Books, Yarn, Ink and Other Pursuits

Jun 29, 2011

Back to Back Review: Julie Hyzy

The Books:

In Buffalo West Wing, Head White House Chef Olivia Paras is doing her best to prepare for the new First Family. She knows things may change, but when some mysterious take-out meant for the children takes out several White House staff and a new chef is hired, Ollie realizes she may not have much time left to save her job or the lives of the First Family.

In Grace Under Pressure, Grace Wheaton is the assistant curator at the famed Marshfield Manor. When her supervisor Abe is murdered, Grace steps in to assume Abe's job. Between a reclusive millionaire boss, blackmail letters, and an uninvited stalker prowling around the grounds, Grace knows that Bennett Marshfield must be protected. Along the way some family secrets, a bad Ponzi scheme, and an act of revenge will bring Grace face to face with a killer.

The Yarn:

I really enjoy Julie Hyzy's storytelling. I have read the White House Chef Mysteries since the first book and found them to be a lot of fun without being trite. Olivia "Ollie" Paras has worked her way up to being the White House Chef and gotten involved in a few mysteries along the way. She also started and ended a relationship with a Secret Service agent, but hopefully she will not be alone for too long, judging by the way this book was setting things up. Buffalo West Wing gave the extra twist of bringing a new First Family into the storyline, which has shaken up the entire White House, especially with a not-so-auspicious start with mysterious fast food and a new chef brought in by the First Lady. I will definitely be interested in seeing where the story goes for Ollie and the new family.

I found out a couple months ago that Hyzy started another series after she wrote on her blog about it last month. A definite change from Ollie, Grace is a curator who has moved back to her hometown and is working at the famed manor she loved when she was growing up. When her supervisor, who was basically the backbone to running the manor, is murdered, Grace not only tries to step into his shoes, but manages to step on some toes in the process. With roommates who are trying to ply their wine to a national magazine and a family mystery of her own, Grace never comes off as snooping too much. She is definitely a "hometown girl" and loves the manor both for its history and from her heart. I am really excited to pick up the sequel and see what Grace does next.

The Ink:

Titles: Buffalo West Wing (White House Chef Mysteries, #4)
          Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mystery, #1)
Author: Julie Hyzy
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Dates:  Buffalo West Wing: January 2011
           Grace Under Pressure: June 2010
Read: Buffalo West Wing: Library Mass Market
          Grace Under Pressure: Mass Market (Provided by author)