3 Heart Book Review: Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

Buffalo West Wing: A White House Chef Mystery
By Julie Hyzy
Berkley Prime Crime
3 Heart Review

With a new First Family, White House executive chef Olivia Paras can't afford to make any mistakes. But when a box of take-out chicken mysteriously shows up for the First Kids, she soon finds herself in a "no-wing" situation. After Olivia refuses to serve the chicken, the First Lady gives her the cold shoulder. But when it turns out to be poisoned poultry, Olivia realizes the kids are true targets.

First off I must admit I'm jumping into this series mid-steam. This is book four and I could really tell when reading it that I wish I'd was more familiar with the characters and their storyline before picking this up. Even though you can read and enjoy this story all on it's own, I kinda of do feel like the 3 Heart rating might be influenced by my not having read books 1-3.

Having read and enjoyed the 1st book in Julie other mystery series, The Manor House Mysteries, I was excited to read one of her White House Chef Mysteries and was really happy with it. Again, I wish that I'd had more background knowledge - especially when it came to the two men in Olivia's life. Her Ex in this book still works with her and seems to be...well...an ASS. It was so hard to picture Olivia ever having been with him - and that made me question her as a character. If I'd read the prior books maybe it would have made more sense because maybe he was a more likable character in those.

It was nice to find a cozy mystery with a hint of romance, but I did find myself wishing this had more. I really didn't want the book to end where it did because I wanted a little more of the romance - hey sue me I'm a romance chick!

This was a really fun read and I will be checking out the first 3 books - I just wish I didn't already know what was going to happen with the crappy Ex. :)

If you enjoy mysteries, and cozies in particular, you'll really like Julie's writing but it is my recommendation that you start with the 1st book in the series. I would have had so much more fun and felt more connected to the book if I'd read them, and this might have been a 4 Heart Review instead.

Happy Reading!


  1. Funny you should say that about Tom...

    I've read the series from the beginning. Ollie's was always a bit nosy -- pushy? stubborn? -- about getting involved in the mystery, so it put her odds with the Secret Service. Tom is a sweetheart of guy, but in book 3, he was told by his superior to rein her in or he'd be reassigned out of the PPD. He wasn't a jerk about it, but Ollie broke up with him. My heart hurt for him in that scene and I think Ollie truly broke his heart. I also think he's still in love with her, based on the scene in BWW, when Ollie goes to his office to check on the status of the food order she placed.

    I was concerned that readers who picked up this book first would think Tom was just awful -- Ollie makes him sound like a control freak and a stick-in-the-mud. I thought that was rather harsh of her.

    Other than that, Ollie has matured and become more confident in her role over the course of the books. To me, this book is the best so far.

    I hope you get the chance to read the previous books. I plan to read the Manor House book

  2. Hi Christina! Thanks for letting me know Tom was a more likable character in the first books. I kind of figured he must have been if Ollie and he had been close. It did feel like the Tom character was presented as a harsh guy and it put me off a little.

    Otherwise, it was a really fun book and know I really think I'll go back and read the other books.

  3. I'll put the series on my list. I love a good cozy! And cooking ones are generally fun, since I don't really cook but I can read about others who do!

  4. I didn't know you were a cozy lover Maureen! Next time I see you I'll give you some books to take home.

    If you pick up this series do start at the first book - I really wish I had now.

    Thanks for stopping by!