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Must-read: Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy

Swapna Krishna is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer. She has been blogging about books at S. Krishna's Books since 2008. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband. Find her on Twitter at @skrishna and on her blog at www.s...

Affairs of Steak

White House Chef Olivia Paras is back in this fifth installment of Julie Hyzy's hit cozy mystery series. Once again, Ollie finds herself at the center of a murder investigation and must rely on her wits to keep herself safe. A great read to curl up with this President's Day (especially if you have a long weekend), Hyzy's latest will have fans clamoring for more.

Ollie Paras has a knack for getting herself into trouble. As the head chef for the White House, she does everything she can to keep her nose clean, but somehow difficult circumstances seem to find her. This time, though, it's worse -- Ollie's life is in danger. When scouting a location for a party, Olivia Affairs of Steak coverand the White House Sensitivity Director Peter Sargent stumble upon the body of a woman. It doesn't take long for Olivia to figure out that she was the Chief of Staff for the First Lady's office, and that the White House is in for some serious trouble.

Though Ollie tries to stay out of the investigation and keep things as normal as possible, the culprits have another plan for her. As Ollie exercises her natural curiosity and asks questions, the murderers target her. They break into her home, accost her on her commute, and more -- ensuring that Ollie doesn't feel safe, and in the end, she is put under Secret Service protection once again.

What's more, Ollie is overwhelmed at work. She is put in charge of planning an important dinner, though her usual duties only extend to cooking, and is being harassed by a White House job seeker. Will Ollie be able to balance her professional duties and handle her budding romance while also keeping herself safe from an increasingly aggressive murderer? Hyzy balances an appealing main character, an amazing setting and a gripping mystery in this novel that is sure to please fans and newcomers to the series alike.

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