I enjoy a good pun, and clearly so does Julie Hyzy. Affairs of Steak is just one installment in the White House Chef mystery series. Each title is a pun on both food and the government.  Thankfully, the story itself is straight-forward.  I’d like to believe the author thought of all of these titles BEFORE deciding to write the series. I will show you, but if you don’t groan a little, you have no soul.

State of the Onion
Hail To the Chef
Eggsecutive Orders
Buffalo West Wing
Fonduing Fathers
Home of the Braised
All the Presidents Menus
Foreign Eclairs

As literature goes, there’s nothing terribly innovative about the writing. It is the standard stuff of paperback mysteries.  But I really can’t complain because it’s good fun reading. Ollie (our heroine) is the head chef at the White House and can’t seem to stop getting in the midst of adventures. She is smart and obstinate, and when she happens upon a double-murder involving government officials, she can’t help but get involved.  Even when she tries to stay out of it, trouble finds her.

The most unusual part about this book is the list of recipes following the story. It calls itself a “complete presidential menu” even though each recipe features puff pastry, but I applaud Hyzy for finding that one thing that makes her series truly stand out. My only advice to the author? It’s “hold the fort” not “hold down the fort.” I feel that should be on the exam everyone takes to get security clearance to work at the White House. We only allow smart people in government, right?

Rating = 3


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