Synopses & Reviews
Annie Darlingowner of the mystery bookstore, Death on Demandprefers fictional crimes as opposed to the real things. But in one tragic week, two acts of violence shake the island community of Browards Rock. First, a beloved doctor is found shot dead, seemingly by his own hand. Only days later, a local artist is arrested after his wife is found murdered, bludgeoned by her husbands sculpting mallet.
Convinced her brother did not commit suicide, the doctors sister turns to Annie and her husband, Max, for help. She has found a cryptic sketch her brother drew, linking him with the murdered woman. Did someone want them both out of the picture?
With the police considering both cases as good as closed, its up to Annie and Max to sort through a rogues gallery of suspects to see if someone is trying to frame the artist. But if Annie isnt careful, she may find herself having her own brush with death
"The bond between China Bayles and her boon friend and business partner, Ruby Wilcox, suffers in Albert's enjoyable 21st cozy featuring the Pecan Springs, Tex., ex-lawyer and herbalist (after 2012's Cat's Claw). Unfolding along with the present-day story is the tragic tale of the horrific Galveston hurricane of 1900 and its impact on Rachel Blackwood; her husband, a bank vice-president; and their five children. Ruby answers a plea for help from old friend Claire Conway, who has inherited the Blackwood family mansion in the tiny town of Round Top. Unnatural occurrences, including ghost sightings, are frustrating Claire's plans to turn the old place into a B&B. While Claire and Ruby wrestle with spirits, China must deal with Ruby's pushy sister, Ramona, who's offering to buy Ruby out completely, a prospect that sends China running to Round Top. As for plant lore, this installment focuses on florigraphy the language of flowers. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Another herbal treat from national bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert.
While Pecan Springs, Texas bustles back to life in the warmth of spring, one woman's life is tragically brought to an end. Herbalist (and former lawyer)China Bayles happens upon a burning house trailer and hears a woman screaming for help. The evidence leaves no doubt that it's arson homicide.
Jessica Nelson, an intern-reporter at the local paper, is assigned to cover the story. But she's gotten herself too deeply involved. When Jessica disappears, China is determined to find her, before she becomes headlines herself.
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...
"In a class with...sleuths V.I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum," China Bayles deals with a most unwelcome guest...
China Bayles is fit to spit when her husband's troubled ex-wife, Sally, shows up at her herb shop, claiming to be broke with nowhere else to turn. China isn't sure if it's the goodness of her heart or the scent of Christmas wreaths, but she invites Sally to stay.
Then China starts receiving menacing calls from an "ex" of Sally's, who seems to have a connection to the murder of her parents nearly a decade ago. With her P.I. husband out of town, it's up to China to weed out the truth behind whatever it is Sally's running from before danger catches up to all of them....
China Bayles isn't happy when a Texas wind blows her husband's ex-wife, and the mother of China's stepson, into her herb shop. Sally is known to have a split personality and fall into constant trouble with the law, but she claims she has nowhere else to turn. Now its up to China to weed out whatever it is Sally's running from before the truth catches up to them all.
Herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum” (Publishers Weekly). In Widows Tears, a haunted house may hold the key to solving the murder of one of Chinas friends
After losing her family and home in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Rachel Blackwood rebuilt her house a hundred miles inland and later died there, still wrapped in her grief.
In present-day Texas, Claire, the grandniece of Rachels caretaker, has inherited the house and wants to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast. But she is concerned that its haunted, so she calls in her friend Rubywho has the gift of extrasensory perceptionto 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
One of the most endearing and personable amateur sleuths” (Midwest Book Review), herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is back. In Death Come Quickly, a friends murder may be the key to solving a fifteen-year-old cold case
When Chinas and Rubys friend Karen Prior is mugged in a mall parking lot and dies a few days later, China begins to suspect that her friends death was not a random assault. Karen was a filmmaker supervising a student documentary about the fifteen-year-old murder of a woman named Christine Morris and the acquittal of the man accused of the crime. Is it possible that the same person who killed Christine Morris targeted Karen?
Delving into the cold case, China learns the motive for the first murder may be related to a valuable collection of Mexican art. Enlisting the help of her San Antonio lawyer friend Justine Wyzinskiaka the WhizChina is determined to track down the murderer. But is she painting herself into a corner from which theres no escape?
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.