Hangman's Root (China Bayles Series #3)

( 3 )

Overview

Fur is flying in Pecan Springs, Texas, as lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles finds herself snarled in a deadly animal rights dispute. Dottie Riddle, biology professor at Central Texas State University and the notorious Cat Lady of Pecan Springs, runs the ritziest cat rescue operation in Texas. But Dottie's generous concern for strays has earned her the hatred of neighbor and fellow biology professor Miles Harwick, and her active opposition to the biology department's animal experimentation program has brought ...
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Overview

Fur is flying in Pecan Springs, Texas, as lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles finds herself snarled in a deadly animal rights dispute. Dottie Riddle, biology professor at Central Texas State University and the notorious Cat Lady of Pecan Springs, runs the ritziest cat rescue operation in Texas. But Dottie's generous concern for strays has earned her the hatred of neighbor and fellow biology professor Miles Harwick, and her active opposition to the biology department's animal experimentation program has brought her more academic enemies than she can count. So when Harwick is found dead with his neck in a noose, police chief Bubba Harris charges Dottie with murder. Dottie assures her good friend China Bayles that, although she hated the man, she is not a killer. As China begins to unravel the knotted threads of the dead man's life, she discovers that Dottie isn't the only one who may have wanted him dead. There's the lab assistant who knows that animals weren't the dead man's only victims. There's the student animal rights activist who pulls China's best friend, Ruby Wilcox, into the turmoil. And there's the biology chairman who shared with the dead man a festering secret that threatens the entire department. Which of them fastened the noose around the dead man's neck? Or was it, in fact, a vengeful suicide? Ably assisted by tall, flaming-haired Ruby Wilcox, law school nemesis Justine Wyzinski ("The Whiz"), and stunning Sheila ("Smart Cookie") Dawson, Chief of Security at CTSU, China digs for the root of evil deep in the hearts of people who had a motive for murder. But meanwhile she must also dig deep into her own heart to discover how she feels about sexy ex-cop Mike McQuaid, who gives her a final ultimatum about their relationship. The China Bayles mysteries are a spicy brew of remarkable characters, intricate plots, and small-town shenanigans, stirred together with a rich seasoning of herbal magic. Hangman's Root is the best yet in this original and critical

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Welcome back in her third appearance (following Thyme of Death and Witches' Bane) is China Bayles, the prickly and independent former lawyer who swerved out of the Houston fast lane to open an herb shop in Pecan Springs, Tex. Miles Harwick, an unpopular biology professor whose mild appearance belies a vindictive nature, is found drugged and hanged in his office even as animal rights activists are in the quad protesting his research and the new lab he wanted to build. When China's friend, the cat-loving and plain-talking Dottie Riddle, Harwick's neighbor and colleague opposed to his plans, becomes the main suspect, the herb-shop proprietor reluctantly realizes that her lawyer's instincts can't be left behind as easily as big-city life and activates the old-girl network to come to Dottie's defense. Despite a slow start and little herbal lore, the plot unfolds briskly and with sly humor as China and friends, some of the savviest women to inhabit mysteries since Harriet Vane, investigate crimes and motives. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425148983
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: China Bayles Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 250,969
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Wittig Albert

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.

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.

Biography

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 now lives with her husband, Bill, in the country outside of Austin, Texas. In addition to the China Bayles mysteries, she writes the Victorian Mysteries series, along with her husband, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books, LTD.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview with Albert, she revealed some fun facts about herself:

"My first job was selling ladies' undies at Woolworth's for 35 cents an hour in Danville, Illinois."

I learned to garden from my mother, who thought that the most important thing you did every spring was to plant the potatoes. I learned to read from my father, who never planted a potato in his life. Somehow, I managed to create a life and make a living between these two extremes. Happily, I haven't had to go back to selling undies. Not yet, anyway."

"I love living in the country with Bill, two black Labs, and a black cat. I'd rather read a book or write one than do just about anything else in the world, except maybe for gardening and sitting in a bathtub full of hot, hot water and bubbles. Or knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing -- I'm a fiber-arts fanatic."

"You can find out what I'm doing today (or what I did yesterday) by checking out my web log, at susanalbert.typepad.com/lifescapes (but there's no web cam, so don't look for me in the bathtub)."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Robin Paige
    1. Date of Birth:
      1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Danville, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Carry on China!

    I really like this series, and this, the third book in the series is just as good as the others. In this book China takes on a challenging case to try to absolve her friend of a murder that was staged to look like she had done it. China relies on her lawyer friend and her very eccentric friend Ruby to help her friend - the town eccentric called the 'cat lady'. We also see China take the big step of a commitment with her boyfriend. There's enough murder and mayhem as well as gardening information to satisfy anyone who is of that bent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2003

    Crazy Cat Women Unite

    This book more fully develops China as a character. Her involvement with these people in Pecan Springs and her close friendship with Ruby make China seem a more warm and lovable character. As usual the mystery is great, and Pecan Springs, Ruby, and China are more fully revealed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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