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The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas

23rd September 2009

This was a fun mystery to read.  It took me a few chapters to get into the book, but I’m glad I stuck with it.  Addie French is a madame who takes in friendless Emma Roby.  Addie then partners with Ned and Welcome to help Emma to steal back Emma’s inheritance from her controlling brother.  But what seems like a simple scam gets more complex with each turn of the page.

Dallas divided her story into 4 sections, with each part being told from a different character’s perspective.  As each character’s role is revealed, you can feel yourself drawing closer to the truth and a completely satisfying end.

As an aside, although there isn’t a lot of violence in most of Dallas’ books, there are always one or two scenes that are quite horrifying, usually involving mothers and children.  I’ve read so many of her books, that I’ve come to expect such a scene and try to quickly skim it when I get there.  The fact that this distinctive scene appears in one form or another in all of her books makes me wonder what tragedy has touched her life.

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