A Serving of Scandal

A Serving of Scandal
By Prue Leith


Kate McKinnon is thirty-six and mother to five-year-old Toby. 

She used to be a restaurant chef but that all stopped when Toby came along.  Now she has a small but thriving business catering for private clients, companies and some government departments.  Her life is on an even keel. 

That is, until she gets a job cooking lunch at the Foreign Office and has her first fateful meeting with Oliver Stapler, Secretary of State.  He's married and a father and totally out of bounds, yet she falls for him.  She thinks she hides it well, but there are people who would like to see her fail and to them her feelings are all too transparent. 

When someone alters the gutter press, who cares whether Kate's affair with Oliver is true or not?  It's a great story and will shift a ton of newspapers - and destroy several lives at the same time.


Read an Extract

Chapter 1

'Are you waiting at table then? You can hardly do it in chef's whites.'

The voice was not friendly. Kate turned from the sink to see Dennis, the Foreign Office butler, lips pursed and eyes narrowed behind his designer frames.

Hell, she thought. Why him? Why couldn't I have had Tom, or Rodrigo? Dennis was the Head Butler and a pain. She reached round her back for the dishcloth tucked into her apron. Drying her hands, she said,

'Hello, Dennis. I didn't know you were here. It's only a working lunch, isn't it?'

'This is One Carlton Gardens,' he replied, 'and the official residence of the Foreign Secretary. We have standards to maintain.'

Kate, knowing she must work with the man, said evenly, 'And I will not let you down. Don't worry. But I did clear me waitressing with Julian, and I'll wear a black apron over the top. It'll be fine.'

Dennis gave his head a little shake of disapproval. He did not like the Facilities Manager, to whom they all reported.

Kate said, 'Of course if you want to do it, that would be wonderful, but as it's such a tiny job, I said I could manage on my own.' Better lay it on thick, she thought, and added, 'I'm sure you've got much more important stuff to see to.'

  • Click here to read A Serving of Scandal extract in full.