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The Chili Queen

A Novel

Sandra Dallas

St. Martin's Press

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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THE CHILI QUEEN (Chapter One)

As the train pulled into the shabby station at Palestine, Kansas, the pinch-faced farmers and their wives in their rusty black-wool best lined up along the tracks like the teeth of a rake. In the Kansas heat, three boys slumped on an empty baggage cart in the shade of the depot, too listless even to tie a tin can to a cat's tail. A bitch in heat wouldn't draw a yellow dog under that sun, Addie French thought, as she shaded her eyes from the hurtful glare of the prairie, which was bleached the dirty white of worn underwear. She put a handkerchief to her nose, as if

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REVIEWS

Praise for The Chili Queen

"Dallas’s sixth ... is as satisfying as a John Ford movie, with just the right touches of humor and period detail."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Dallas weaves a beguiling plot and creates engaging characters and dialogue.... The zesty, offbeat charm of life among these undesirables in the seedy West keeps this tale moving smartly."
--Publishers Weekly

In the Press

THE CHILI QUEEN by Sandra Dallas | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of THE CHILI QUEEN . Varmints and vixens . . . way out west, circa the 1880s.
- Kirkus Reviews

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ABOUT 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.
  • Sandra Dallas Povy Kendal Archinson
    Sandra Dallas
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    The Chili Queen

    A Novel

    Sandra Dallas

    WILLA Literary Award - Finalist, Mountain & Plains Booksellers Association - Nominee, Spur Awards - Winner, Mountain & Plains Booksellers Association - Nominee
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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's Press

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