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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
Murder and Mayhem for China Bayles
It's Christmastime in Pecan Springs, Texas, but in Susan Wittig Albert's newest herbal mystery, Mistletoe Man, the holiday isn't bringing much cheer for former lawyer China Bayles or any of her neighbors. Quite a bit is amiss: For starters, Ruby Wilcox, China's best friend and business partner, is suddenly and unusually irritable and secretive. Also, the wreaths that the Fletcher sisters make on their farm are in low supply, and the sisters' truck is suddenly out of commission. And to top it off, China's store, Thyme for Tea, desperately needs more mistletoe for the holidays, and Carl Swenson, the loner who supplies it, is impossible to reach. All this is happening as China is getting used to running her store, as well as being a newlywed and stepmother.
When China stops by the Fletcher residence to pick up more wreaths, the sisters ask her for legal advice regarding their land. The deal they signed for this land is this: If the Fletchers are able to pay off the land within a certain amount of time, they get to keep it. But if they can't pay it off, the land's original owner, Carl Swenson, not only gets to keep the land but also all of the payments the Fletchers have made thus far.
All was going so well, the Fletchers explain: They were able to take Swenson's dry Texas land and successfully harvest their herb and flower crops. But suddenly, it appears that someone is trying to sabotage their success with acts of vandalism, such as putting sugar in the gas tank of their ailing truck. Although there's no proof, it seems clear to the Fletchers that there's only one person -- Carl Swenson -- who could possibly profit from their problems, and Terry Fletcher makes it clear she'll do anything in her power to protect her land.
But then, Carl Swenson is found dead.
Now China doesn't know who or what to believe. When she begins sleuthing, she discovers that Terry has a haunting secret; China also learns that Terry isn't the only one in Pecan Springs who can make that claim. Mistletoe Man is another winning cozy from the talented Albert, full of all the excitement, surprise, and interesting facts that the author has traditionally laced throughout her popular ongoing series.