- Paperback:304 pages
- Publisher:Berkley; Original edition (January 3, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0425245837
- Source: Kaye Publicity
White House chef Olivia Paras has been tasked to work with her nemesis, White House Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant, on an off-site event for the First Lady. This task, already seemingly unwieldy due to the tense relationship they share, is worsened when they discover the bodies of one of the First Lady’s assistants and the Chief of Staff.
Olivia has quite the history of becoming involved in murder investigations. It isn’t intentional; she’d much rather stick to her duties in the White House Kitchen. As if all of this isn’t enough, she’s also dealing with other issues: Paul, the head usher, is taking a leave of absence to tend to his sick wife, his replacement is less than stellar; Virgil, the First Family’s personal chef and his “holier than thou” attitude is interviewed and leaks information to the press. Least of all is her pitiful excuse for a love life. She’s been “seeing” someone but the relationship seems to be going nowhere. Finally, the reputation of Sargeant is at risk when it appears as though he’s making mistakes in his duties. Despite her initial feelings about Sargeant, Olivia decides to help Sargeant find out who is behind all of the seemingly innocent mistakes that keep popping up in the planning of this event.
Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take long before Olivia gets in over her head and her life, as well as Sargeant’s, is put at risk. She’s forced to endure a 24-hour protection detail from the Secret Service when it’s obvious that some high-ranking official wants her dead. Can she and Sargeant pull off this high-profile event without winding up as victims themselves?
The fifth book in the White House Chef series, reading Affairs of Steak is like being reunited with old friends! I can’t tell you how much I missed reading about Olivia’s antics, the goings on of the White House kitchen, and more. This series is truly a delight! While food doesn’t have as big a role in this book as in others, it is still an engaging and entertaining book. I love that it is set in Washington, D.C.; I can imagine the scenes and locations (even the invented ones) as if they were right in front of me. Olivia’s character is an outstanding one: she’s courageous, incredibly strong and independent, redeeming and refreshing qualities for a female character to have.
As indicated, this is the fifth book in a series. While you can theoretically start reading at any point in the series, I do recommend starting from the beginning in order to get a true feel for the characters. Highly recommended….I now must wait impatiently for more from this author!