Title: The State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
ISBN: 0425218694 (ISBN13: 9780425218693)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended Age: Adult
Series: Yes; White House Chef Mystery series (#1)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 1st 2008 (325 pages)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Introducing White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras, who is rising-and sleuthing-to the top.
Includes recipes for a complete presidential menu!
Never let them see you sweat-that’s White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras’s motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She’s hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There’s just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry.
This was a super fun, cozy mystery.
My biggest problem with cozies is that the main character is trying to solve the mystery with no experience doing so and potentially getting in the way of the police. In this one, Ollie isn’t actively trying to solve the case — she’s just interested in knowing what happened because she ended up involved in it, then she couldn’t get away from being a part of it. It felt much more realistic and natural than the people snooping on their own, just because.
For these types of books I find the characters to be really important to like. Ollie I liked most of the time– there were just a few things I didn’t agree with, but I always respected her. She is amazing at what she does. The side characters are fun and interesting in their own ways –definitely all unique somehow. There is a love interest, but the romance isn’t a main part of this, in fact they are already in a relationship! I haven’t decided if I completely like Tom yet, I think that was the point though, and in the future it might be different.
I also enjoyed how Ollie’s life didn’t revolve around the mystery, she has a job and focuses on it. So, not all conversations revolved around the mystery nor the love interest. In fact, most of it focused on her work! I really really liked this.
Before I started this, I thought I was done liking cozy mysteries– the quirkiness can’t save them for me anymore because of how silly the person getting involved in a mystery seems, but this book has reignited my affection for the genre. If you like cooking and cozy mysteries, or just want to see what a cozy mystery is all about, you should check out this book! Plus, there are recipes in the end!