Julie Hyzy has done it again. Eggsecutive Orders, the third in her White House Chef mystery series, is a delight. Just as the staff is gearing up for the White House Easter Egg Roll, a guest–National Security Agency big shot Carl Minkus–dies after eating dinner there. Immediately the entire staff comes under suspicion of placing poison in the food. Taking no chances, the Secret Service bars them from the kitchen. The White House Chef, Ollie Paras, is concerned with a lot of things–how to clear their names, how to keep the upcoming Egg Roll on track even though she can’t get into the kitchen, and how to keep her visiting mother away from a handsome suitor who might be connected to the death. Ollie’s determination to clear her name leads her into conflict with her lover, Secret Service agent Tom MacKenzie, who is assigned to keep her away from prying into the murder. But Ollie can’t help it. People talk to her, and why shouldn’t want to use that information, especially if it will clear the staff and get them back into the White House?
The book is full of red herrings, and there are a number of people who either had motives or are just plain suspicious. How it all fits together is complex, and Julie does a great job of keeping the reader guessing until the very end. I missed them being in the White House kitchen, which is always interesting, but of course I understand why that was necessary given the plot. Anyway, it’s a fun read and I highly recommend it.
(By the way, the first novel in the series, State of the Onion, won the Barry and Anthony awards for Best Paperback Original. Congratulations to Julie on that one!)
I look forward to book four in this eggseptional series.