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by Susan Witting Albert
Berkley Prime Crime, October 1999
306 pages
ISBN: 0425171477

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

China Bayles has never been one to let a wrong go uninvestigated but now that her future husband's recovery from a gunshot may depend on it, she's put her whole heart into it. China had finally said yes to Mike McQuaid's proposal, only to have him be shot in the line of duty as a Texas Ranger.

Now that he is working towards recovery, his temperament has soured and he is trying to push her away. When a local insurance salesman dies of an allergic reaction to peanuts while working as a judge in the chili cook-off, McQuaid's investigative juices begin bring him back to himself. China is determined to do anything she can to encourage his new enthusiasm -- even if it puts her own life in danger.

Chile Death is the seventh in a series of China Bayles mysteries, but you don't need to have read the prior novels to enjoy the humor combined with deep issues presented in this hot pepper of a book. You'll get a true appreciation of Texas culture -- and the usefulness of chile peppers in general.

Susan Wittig Albert lives in the country outside of Austin, Texas, with her husband Bill. Together they write a victorian mystery series under the pseudonym Robin Page.

Reviewed by Cathy Gallagher, August 2001

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