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The Chili Queen: A Novel
     

The Chili Queen: A Novel

4.3 23
by Sandra Dallas
 

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Life may have been hard on Addie French, but when she meets friendless Emma Roby on a train, all her protective instincts emerge. Emma's brother is seeing her off to Nalgitas to marry a man she has never met. And Emma seems like a lost soul to Addie-someone who needs Addie's savvy and wary eye. It isn't often that Addie is drawn to anyone as a friend, but Emma

Overview

Life may have been hard on Addie French, but when she meets friendless Emma Roby on a train, all her protective instincts emerge. Emma's brother is seeing her off to Nalgitas to marry a man she has never met. And Emma seems like a lost soul to Addie-someone who needs Addie's savvy and wary eye. It isn't often that Addie is drawn to anyone as a friend, but Emma seems different somehow. When Emma's prospective fails to show up at the train depot, Addie breaks all her principles to shelter the girl at her brothel, The Chili Queen. But once Emma enters Addie's life, the secrets that unfold and schemes that are hatched cause both women to question everything they thought they knew. With Sandra Dallas's trademark humor, charm, and pathos, The Chili Queen will satisfy anyone who has ever longed for happiness.

The Chili Queen is the winner of the 2003 Spur Award for Best Western Novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A whorehouse madam, a bank robber, a mail-order bride and a former slave romp around 1860s New Mexico in this fifth novel from the author of The Persian Pickle Club. As she has before, Dallas weaves a beguiling plot and creates engaging characters and dialogue. The first part of the book is narrated by Addie French, a madam at the Chili Queen whorehouse, whose language is salted with colorful metaphors. "Some men liked scrawny women," she explains, "just as some men picked chicken wings over drumsticks." In the second section, the central figure is Ned Partner, a hunky bank robber and would-be rancher whose emotional innocence contrasts with his smooth ways in the bedroom and behind a gun. Next, there is Emma Roby, a mail-order bride with a secret past who is temporarily boarding at the Chili Queen, and finally Welcome, a former slave turned whorehouse cook. Because Emma and Welcome are not as well drawn, the closing chapters lose momentum; they are also glutted with backstory. When Dallas tries to cover subjects like sexual abuse and other types of violence, her light tone can't support the heavier themes. Still, the zesty, offbeat charm of life among these undesirables in the seedy West keeps this tale moving smartly. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book club alternate; 5-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429903394
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/10/2003
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
193,551
File size:
263 KB

Meet the Author

Sandra Dallas is the author of Buster Midnight's Café, The Persian Pickle Club, The Diary of Mattie Spenser, and Alice's Tulips. She is a former Denver bureau chief for Business Week Magazine and lives in Denver, Colorado.
Award-winning author Sandra Dallas was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. She is the author of The Bride’s House, Whiter Than Snow, Prayers for Sale and Tallgrass, among others. Her novels have been translated into a dozen languages and optioned for films. She is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award and the two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. For 25 years, Dallas worked as a reporter covering the Rocky Mountain region for Business Week, and started writing fiction in 1990. She lives with her husband in Denver, Colorado.

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Chili Queen 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
This was a great story of a "chili queen", or madame, of a turn of the century brothel, her business in the truest sense of the word, and those people that come across her threshold, including a homely spinster escaping from her conniving farmer brother, and the beloved maid, Welome. Nothing is as it seems, and the twists and turns in the story will make you smile, and sometimes give that little gasp of "oh, check that out!", and then, on you go. It's not so twisty that it can't be followed so summer or rainy day read is just fine, but it's not so simple that one gets bored. Her characters are engaging, and makes you feel like you really get to know them. I'm looking forward to reading other novels by Dallas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Entertaining. Great story. Just when you think you got it....it takes another turn!
FarmLadyNC More than 1 year ago
Have read several books by Sandra Dallas previously, and was not disappointed with this one either!! Characters were interesting and the story kept you interested till the end. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the characters and the time and place. Ms Dallas always comes up with an unexspected ending. Sheer entertainment plus it was a fast read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful wonderful book, so fun to follow all the loops and dips, laughing and laughing as you get close to the end. Nobody is who they pretend to be. Loved it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good light read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book with many twists!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light, interesting, good beach book.
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tchrreader More than 1 year ago
You will really like this book- it is fun! A story about Addie who runs a whorehouse called "The Chili Queen" (isn't that funny, where did that come from?) Addie ends up meeting Emma. The whole book is about schemes. This book is fun, funny and entertaining. It is unpredictable (which I like) and heartbreaking. It is also interesting and makes you think. This book is the whole package of entertainment. Read it and then pass it along to your best girlfriend! You will like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so much fun to read. It has lots of twists and turns along the way and unexpected parts in between. A fun read for anyone looking to escape from modern times.