Friday, June 10, 2011

The Secret of A Spicy Jalapeno

The Secret of Spicy Jalapeno by Charlie Courtland

Paperback: 230 pages
Released Date: March 7, 2011
Publisher: BB Books Original Paperback Trade Co
Source: Review Copy
Goodreads Summary: 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 creation of The Secret of A Spicy Jalapeno derives from the unequivocal influence of acclaimed Southern gothic writer, Flannery O’Connor. 


First I’d love to thank Ms. Charlie Courtland for letting me have her book. I never imagine the story to be this noteworthy! At first I thought the book was some kind of a recipe book, really, because of its title with jalapeno. I never even peek on its synopsis so it’s a whole mystery for me to find out the story. And when the book finally came to my own hands, my first thought was, “what’s with the feet (on the cover)?”, then “Okay...I think this will be very interesting ;)”


The first words that caught my attention was the words of Joe Parker, ‘if they knew what I did’ , then it all get on like a house on fire that there is something hideous in the story, which answers the question, what’s the secret? When I was reading the book I feel like I was watching a movie actually, because of my affection for horror movies I think this book will be great in the screen. The characters were benevolently written. Joe Parker’s a tranquil and cunning person; he’s laid back, more of an observer than a reactor. He only bank on one person, Sheriff Caine. Then of course, there are the secondary characters which feel as engaging and three dimensional as Joe. Sheriff Caine, the mind for the growing jalapeños, he is tough and meticulous when it comes to growing the jalapeños, his wife Nan, the two local agents and the Coroner. Everything seems in the perfect place when all of a sudden Vera Cruz came in to the picture. She’s a prostitute and a girlfriend of a drug dealer, who wants to escape from her world. Joe became uptight with her in his house, not because she’s a prostitute but because of the sudden feeling he felt for Vera. He’s now in a dilemma on where he will chose if he will push Vera away from him or let his feelings fall and soon let her discover his biggest secret. The romance is built up adeptly, and in an unforeseen way.

I admired how Charlie convey the story painstakingly and leave you some information on which even me didn’t knew until I read the book. The way how Joe, the Skinner, does his fertilizer (the secret) will grab hold of your breath. The notion of the story was pretty sharp-witted in a horrific way and still keeps you turning every page. ;) I don’t know if others will love the story the way I do ‘coz I’m the kind of person that the more the story gets ghoulish the more I pine for it. I highly recommend you to grab a copy of “The Secret of a Spicy Jalapeno”, and for Mr. Carl Banks, good luck on your journey on figuring out the secret that skulk around the farm of Joe Parker ;)


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