Book Review: The Secret of a Spicy Jalapeno May 30, 2011Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Beyond the urban sprawl of a Pacific Northwest city lurks the peculiar little town of Providence and in it, an organic farmer named Joe Parker. Joe’s lurid story, or rather this particular piece of it, begins when Sheriff Caine fashions the big idea to grow jalapenos, albeit with questionable methods. The gritty scheme is plucked from the undercurrent of the sheriff’s self-righteous mind and carried out with the help of Joe’s skill, two local agents, and a coroner. Everything is progressing as planned. That is, until Vera Cruz, a prostitute and girlfriend of a drug dealer, is delivered late one night on Joe’s doorstep. The new houseguest suddenly complicates his routine. The woman bunking on the rear porch not only threatens to upset the jalapeno operation, but also Joe’s conviction about what is rightly just and intrinsically wrong. Will Vera save Joe or lure him further into depravity?
The Secret of a Spicy Jalapeno by Charlie Courtland is a truly unique story that will leave you wanting more! In the small town of Providence, the crime rate is climbing and the local jail is feeling the strain from the full cells. When given the ultimatum to either raise taxes to build an addition onto the jail or early parole inmates, Sheriff Caine sets a plan in motion to not only keep his town safe and the crime rates down, but to make a little profit. In order for the secret plan to take place, Sheriff Caine enlists the help of a few close friends, including Joe Parker who has perfected his craft of being an organic farmer. Given a little time to work his magic, the Sheriff and Joe have the town feeling safe and the threat of raised taxes gone.
Joe Parker is a complex character who may do questionable things but has a great heart. He is shy, sticks to himself and is the guy in town that everyone finds a little creepy because they don’t know hardly anything about him. Being taken in like a son by Sheriff Caine, Joe is perfectly happy with his isolated life and loves living on his farm and growing the best Jalapenos the area has to offer.
Vera Cruz is a woman with a troubled past who done whatever was needed to survive the cruelties of the street. She is desperately trying to escape the controlling grasp of her low-life drug dealing boyfriend Robby. Recognizing that the path she is on is only going to lead to her demise, she steals Robby’s car and doesn’t look back. Her plan is short-lived however when she is pulled over and the cops find Robby’s hidden stash of cocaine that was concealed within the dashboard. With nowhere to go, Vera gives up information that will bust Robby in return for police protection. Vera is taken to Joe’s farm where she ends up in the middle of Joe’s questionable world.
The Secret of a Spicy Jalapeno is a breath of fresh air to the horror genre, filled with gruesome goodness that will keep you hooked. The budding romance between Joe and Vera balances the horror nicely and adds a bit of sweetness to this unusual tale. Even though both Joe and Vera have done questionable things, they understand the situation and each other and meld perfectly, just like Jalapeno Jam.
This book does contain graphic descriptions and should be read by mature audiences only.