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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Hyzy’

Murder Among Friends News FlashHere’s our first recap of what happened at this year’s Bouchercon — announcement of the winners of the con’s Anthony Awards! The winning novels and their categories are listed below — and — you can click on the News Flash! logo to go to all the nominated works for this year’s Bouchercon , as well as our links to the nominated authors on our Awards page.

2012 Anthony Award Winners

BEST NOVEL
A Trick of the Light—Louise Penny [Minotaur]

BEST FIRST NOVEL
Learning to Swim—Sara J. Henry [Crown]

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Buffalo West Wing—Julie Hyzy [Berkley Prime Crime/Tekno]
(Yeah Julie!  Congrats from your friends at Murder Among Friends!)

BEST SHORT STORY
“Disarming”—Dana Cameron, EQMM June’11, p.24

BEST CRITICAL NONFICTION WORK
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion—Charlaine Harris, ed. [Ace]

 

*Pictures & more on Bouchercon 2012 to come!

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… Our entire collection of Julie Hyzy books that is! After an outstandingly fun time with author Julie Hyzy at our April meeting, every single copy of all her books — in both series — was checked out!  It was just one indicator of the fun we had talking to her about her White House Chef, Olivia (Ollie) Paras and her first adventure in The State of the Onion.  The group enjoyed getting Julie’s inside  take on not only the White House kitchen, but other areas of the White House that Julie uses in other books in the series.

All members agreed that it was refreshing to have a cozy mystery open with a high action scene, and that the pace of the whole novel was an engaging fast read. And how can you not love an opening where an assistant chef plausibly brings down a trespasser with a frying pan?

We asked whether she felt that Ollie was going to be limited in what she can do as an amateur sleuth — both by the demands of the job and that she’s pretty well tied to the kitchen. Julie agreed that it is a challenge to work with, but that she (and Ollie!) find ways to justify her involvement in each story’s crime.

Members shared their enthusiasm for Ollie, as well as their intense dislike of oxymoronic  Sensitivity Director Peter (the “Social Protocol Nazi”) Sargeant.  Julie created a full palette of nicely layered secondary characters, such as retiring chief chef  Henry, young co-worker Cyan, and Julie’s rival for the Chief Chef position, TV “celebrity” chef Laurel Anne Braun. We unanimously loved Laurel’s final video scene. The strong character development was a definite highlight for the group, who also vigorously debated whether FBI boyfriend Tom was worthy of Ollie. (Julie proved she was indeed a mystery lady by neatly avoiding any statement about where their relationship goes from here.)

Overall, the group found State of the Onion to be a highly enjoyable introduction to both a series they plan to follow and that after meeting Julie, they are also intrigued about her other current series featuring historical mansion curator, Grace Wheaton. The first book in that series is Grace Under Pressure, and the third book, Grace Among Thieves is due out in June. Ollie’s latest exploits came out in book #5: Affairs of Steak. The library has it, and our copy of Grace Under Pressure is on order!

We also want to thank the intrepid Sue Peterson from Brain Snacks for providing books from both of Julie’s series for Julie to sign for attendees.

Members please add your comments about the book and the meeting!

FYI: The Author Docket for Julie has been started under the Author Docket tab. More pictures from the meeting will be published there shortly.

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