Ok, I'm really too discombobulated lately to pick a day of the week for author articles, so I'll just put them out there when I'm inspired.
Julie Hyzy writes the most focused thrillers I've read in a long time. There's no fat on these novels-no distracting romantic diversion, no meddling mom or needy cat. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of cozies, which are rife with lots of sweet characters and diversions not directly related to the plot at hand. But these are thrillers, books of action not comfort (as much as murder mysteries can be comfortable...) and I like changing gears to read her fast paced yet pleasant stories.
Her character, Ollie Paras, a White House chef, somehow always finds herself right in the middle of T-R-O-U-B-L-E. In trying to do the right thing, Ollie ends up in some complicated messes but is compelled to keep digging or talking or thinking, whatever the situation demands. And the White House setting is ripe for all sorts of terrorists, intrigue and gingerbread men, so there should be plenty of plots to come.
I like Ollie. She's got a lot of heart and integrity and she's someone you'd want to befriend, if only she had the time. She has a boyfriend who's a Secret Service agent but with their crazy schedules, their time together consists of quick meetings, missed phone calls and the occasional overnight stay. Most of the people in the White House kitchen are hard working and fun, with a curmudgeonly assistant to keep things from getting, well, too comfortable. Glimpses of the First Family do not resemble the current residents, or even their recent predecessors.
The plotting is complicated and thoughtful, so you're not sitting there thinking you're smarter than they are 'cause you know who did it from the git go. And the "glimpses" of the White House and Camp David feel like history in the making.
You should read this when: you want to spend some time with an intelligent Girl Scout (and I mean that in the nicest way!) who can cook
Sequence (I like to read series in order): State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef
C’est la vie!