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Chile Death: A China Bayles Mystery by Susan…

Chile Death: A China Bayles Mystery (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Susan Wittig Albert

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458722,714 (3.84)7
Title:Chile Death: A China Bayles Mystery
Authors:Susan Wittig Albert
Info:Berkley (1999), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:detective and mystery stories, herb mystery, Texas, China Bayles mystery, cozy

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Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert (1998)




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After the last book in the series this one is a breath of fresh air. China is back to being China the herbalist, entrepreneur, and investigator. Things with McQuaid are finally sorted out and their relationship returns to some semblance of normalcy. I enjoyed the mystery story in this one and it was great to see China handle herself in a perilous situation. ( )
  hazysaffron | Jul 26, 2013 |
3.5 stars

My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
China Bayles is a former trial lawyer turned herbalist, and this installment in the series finds her investigating the death of an unpopular insurance salesman with a peanut allergy. During a chili cook-off Jeff Cody ingested some chili laced with peanuts, leading to a quick demise. Some think death is an unfortunate accident, but China is convinced otherwise.

During the investigation China is also dealing with her boyfriend's recovery from a gunshot wound. The nursing home where he is recuperating seems suspicious to China, opening another possible mystery. Signs of possible abuse and a very evasive director keep China attuned.

This book is definitely light reading, but it was mostly enjoyable. One of the things I like about this series is that China is a former lawyer, her boyfriend is a cop, and they collectively have more respect for law, police procedure, and due process than one generally finds in a cozy mystery. This is not the sort of book in which a random knitter, barista, antiques seller, or other such character mishandle evidence and take over a murder investigation. That was refreshing. I'm sure I'll read more in the series when I'm looking for light entertainment. ( )
  lahochstetler | Sep 23, 2011 |
At last China and McQuaid decide to get married and set a date but the circumstances leading to the decision have certainly been dire. A murder is committed during a chile cooking competiton - very nearly covered up, but China uncovers much that should have remained hidden, thus putting herself in danger from the murderer, sustaining some serious injuries. ( )
  reeread | Sep 24, 2009 |
The red line of China's personal life is carried on from the last book, but in this book, her mother gets involved too. Which is not at all what China wants. Not to mention that McQuaid is being obstinate and is heading towards a depression. So it's with almost relief that China witnesses a suspicious death that draws McQuaids attention. But this murder might just get China killed if she isn't careful.

There are a lot of different things going on in this book, which only makes this book more fun. As always it's fast paced, and when you think you know who did it, something else is discovered which changes everything. A very good read. ( )
  Samantha_kathy | Apr 12, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425171477, Mass Market Paperback)

Chile is the pepper; chili (or sometimes chilli) is the spicy stew made with it. That's the first of many lessons about food, love, and death in Susan Wittig Albert's latest mystery about China Bayles, the Texas Hill Country lawyer turned herbalist and crime solver. Although Albert lives in the Texas Hill Country herself, she swears that China's hometown, Pecan Springs (which must have a higher per capita death rate than anyplace outside of Jessica Fletcher's Maine village), is fictional. So we have to believe that nobody really killed one of the judges of the annual Cedar Choppers Chili Cook-off by adding peanuts to his tasting sample and causing a deadly allergic reaction.

But China and her lover, ex-cop Mike McQuaid, believe it--especially after the dead chili judge, Jerry Jeff Cody, turns out to have a swampful of dirty secrets. So Albert begins a clever dance, keeping Bayles and the bedridden McQuaid (shot while working for the Texas Rangers) in just enough danger to maintain an atmosphere of suspense while also slipping in enough chile lore to outfit a chain of Taco Bells. The format may be familiar, but Albert is one of the best in the business at making it look newly hatched. Other Bayles books include Love Lies Bleeding, Thyme of Death, and Rueful Death. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

China Bayles had finally agreed to marry Mike McQuaid - and then he'd been paralyzed in the line of duty. Fully committed, she knows she'll tough it out, no matter how long his recovery might take. The annual chili cook-off sounds like a nice respite from the stress, so China gladly accompanies her wheelchair-bound sweetheart to the event. But tragedy strikes when cook-off judge Jerry Jeff Cody dies of a severe allergic reaction - to a peanut. Everyone knows peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili...and China knows something suspicious is afoot. Now, with rumors flying about foul play at McQuaid's hospital - and whispered stories about Jerry Jeff's womanizing ways - things are heating up all over.… (more)

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