I wasn’t sure what I’d find when delving into Confessions of the Sausage Queen. It’s hard to fathom a story that centers around meat products. From page one, however, I discovered a storyline that offers up kitschy small-town ambiance with big time laughs! It’s told from Mandy Minhouser’s perspective, a woman who is blunt and holds nothing back. You feel as though she’s sitting right next to you, filling you in on all the latest gossip and scandal in her little town of Kassenburg. It’s all about dishing the dirt and taking names!
When Big BIll Ludowski dies from a sudden heart attack, the town is in an uproar. Big Bill and Mandy’s grandmother, Gran Lila, had been as Mandy puts it, “doing their best Adam and Eve imitation” under hydrangea bushes, which led to his demise. Gran was Big Bill’s mistress and had been for many years. It’s no big secret to Kassenburg about the affair, but when Big Bill leaves his sausage factory the Big and Tasty in the hands of Mandy and Gran, all hell breaks loose, especially for Big Bill’s estranged overbearing widow and emotionally stunted grandson, Hughes. Hughes is currently running the sausage factory and doesn’t take kindly to having to take orders from anyone, especially from newly appointed CEO Mandy.
What happens next is a roller coaster ride of drama, chaos, kidnappings and debauchery. Hughes will stop at nothing to keep Mandy and Gran from touching his sausage (no pun intended), and although Mandy has no clue how to run a factory, she’s won’t allow Hughes to run the Big and Tasty into the ground.
What I liked most of all are the characters Ute Carbone has created, allowing them to weave their way in and become unforgettable. Mandy’s sister Mindy reminds me a lot of my own sister. There’s sibling rivalry and an “if she can do it, I can do it too” mentality. Randy, Mandy’s husband is down-home and organic, throwing her chocolate pie looks (code for bedroom eyes) which had undoubtedly led to their son, Sammy, who they’ve nicknamed Hammy. You’ve got Mindy’s cop husband who knows how to pick locks because he hadn’t always started out on the straight and narrow, and Mandy’s office manager at the Big and Tasty paints murals on walls that replicate the Sistine Chapel, all while wearing extravagant outfits fit for a queen. He’s pretty that way. They are all lending comic relief and support to Mandy while she’s working hard at being the best CEO of a sausage plant that she can be, besting Hughes and taking him down one metaphoric punch at a time.
If you’re looking for fun, do like Gran Lila would: drink some margaritas, eat a few cookies, and settle in with this book. Get acquainted with Kassenburg and the Big and Tasty crew!
Thanks to Bridging the Gap for the book in exchange for an honest review.
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