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Death By Devil's Breath
A Chili Cook-Off Mystery #2
Kylie Logan

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2014/ ISBN 0425262421
Mystery – cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


The Chili Showdown is in Las Vegas. They have added a special category, Devil's Breath Chili, to the lineup. This type of chili is said to peel paint right off the walls. They even have celebrity judges to taste and vote on the best chili of the four regional winners. These celebrities are the performers at Creosote Cal's Cactus Casino. Those selling items will be set up in little shops right out of the old west. Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, have the best location to sell Texas Jack's Hot Cha Chili Seasoning Palace items. Unfortunately, they got the bordello. Naturally, Sylvia is horrified. The Showdown people are treated to a night of entertainment. It goes from bad to worse. The comic, Dickie Dunkin, makes Don Rickles look like a choir boy. None of the other entertainers like what he has to say. The audience is split.

The next day the Devil's Breath Cook-Off is being set up. The judges have arrived. Dickie gets into a scuffle with The Great Osborn knocking the place settings off the judging table. Each judge tastes the four chili recipes. Right after, Dickie is looking a little green. He ends up with his head in the last bowl of chili he was served. So, now we have a dead comic. Ruth Ann asks Maxie to investigate – she is afraid it will be the end of the Showdown and her husband, Tumbleweed. Maxie had better be careful or she could end up on fire.

Things to ponder: Why did Maxie search Sylvia's purse? Why is the woman contestant giving Maxie the evil eye? Will Maxie find out anything that will help her find her missing father? Did someone poison Dickie Dunkin?

This sophomore book in the Chili Cook-Off series does not disappoint. The author sets up the story by providing the reader with multiple suspects. Then you get to tag along with Maxie and play detective. Can you eliminate the suspects until you are left with the killer? I found it very hard to put down. Cozy mystery lovers will be delighted to read this spicy mystery. It is a fast- paced page turner of a read. So if you like your mystery filled with engaging characters and lots of spice, then you should be reading Death By Devil's Breath.

Reviewed 2014