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AN Unthymely Death

by Susan Wittig Albert

Now readers can join China Bayles in ten puzzling cases--and get a taste of her world. This delightful collection features loads of wonderful herbal tidbits on everything from rosemary to feverfew to catnip; recipes for such to-die-for dishes as a Deadly Chocolate Valentine, Ruby's Applesauce Mint Bread, China's Five-Spice Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry, and McQuaid's Tex Mex-and a host of creative ideas for garden and home. It's a one-of-a-kind collection featuring a one-of-a-kind sleuth--who's worth spending some "quality thyme" with!

Bittersweet (China Bayles #23)

by Susan Wittig Albert

New from the author of Death Come Quickly and Widow's Tears<P><P> This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles--who teams up with an old friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder in a South Texas ranching community...<P> It's Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother's husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise--turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She's also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie "Mack" Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.<P> How will Leatha manage if Sam can't carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.<P> Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen's death may not have been an accident, and if there's a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger...

Bleeding Hearts (China Bayles #14)

by Susan Wittig Albert

With her tea and herbal businesses expanding faster than she could have imagined, China Bayles is already short on time-all the time. But even she can't refuse when her stepson's principal approaches her to conduct a sensitive investigation of one of Pecan Springs's most prominent citizens. Coach Tim Duffy is handsome, charming, and married to a member of the local aristocracy. He also led the high school football team to victory in the Texas state championships for two years in a row, which makes him a god on earth, as far as some people are concerned. But there's one person who disagrees. An anonymous accuser has made shocking allegations of improper behavior-accusations that lead China to look into the coach's past. What she uncovers is a perplexing story Of forbidden desire, deception, and questionable circumstances surrounding a young woman's death. And the deeper China digs, the more she fears that the town's beloved coach may be more dangerous than anyone knows-and that his latest obsession is about to hit all too close to her own home...

Blood Orange: A China Bayles Mystery

by Susan Wittig Albert

In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital... It's mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell. At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly's knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do. But on her way to China's house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it's up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover--who happens to be the sister of China's friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice? China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth--but she may be putting her own life at risk...From the Hardcover edition.

Bloodroot

by Susan Wittig Albert

Lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles returns to the Deep South, where her family's legacy of silence is at last broken--and the past finally, unforgettably, speaks the truth... A frantic phone call from her mother brings China back to her family's Mississippi plantation--a place she'd forsaken long ago. But the late-spring air is thick with fear--and from the moment of her arrival, China knows that something has gone desperately wrong at Jordan's Crossing. An ancient property deed has surfaced--and the man who uncovered it has mysteriously vanished. And as the fates and fortunes of two very different families collide in frightening, unpredictable ways, China must face disturbing new questions about her family's past--and her own future...

Bloodroot (China Bayles #10)

by Susan Wittig Albert

Lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles returns to the Deep South, where her family's legacy of silence is at last broken--and the past finally, unforgettably, speaks the truth...<P> A frantic phone call from her mother brings China back to her family's Mississippi plantation--a place she'd forsaken long ago. But the late-spring air is thick with fear--and from the moment of her arrival, China knows that something has gone desperately wrong at Jordan's Crossing. An ancient property deed has surfaced--and the man who uncovered it has mysteriously vanished. And as the fates and fortunes of two very different families collide in frightening, unpredictable ways, China must face disturbing new questions about her family's past--and her own future...

Cat's Claw (China Bayles #20)

by Susan Wittig Albert

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... <P> 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. <P> 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...

Chile Death

by Susan Wittig Albert

Ex-lawyer turned herbalist and amateur sleuth China Bayles attends a chili cookoff where a womanizing judge dies of an allergic reaction to peanuts. And since everyone knows peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili, China knows something suspicious is afoot...

Chile Death (China Bayles #7)

by Susan Wittig Albert

China had finally agreed to marry Mike McQuaid- and then he'd been paralyzed in the line of duty. Fully committed, she knows she'll tough it out, no matter how long his recovery might take. But even during this time of crisis, life goes on. And China's mother is making sure of that-by moving in and taking over. much to China's annoyance. The annual chili cook-off sounds like a nice respite from the stress, so China gladly accompanies her wheelchair-bound sweetheart to the event. But tragedy strikes when cook-off judge Jerry Jeff Cody dies of a severe allergic reaction-to a peanut. Everyone knows peanuts don't belong in a bowl of Texas chili...and China knows something suspicious is afoot. Now. with rumors flying about foul play at McQuaid's hospital- and whispered stories about Jerry Jeff's womanizing ways-things are heating up all over...

China Bayles' Book of Days

by Susan Wittig Albert

Readers of the China Bayles mystery novels are familiar with the usefulness and wonder of the many herbs the amateur sleuth sells in her beloved Thyme and Seasons shop. Compiled by national bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert at the request of her fans, China Bayles' Book of Days gathers together tidbits and treasures about plants and reveals ways you can put more green into your daily life. Featuring 365 days of recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more, this special volume is a personal calendar of the legends and lore of herbs and also features brand-new essays from the author, clues from China's mysteries, and some special contributions by the irrepressible members of the Myra Merryweather Herb Guild, Pecan Springs's oldest civic organization.

The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose

by Susan Wittig Albert

National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to small-town Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s--and the Darling Dahlias, the ladies of a garden club who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty solving mysteries... Just in time for the Confederate Day celebration, the Darling Dahlias are ready to plant Confederate roses along the town cemetery. Of course the plant is in fact a hibiscus. The Confederate rose is not the only thing that is not what it first appears to be. Earle Scroggins, the county treasurer, has got the sheriff thinking that Verna Tidwell is behind a missing $15,000. But Darling Dahlias president Liz Lacy is determined to prove Verna is not a thief. And club member Miss Rogers has discovered a secret code embroidered under the cover of a pillow that belonged to her grandmother. With missing money, mysterious messages, and the strange behavior of one resident, Darling, Alabama, on the eve of Confederate Day, is anything but a sleepy little town... Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

by Susan Wittig Albert

The good old ladies of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their town beautiful. The Darling Dahlias garden club is off to a good start until rumors of trouble at a bank, an escaped convict, and a ghost digging around their tree surface. If anyone can get to the root of these mysteries, it's the Darling Dahlias.

The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady

by Susan Wittig Albert

New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert transports readers to the summer of 1934, when a sensational murder shakes up the small Southern town of Darling, Alabama--and pulls in the ladies of the Darling Dahlias' garden club, who never let the grass grow under their feet when there's a mystery to solve...The eleven o'clock lady has always been one of garden club president Liz Lacy's favorite spring wildflowers. The plant is so named because the white blossoms don't open until the sun shines directly on them and wakes them up.But another Eleven O'Clock Lady is never going to wake up again. Rona Jean Hancock--a telephone switchboard operator who earned her nickname because her shift ended at eleven, when her nightlife was just beginning--has been found strangled with her own silk stocking in a very unladylike position.Gossip sprouts like weeds in a small town, and Rona Jean's somewhat wild reputation is the topic of much speculation regarding who might have killed her. As the Darling Dahlias begin to sort through Rona Jean's private affairs, it appears there may be a connection to some skullduggery at the local Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Working at the camp, garden club vice president Ophelia Snow digs around to expose the truth...before a killer pulls up stakes and gets away with murder.Includes Southern-style Depression-era RecipesFrom the Hardcover edition.

The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies

by Susan Wittig Albert

From the national bestselling author of the China Bayles Mysteries--the second novel in a new series featuring the ladies of a garden club in Darling, Alabama, who also dabble in digging through clues--the Darling Dahlias. As Darling's town librarian is fond of saying: "Naked Ladies is not a respectable name for a plant." A lily by any other name would certainly smell as sweet--and look just as beautiful as the Naked Ladies decorating Miss Hamer's lawn... It seems Miss Hamer's house may also be home to naked ladies of a different sort. Rumors sprout that the elderly recluse's visiting niece and her friend are actually the Naughty and Nice Sisters from the Ziegfield Frolic, known for dancing nearly naked. When a well-dressed man from Chicago arrives, asking about the mysterious ladies, the Dahlias begin to suspect it may be more than modesty that's causing both women to lie low. Someone is covering up something sinister... Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!

The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush

by Susan Wittig Albert

National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert takes readers back in time to small-town Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s--where the Darling Savings and Trust has just closed and the women of the Darling Dahlias' garden club are betting their bottom dollar there's going to be trouble... It's the spring of 1933 and times are tough all over. The only businessman not struggling is moonshiner Mickey LeDoux, though he still has to steer clear of federal agents. But banks are closing all over the country, and the small town of Darling is no exception. Folks are suddenly caught short on cash and everyone is in a panic. Desperate to avoid disaster, several town leaders--including Alvin Duffy, the bank's new vice president--hatch a plan to print Darling Dollars on newspaperman Charlie Dickens' printing press. The "funny money" can serve as temporary currency so the town can function. But when the first printing of the scrip disappears, the Darling Dahlias set out to discover who made an unauthorized withdrawal. Meanwhile County Treasurer Verna Tidwell questions whether she can trust Alvin Duffy--and the feelings he stirs up inside her. And Liz Lacy learns her longtime beau may be forced into a shotgun wedding. Seems other troubles don't just go away when there's a crisis. There'll be no pennies from heaven, but if anyone can balance things out, folks can bank on the Darling Dahlias... Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes

The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star

by Susan Wittig Albert

National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s--where the Darling Dahlias, the colorful ladies of a garden club, are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals... The Texas Star herself--Miss Lily Dare, the "fastest woman in the world"--is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she's also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival--where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus--rumors are flying. Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling's local ladies? And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May's Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody's business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery? As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it's all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed... Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!

Dead Man's Bones

by Susan Wittig Albert

Susan Wittig Albert's exciting mysteries have been praised as "unique" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) and "fascinating" (Booklist). Now, a dead man's bones are uncovered--and Texas ex-lawyer and herbalist China Bayles must dig into a pair of murders separated by time but connected by motive... When China's teenage son finds some skeletal remains during a local cave dig--remains that show a not-so-accidental death--it's a disturbing development. But China doesn't let it distract her from the opening of the new community theater donated by the elderly Obermann sisters. Unfortunately, the haughty, bullying Jane Obermann--and her frail, frightened younger sister--made the donation with a condition: that the first production be a play written by Jane about their aristocratic family history. The premiere party ends with a bang when a ne'er-do-well local handyman is shot dead by Jane while breaking into the Obermann estate. It seems like a clear-cut case of self-defense. But China senses something else going on behind the scenes. Now, the key to catching a killer might be the mysterious bones in the cave--a clue from the past that could help China solve a mystery in the present...

Death Come Quickly

by Susan Wittig Albert

"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 friend's murder may be the key to solving a fifteen-year-old cold case... When China's and Ruby's friend Karen Prior is mugged in a mall parking lot and dies a few days later, China begins to suspect that her friend's 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 Wyzinski--aka the Whiz--China is determined to track down the murderer. But is she painting herself into a corner from which there's no escape?

Dilly of a Death (China Bayles #12)

by Susan Wittig Albert

China Bayles is in a pickle. The daughter of her best friend, Ruby, has turned up on her doorstep, pregnant and in need of a place to live. And her otherwise sensible husband has announced that he's bored with teaching and ready for a career change." "Say "hello" to P.I. Mike McQuaid and Associates. There aren't actually any "associates" - unless you count Ruby and China, of course. But the title does have a nice, official ring to it. His first client is Phoebe the Pickle Queen, owner of the biggest little pickle business in Texas. According to Phoebe, her plant manager is embezzling, and she wants McQuaid to follow the money." Meanwhile, Pecan Springs is hosting the annual Picklefest - and this year, China and Ruby are on the planning committee, along with Phoebe. But just days before the festival starts, the Pickle Queen disappears. Some say she sold her business and split; others think the answer may lie with her missing boyfriend. It's up to McQuaid and China to search for the Pickle Queen - and for clues in a case that promises to leave a very sour taste.

An Extraordinary Year Of Ordinary Days

by Susan Wittig Albert

From Eudora Welty's memoir of childhood to May Sarton's reflections on her seventieth year, writers' journals offer an irresistible opportunity to join a creative thinker in musing on the events-whether in daily life or on a global scale-that shape our lives. In An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, best-selling mystery novelist Susan Wittig Albert invites us to revisit one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, 2008, through the lens of 365 ordinary days in which her reading, writing, and thinking about issues in the wider world-from wars and economic recession to climate change-caused her to reconsider and reshape daily practices in her personal life. Albert's journal provides an engaging account of how the business of being a successful working writer blends with her rural life in the Texas Hill Country and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. As her eclectic daily reading ranges across topics from economics, food production, and oil and energy policy to poetry, place, and the writing life, Albert becomes increasingly concerned about the natural world and the threats facing it, especially climate change and resource depletion. Asking herself, "What does it mean? And what ought I do about it?", she determines practical steps to take, such as growing more food in her garden, and also helps us as readers make sense of these issues and consider what our own responses might be.

Hangman's Root (China Bayles #3)

by Susan Wittig Albert

In her most challenging case yet, lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles has to prove the innocence of her friend Dottie, an animal rights activist charged with the murder of a prominent animal researcher. As China sorts through the dead man's past, she learns that Dottie isn't the one who may have wanted him dead.

Holly Blues (China Bayles #18)

by Susan Wittig Albert

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.

Indigo Dying (China Bayles #11)

by Susan Wittig Albert

China Bayles heads to the tiny town of Indigo, Texas, to teach a Colors to Dye For workshop. But she quickly discovers that Indigo is a town with more than its share of dark secrets-secrets that someone thinks are worth killing to keep.

Lavender Lies (China Bayles #8)

by Susan Wittig Albert

China must put her upcoming nuptials on the back burner when a murder investigation entangles her friends and neighbors... "Good riddance" is the response of every Pecan Springs resident to the murder of Edgar Coleman, a local real estate shark found shot to death in his garage. With the small-town gossip mill running full tilt, it doesn't take long for China to learn that Coleman was having numerous affairs and was blackmailing City Council members for their votes on a bad land development deal. With her fiance\ interim police chief Mike McQuaid, immersed in the murder investigation-and the suspect list growing longer by the minute-China can forget about a honeymoon, unless she can find the killer. As China investigates, she starts digging up dirt on people she knows-and unearthing secrets best left six feet under...

Love Lies Bleeding

by Susan Wittig Albert

The newest in the nationally bestselling series--a "fast-paced and absorbing" tale (Midwest Book Review). Ex-lawyer and herb-shop proprietor China Bayles is investigating the mystery of retired Texas Ranger shot dead with his wife's gun...and at the same time trying to sort out some mysteries about her own relationship after she overhears a suspicious phone conversation...

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