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The Chili Queen: A Novel [NOOK Book]

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, ...
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The Chili Queen: A Novel

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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.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429903394
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2003
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 98,828
  • File size: 257 KB

Meet the Author

Sandra Dallas

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.

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Reading Group Guide

About the Book: 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.

Discussion Questions:

Which of Addie's thoughts and/or actions revealed her true character early in the book?

Was your initial impression of Addie consistent with your final impression?

When did you first suspect Emma was not all she appeared to be?

Did Emma make the only choices possible for her or could you envision other courses of action?

Who do you believe to be the true villain of the story?

Which character did you most want to find peace and happiness?

Were there any clues to Welcome's true identity early in the story?

Were the women in the novel particularly subject to creating masks and facades for themselves? Why or why not?

About the Author: Sandra Dallas is the author of Buster Midnight's Caf‚, 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Read this!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2005

    Fun Glimpse into the Old West

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Always well written

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Lish

    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

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Enjoyed

    Good light read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Great author!

    Good book with many twists!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Good read!

    Light, interesting, good beach book.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    A great read!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

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    Posted November 15, 2013

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    Posted July 4, 2013

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    Posted November 3, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2012

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    Posted October 23, 2014

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    Posted April 25, 2012

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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