Lavender Lies (China Bayles Series #8)

Lavender Lies (China Bayles Series #8)

4.4 8
by Susan Wittig Albert

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Texas herbalist China Bayles must put her upcoming nuptials on the back burner when a murder investigation entangles her friends and neighbors.


Texas herbalist China Bayles must put her upcoming nuptials on the back burner when a murder investigation entangles her friends and neighbors.

Editorial Reviews
In a letter written exclusively for shoppers, Susan Wittig Albert discusses the key plant in her latest China Bayles herbal mystery, Lavender Lies. According to Wittig, lavender is an amazing plant: It can induce sleep, calm nerves, sooth headaches, even cure those pesky stomach grumbles, as Ms. Albert demonstrates with a scrumptious cookie recipe. So scroll down, eat up, and enjoy!

A Letter from Susan Wittig Albert

If you're a lover of lavender, you're not alone in your passion. The sharply clean, refreshing scent of its delicate flowers and silver-gray foliage was cherished in early times by the Egyptians (who used it to make mummies), the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Romans, and by gardeners everywhere.

Lavender grows best under its native conditions -- that is, where it can have bright sun and excellent drainage. If lavender doesn't like your moist, shady garden, try it in the hot dry, gravelly space between the curb and the sidewalk where everything else fries to a crisp. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you'll need to plant a winter-hardy variety and toss a mulch blanket around it in winter. To harvest, pick the spikes just as the flowers are about to open, watching for snakes and fairies. (Sicilians used to believe that fairies took the form of snakes and wound themselves around the lavender plant.) Hang in a dark place to dry. Your closet is good, particularly because you can visit it often and sniff to your heart's delight. You can also use it in your bath, or to flavor cookies and cakes, make tangy vinegars, and brew fragrant teas.

Lavender's healing properties have been known and exploited for centuries. It has been used to soothe headaches, calm the nerves, relieve anxiety, quiet indigestion, induce sleep, relax sore muscles, and kill germs. Recent research shows that the plant contains a powerful antiseptic. Scientists have also confirmed that the scent of lavender lulls you to sleep by slowing the central nervous system. Other research suggests that the plant may have anti-cancer potential as well, triggering a self-destruct mechanism that helps cancer cells destroy themselves.

All this, and pretty, too!


Lavender Cookies: 2 eggs 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. lavender flowers 1 1/2 cups flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together eggs, margarine, sugar, and lavender until well mixed. Sift flower, baking powder, and salt together. Add to creamed mixture and stir until blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
China Bayles Series , #8
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Danville, Illinois
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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Lavender Lies (China Bayles Series #8) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good China Bayles mystery. I was a little disillusioned after the previous two in the series, but this is a great one. I really enjoyed the story, and the wedding sideline was a great one. China is her usual rushed self in this story, and she's trying hard to concentrate only on her upcoming nuptials, but gets involved in spite of herself with another murder. This murder is of a citizen of Pecan Springs, who no one will really miss that much (except his wife). He's a sharpy, and he gets cut on his own misdeeds. The story moves along swiftly, and we see China trying to get wedding plans in amongst murders, hurricanes and faled wedding cakes. It's great. Read this for a whomping good ride. (Oh, and the recipes are good too). The books are worth a read for the recipes and for the plant lore that the reader gathers as they read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago