Buffalo West Wing
Berkley, Jan 4 2011, $7.99
The new president of the United States with his wife watching is sworn into office. Back at the White House, executive chef Olivia’ Ollie” Paras and her staff prepare to adapt to the First Family whose tastes differ from the previous occupants.
Ollie notices a box on a counter containing chicken wings meant for President Harden’s children Josh and Abby. Since she has no idea who left it, Ollie refuses to allow the First Kids to eat it though Josh and Abby want them. The First Lady is livid with the chef’s audacity. When the food is given to the laundry workers, they become ill and are rushed to the hospital where they are held hostage by extremists from Armuston who demand the release of their leader from an American prison. While Ollie is worried about the personal chef Virgil Ballantine who the First Family hired to prepare their meals and apparently wants her job, the extremists are about to perform another action to free their leader.
Readers will be fascinated with what goes on in the White House where even the kitchen deals with politics as the devoted staff struggle with the change in administration demands on them especially with young kids (previous administration had adult children). The First Lady is hostile towards Ollie for depriving her First Children from eating the wings that were laced with arsenic but the Secret Service and Ollie are not allowed to inform her of that; this animosity and concealment seem inappropriate with international and domestic terrorism a growth industry. Although the workers rarely make it into the limelight, the White House could not function without their support. The whodunit is cleverly devised as Julie Hyzy writes an engaging amateur sleuth starring a heroine with a unique perspective of Eggecutive Orders