Name: Maxie Pierce
Relationship Status: Single ever since Edik (world’s hottest rock band lead guitarist) cleaned out her bank accounts and maxed her credit cards.
Hair: dark and spiky
Height: Just a tad taller than way too short
Occupation: Chili Chick, and heroine of “Chili Con Carnage,” book #1 in Kylie Logan’s Chili Cook-Off mysteries
Oh sure, it sounds like fun and games . . . dressing as a giant red chili pepper and dancing in front of Texas Jack Pierce’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace in stilettoes and fishnet stockings to attract customers. But let me tell you folks, the life of the Chili Chick is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For one thing, I’m working with Sylvia. Yeah, the pretty blonde behind the Palace counter. The one who’s hair is always perfect and whose smile is as white as if she starred in toothpaste commercials. Sylvia thinks she’s God’s gift to the chili spice business, and she’s not going to let me forget it. Then again, she is good at keeping the books straight and the food truck we take on the chili cook-off circuit neat and well-stocked. But Sylvia is also hidebound and prissy. She ups prices on our chili spice mixes without consulting me. She makes business decisions without asking my opinion. And she’ll never in this lifetime or the next let me forget that her mother was once the Chili Chick and that my mother (who took over the dancing and proudly became the Chick) stole her father from her mother.
Get it? Sylvia and I are half-sisters and we’re nobody’s definition of one big happy family.
Of course things were different when Jack was still around, but–
What? I haven’t explained about Jack? It’s kind of a long story, but here’s the upshot: Back in Abilene about six weeks ago, Jack went missing. The cops said there was no sign of foul play and since Jack has a reputation as a ladies man, nobody’s too worried. Well, nobody but me. In fact, Jack’s sudden disappearance id exactly why I left Chico (good timing what with Edik and all) and met up with the Chili Showdown in Taos, New Mexico. Somebody needs to keep the Palace up and running until we can locate Jack again. And somebody needs to figure out why Sylvia’s suddenly pretending to be the perfect, caring daughter and carry out Jack’s wishes to have the two of us take over his business.
And then, of course, there’s the murder. I know I didn’t mention that, either, but then again, it’s all pretty complicated what with the Showdown roadie, Roberto, getting stabbed through the heart just hours after I had a big fight with him and conked him over the head with the Chick costume. Then I found out that Sylvia actually knew Roberto a long time ago and that they’d parted on very bad terms.
Like I said, complicated. What it all comes down to is that now, Sylvia and I need to work together to find the real killer so we can get back to what’s really important, figuring out what happened to Jack.
I’m convinced we can do it, too. That is, if we don’t kill each other first.