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Extended Audio Sample Chile Death Audiobook, by Susan Wittig Albert Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 5 3.78 (36 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Wittig Albert Narrator: Susan Wittig Albert Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The China Bayles Mysteries Release Date: November 1999 ISBN: 9781598872101
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The annual chili cook-off sounds like a nice respite from the stress, so China Bayles gladly accoumpanies 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 that peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili...and China knows something suspicious is afoot."China Bayles (Rueful Death, LJ 10/1/96) contends with the paralysis of her new husband, an extended visit from her 'helpful' mother, and a case of murder at the annual chili cookoff. A charmed return to small-town Texas; for series fans."—Library Journal

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Hilton | 2/13/2014

    " In this murder mystery, China Bayles investigates the death of a chili contest judge who accidentally (??) ingests peanuts and suffers anaphylactic shock. There are twists and turns and some yummy-looking chili recipes, probably not for the faint of heart (or tongue). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandolin | 2/13/2014

    " True Texas chili, spiced with the hottest of peppers and filled with a variety of ingredients (but NEVER with peanuts), can be a deadly blend....literally, as China Bayles discovers! When one of the judges of Pecan Springs' annual Chile Fest dies as a result of an allergic reaction to one of the bowls of chili that he had sampled, China and McQuaid are immediately suspicious, knowing that he had recently been the victim of threats. Did someone purposely lace the chili with the fatal ingredient or was it merely an accident? Though China dreads the work involved in another investigation, she happily throws herself into it, for it's brought McQuaid out of the long depression he suffered after his paralyzing gunshot wound. With China, life is never simple, and her probe into the dead man's past is often sidetracked by talks of marriage, a new business partnership and a brewing scandal at the nursing and rehabilitation center where McQuaid is a temporary resident. Will China be able to handle all that's been tossed onto her plate and solve the mystery as well? This seventh installment of the China Bayles' mysteries is one of the better in the series that I've read so far. As always, Ms. Albert "spices up" the book with interesting herb-lore, this time focusing on the fiery little chile pepper and its many varied uses. Even better is the book's human interest. China's personal struggle with giving up some of her independence as well as her resentment toward her mother adds a depth to the book that makes it twice as engaging and provides a nice side story to the well-plotted mystery. China's persistent hold on her childhood anger towards her mother has always seemed a little immature and I was glad to see that she is finally letting it go. All in all, a great story and one I recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 2/5/2014

    " love the recipes in the books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 2/4/2014

    " Another good installment in the China Bayles series. The ending was a bit more contrived than normal for Albert, but not pushing the bounds of cozies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/28/2014

    " All of the China Bayles series books are written with a conversational style, and endearing sincerity. The characters are both loveable and believable as are the places. Albert describes things well enough to give you a picture for your mind's eye without allowing the descriptions to overtake the storyline. If you've never lived in Central Texas trust me when I tell you that this is as close as you can get without moving here! These books are a comfortable, easy read - equally good for rainy days, and excuse to stay in the air conditioning, or by the fireplace. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 1/22/2014

    " a little too convoluted or something "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet Mccord | 1/14/2014

    " This book took me much longer to finish than it should because I've never warmed to the character of China Bayles and after any gap in reading the books it gets harder to re-join her. I've never been able to relate to her, from her big-city, hard-bitten, fast-track lawyer persona to the small town herb store owner, there's always been a disconnect. I find China as prickly as a Texas cactus and about as welcoming. I've found her difficult, irascible, ungrateful, stubborn, cold and inflexible. Perhaps because it's been a while since I've read any of the other books, I've just forgotten her positive qualities or character progression. What I keep coming back for is the setting, the herbal knowledge and recipes included in the book. The peripheral characters can be quite amusing and enjoyable as are some of the activities but I always feel like China, as she walks among them, seems to look down on them and their foibles. That is another thing I dislike about her. This particular story doesn't dispel that feeling for me. Set during a chili cookoff, a man is killed by peanuts and it all goes downhill from there. China is also trying to get her boyfriend/fiance' to recover and get out of a nursing home and becomes embroiled in scandalous happenings there too. That the two stories tied together was foreshadowed and I had a good idea who it might have been early on. I also thought China treated her "best friend" appallingly (I don't think I'd want China Bayles for a friend) and kept pushing away anyone who wanted to help or be kind to her all in the name of her "independence". Still, as I said, there are great swaths of information and recipes about chili and chile that I enjoyed very much. I'll keep hoping for more from China and will probably keep reading the series but it can be a real struggle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 1/13/2014

    " The last couple of these have been a little darke than the previous ones in teh series. Good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luckngrace | 1/12/2014

    " I learn a lot about plants when I read SWA's mysteries. There is also humor of the "Alice at Mel's Diner" variety and a homey feel that I'm welcome to visit Thyme for Tea in Pecan Springs, Texas anytime. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wilhelmena Haynes | 1/10/2014

    " Okay for a light read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/7/2014

    " One of the most creative murder weapons ever! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/18/2013

    " Another book in the China Bayles series. I didn't guess the murderer, which is always a good thing in a mystery. I missed Brian in this book. I don't like it when all characters aren't involved. It was a good read and I was very happy with the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddy Allen | 12/13/2013

    " Ex-lawyer turned herbalist and amateur sleuth China Bayles attends a chili cookoff where a womanizing judge dies of an allergic reaction to peanuts. And since everyone knows peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili, China knows something suspicious is afoot... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vera | 12/6/2013

    " Another great read in this series. I don't like hot (as in spicy) dishes, but this nearly made me want to try some. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/7/2013

    " Very good story with a surprise ending. Peanuts in Chili? Who would've thought?! Yuck. Lol "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan Bodwell | 7/11/2013

    " It would appear as though Susan Wittig Albert is working a lot of the bugs out of the China Bayles backstory by this one. It was a good one, with lots of tongue-in-cheek humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kj | 5/3/2013

    " You never know what you will find in a bowl of Texas chili, wow! Loved this book because it is Texas tradition to have these cook offs & so competitive! Another excellent read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 11/13/2012

    " Learned a lot about chile peppers--history, uses, and recipes. I'm going to try a chocolate cake with a dash of cayenne pepper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 10/25/2012

    " This series keeps getting better and better. Enjoyed this one very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 5/26/2012

    " I'm enjoying the books in this series---some a little more than others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth Ellen | 12/2/2011

    " this was a great read. It actually was more of a mystery than the other books. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 9/12/2011

    " Learned a lot about peppers and chili "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 6/30/2011

    " This was a lighter-hearted installment. McQuaid is recuperating and starting to join back into everyday life by judging an annual chili fest. There's a death, an investigation, and romance is back on track. A quick, easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 4/12/2011

    " Learned a lot about chile peppers--history, uses, and recipes. I'm going to try a chocolate cake with a dash of cayenne pepper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 3/31/2011

    " a little too convoluted or something "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dalepat | 3/17/2011

    " This is a serious chili cookoff! Fairly interesting murder investigation combined with personal relations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vera | 2/14/2011

    " Another great read in this series. I don't like hot (as in spicy) dishes, but this nearly made me want to try some. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 8/25/2010

    " Learned a lot about peppers and chili "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 8/14/2009

    " fun to read. easy,fast and enjoyable.
    kinda like a soft pillow "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberlyn | 8/13/2009

    " a very relaxing writing style and unsuspected ending "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 1/20/2009

    " This was a lighter-hearted installment. McQuaid is recuperating and starting to join back into everyday life by judging an annual chili fest. There's a death, an investigation, and romance is back on track. A quick, easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kitty Tomlinson | 1/2/2009

    " Local chili judge is poisoned with peanuts in chili. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 10/20/2008

    " This one is probably my fav SWA -- it kinda reminds me of Do-Dat-BarBQ... feel free to ask me what that is :-)

    S "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 8/3/2008

    " love the recipes in the books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 7/30/2008

    " these books are short, light reading, murder mysteries in a central Texas setting. The main character is a herb shop owner in a little town that reminds me of Wimberley. Each book in the series has an herb or spice in the title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 7/22/2008

    " This was an exceptionally good one and just when I had made a pot of chili, too. I did add beans to mine, but wondered how the Texas kind would be without it. Suspenseful, good story. One of my favorites in the series. "

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About the Author
Author Susan Wittig Albert

Susan Wittig Albert is the author of the acclaimed China Bayles mysteries. The first book in the series, Thyme of Death, was nominated for both an Agatha Award and an Anthony Award for Best First novel. Throughout her career, Wittig has written over sixty novels. She cowrote the Robin Paige Victorian Mysteries with her husband, Bill Albert, and wrote a number of Nancy Drew novels under the pen name Carolyn Keene.  She has also written a number of nonfiction works and a memoir entitled Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Wittig worked as a university English professor. She lives in Texas.