, so the eyebrows won't be as much in the hairline when the murders occur. And it's an East Coast setting, so perfect there, too. I had the good characters, Ollie and the White House kitchen staff, Secret Service good guys, etc, to cheer for. And there're the really snotty characters to want to smack around, like the head of the Etiquette Affairs, Peter Everett Sargeant III. Ooooo...I really want to hit him on that flat part of the back of the cranium or give him a swirly. He's a bully with a sense of power and, for some reason, he really does not like Ollie. I like the conflict between the two and I hope Ms Hyzy fills us in on his antagonism for Ollie. Five tasty powers that be beans......
dalmador95 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This is a fun cozy mystery. There's no suspense in the choice of new executive chef, but the main character is likeable. I'll read the next one.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Ollie Paras is assistant White House Chef and is a contender to be the Executive Chef there upon Henry's retirement. As she's returning to work after picking up Henry's retirement gift, she encounters the Secret Service hot on the trail of a fence jumper. She's able to knock him out with Henry's gift. But when she witnesses a man's murder at the merry-go-round a few days later, she becomes the target of this well-known international assassin. The excitement continues to build as she goes about her daily life in her role as chef and in her private life as she is targeted. The descriptions of the foods offered are marvelous. I appreciated an "inside look" at what it must be like to create menus that are pleasing to so many international guests without creating offense. I will have to admit that I was disappointed that one particular individual appears to have had nothing to do with the threat. Although I had determined the identity of the assassin, the author created enough red herrings that I sometimes doubted that I had made a correct detection. This is a series that I've heard others praise, and I'm glad that I was not disappointed. I am looking forward to the next installment.
NemesisClaws on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Overall, I liked it, but it could've been a bit better with the fleshing out of Tom's character. As a secret service agent, we really don't know anything about this guy, other than he's the assistent chef's boyfriend. He blew cold for most of the storyline until the very end, where all of a sudden, he was really hot for her once he realized her life was indeed in true danger, and she did help catch the bad guy. It was a bit confusing in terms of their relationship. As for the overall storyline itself, very interesting dynamics of working in the White House kitchen! Am curious to read more in this series and see how it goes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Hyzy has writen a book with some of the most interesting details, twists, and turns I have read in years. It Made me wish I could tour the manor all by myself. Can't wait to see how she can keep the surprises coming.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
I started reading the author's other series Grace and now this one. And because of the writing and pace and some of the characters is what makes me want to read the other books. This was a good start. Though at times it was a little frustrating but I still wanted to keep reading. Looking forward to where the story will go in the other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall a good read but author used some profanity thought this was a cozy mystery
Chatting-About-Cozies More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great character development. Good story without being overly complicated.