by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details on how to win a copy of Fonduing Father’s at the end of this review.
Fonduing Fathers is a mystery delight, exploring the past of White House executive chef Olivia (“Ollie”) Paras’s family, the future of her relationship with government agent Gav, and the labyrinthine web of intrigue and deceit that is normal life in Washington, DC (according to most mystery thrillers).
I have been a fan of Julie Hyzy’s mysteries since I found Artistic License (her first book) at the Cedar-Clinton Library. Since 2008, I have followed her White House Chef books with avid interest. Usually, I request her titles from the library. Sometimes, I beg for free copies that I can review. This time, I bought my own copy of the sixth in the series (with a gift card I got for Christmas). Of course, two days after I finished the book, a review copy arrived (My wife gleefully accepted it).
On vacation in Chicago, Ollie and Gav learn that her father, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, left the military with a dishonorable discharge. How could that be? That status would disqualify a serviceman for Arlington interment. On top of that, the man was murdered, and his employer found evidence that dear old dad was selling company secrets! Ollie can’t accept that, so she and Gav start investigating, talking to a retired general who retreats into Alzheimers’ at crucial moments in the conversation, disgruntled former co-workers, and a shadowy intelligence wonk who make the X-Files’ Cigarette-Smoking Man look like a pillar of honesty. While conducting her clandestine investigation, she still has to meet the special needs of her employers, including teaching cooking skills to the President’s pre-teen son.
This is a fantastic installment in the series, with less danger to the First Family but major risks for Ollie. Gav is a much better match for Ollie than her previous Secret Service beau. Gav doesn’t try to stop her investigations, because he recognizes her abilities and strengths. The White House staff is still quirky and interesting, and the recipes at the end range from really easy to needing to raise the spirit of Julia Child as a spirit guide…and yes, there is fondue.
I love recommending this series to people. The books appeal to so many types of readers: food fans, conspiracy buffs, people who wonder what it’s really like behind the scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and anyone who believes that true love can conquer all obstacles. Fonduing Fathers is worth a nibble, because you’ll want to gobble down every morsel of Julie Hyzy’s writing.
To enter to win a copy of Fonduing Fathers, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Fonduing”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 26, 2013. U.S. residents only.