Synopses & Reviews
Herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is “in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum.”* In Widow’s Tears, a haunted house may hold the key to solving the murder of one of China’s friends…
After losing her husband, five children, housekeeper, and beautiful home in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Rachel Blackwood rebuilt her home, and later died there, having been driven mad with grief. In present-day Texas, Claire, the grand niece of Rachel’s caretaker, has inherited the house and wants to turn it into a bed and breakfast. But she is concerned that it’s haunted, so she calls in her friend Ruby—who has the gift of extrasensory perception—to check it out. While Ruby is ghost-hunting, China Bayles walks into a storm of trouble in nearby Pecan Springs. A half hour before she is to make her nightly deposit, the Pecan Springs bank is robbed and a teller is shot and killed.
Before she can discover the identity of the killers, China follows Ruby to the Blackwood house to discuss urgent business. As she is drawn into the mystery of the haunted house, China opens the door on some very real danger… *Publishers Weekly
"China Bayles shares top billing with Sheila Dawson in Albert's diverting 20th cozy set in the touristy Texas town of Pecan Springs (after 2011's Mourning Gloria). China, an ex-lawyer turned herbalist and owner of Thyme and Seasons as well as co-owner of Party Thyme (catering) and Thyme for Tea (tearoom), is a magnet for crime and gossip. Sheila, Pecan Springs's first female police chief, faces triple professional challenges: the arrest of leading citizen George Timms for criminal trespass; sniping from within her department and from some city council members; and the shooting death of computer store owner Larry Kirk, poorly designed to look like a suicide. On a personal level, Sheila and her new husband, Blackie Blackwell, former Adams County sheriff, are still adjusting to married life. Albert handles the dual voices smoothly as the combined talents of China and Sheila blend to reveal multiple crimes hidden beneath the peaceful faÃ§ade of Pecan Springs." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
is exactly what Susan Wittig Albert’s fans look for in her books.” —Cozy Library
“Albert handles the dual voices smoothly as the combined talents of China and Sheila blend to reveal multiple crimes hidden beneath the peaceful facade of Pecan Springs.”—Publishers Weekly
“The investigation is superb as Dawson shows she can handle the lead spotlight.” —Genre Go Round Reviews
“Readers will enjoy the small-town atmosphere, the herbal lore and recipes, and the well-crafted puzzle in this mystery featuring two strong women.” —Booklist
“Mystery lovers… will be captivated by this unique series.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“One of the most endearing and personable amateur sleuths.”—Midwest Book Review
Praise for Carolyn Hart:
andldquo;Carolyn Hartandrsquo;s work is both utterly reliable and utterly unpredictable.andrdquo; andmdash;Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
andldquo;One of the most popular practitioners of the traditional mystery.andrdquo; andmdash;The Cleveland Plain Dealer
andldquo;The Annie Darling books are masterpieces of construction and characterization, with a perfect balance between a puzzle mystery that keeps a reader happily turning pages and well-drawn characters that are as full of surprises as the people in our own lives.andrdquo; andmdash;Connecticut Post
andldquo;Hartandrsquo;s latest cozy puzzler casts a net that will ensnare a wide audience.andrdquo; andmdash;Kirkus Reviews
andldquo;Well-developed characters and a complex, fast-moving plot make for a satisfying read.andrdquo; andmdash;Publishers Weekly
Police Chief Sheila Dawson believes the death of Pecan Spring's computer guru, Larry Kirk, to be a suicide, perhaps triggered by his painful divorce. Further investigation reveals that Kirk's death wasn't self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles' news-Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker.
As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high profile cases like that of George Timms. He was caught breaking into Larry's computer shop to steal his own computer back because of dangerous personal information it contained. Now that Larry is dead, she's sure it's connected to the burglary. And she's also sure she'll get plenty of resistance on her assessment...
Timms's time to turn himself in to the police comes and goes, and he's nowhere to be found. In her investigation, Sheila uncovers secrets, terrible secrets that would drive anyone to kill. So who then? It's up to Sheila to prove she's got what it takes to hunt down the predator that's loose on the streets of Pecan Springs...
As the first female police chief in Pecan Springs, Texas, Sheila Dawson has cracked many a mystery in collaboration with local sleuth China Bayles. Now Sheila puts her smarts to work, sifting through secrets to find a killer on the prowl…
Larry Kirk, Pecan Springs’ computer guru, has been shot dead in his kitchen. At first Sheila believes it to be suicide, but further investigation reveals that Kirk’s death wasn’t self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles’ news—Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker.
As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high-profile cases like that of George Timms, who was caught breaking into Larry’s shop. Now that Larry is dead, Sheila is sure the burglary is connected to the murder. But when Timms disappears instead of turning himself in, Sheila must prove she’s got what it takes to hunt down a predator who’s loose on the streets of Pecan Springs…
Summer is a hectic time of the year for Annie Darling. Sun and scorching temperatures never fail to bring swarms of tourists to her mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, for the latest beach reads. But Annie still finds time to enjoy herself. The Browardandrsquo;s Rock Fourth of July dance is just around the corner, and the island is buzzing with excitementandmdash;Shell Hurst included...
Shell is the kind of woman wives hateandmdash;for good reasonandmdash;and most of them wish she would just disappear. But when she does, and a teenage girl is the only one who seems to notice, Annie canandrsquo;t help but feel like someone should be looking for her. Last seen walking into the pine trees at the Fourth of July fireworks display, Shell has seemingly vanished without a trace.
The residents of Browardandrsquo;s Rock grow uneasy when a second islander mysteriously disappears. Annie and her husband, Max, know something dangerous is brewing. They soon find themselves following a twisted trail marked by blackmail, betrayal, and adultery, winding from the corridors of the islandandrsquo;s lovely inn to a pier lashed by pelting rain, to a gathering on the terrace of a country club where a trap is set for a calculating killerandhellip;
About the Author
Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow's Tears, Cat's Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.