Nightshade (China Bayles Series #16)

( 12 )

Overview

China's herb shop and catering business may be thriving, but she's still reeling from her father's death, and not even remotely interested in her half-brother Miles's investigation into that event. China's husband, on the other hand, has no such qualms. And when fate forces her to get involved as well, China realizes it's time to bring the past to light-or else it will haunt her the rest of her life.

But China and McQuaid discover that Miles may have been keeping as many secrets...

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Nightshade (China Bayles Series #16)

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Overview

China's herb shop and catering business may be thriving, but she's still reeling from her father's death, and not even remotely interested in her half-brother Miles's investigation into that event. China's husband, on the other hand, has no such qualms. And when fate forces her to get involved as well, China realizes it's time to bring the past to light-or else it will haunt her the rest of her life.

But China and McQuaid discover that Miles may have been keeping as many secrets as he seemed determined to uncover. How deep do the layers of secrecy go? And who has a stake in concealing the truth after sixteen years?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Former attorney China Bayles, now the proprietor of a small herb shop in Pecan Springs, Tex., finally gets some answers to her questions about the death of her cold, distant father, who perished in a fiery car accident 16 years earlier, in the satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that began with Bleeding Hearts and Spanish Dagger, the preceding two books within Albert's long-running cozy series. When China's half-brother, Miles, hires China's husband, Mike McQuaid, a former homicide officer struggling to establish himself as a PI, to investigate the fatal crash, China isn't sure this is a good idea. Her reservations prove well founded after the secretive Miles turns out to have his own agenda. Fans will be pleased that by supplementing China's usual first-person narration with McQuaid's third-person perspective, Albert casts fresh light on his character and his relationship with China. Snippets of plant lore, mostly to do with the nightshade family, add spice. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
A fresh fatality forces China Bayles, herbalist, ex-lawyer and amateur sleuth, to confront the mystery of her emotionally distant father's death. China has never enjoyed an easy relationship with her recently revealed illegitimate half brother Miles, who hired China's husband McQuaid to investigate their father's death in a fiery car crash. When Miles himself is killed in a hit-and-run incident, China is named executor of his estate. She discovers that Miles, who has been keeping secrets from McQuaid, already knew a great deal more than he revealed about their father's death and several other suspicious deaths, all related to their father's legal work for a politically connected, none-too-ethical engineering firm that's grown prosperous on lucrative government contracts for half a century. For years Miles's mother Laura had kept his father's wrecked car hidden away in her cousin Ellie's Texas Hill Country barn. Once McQuaid sees the wreck, he quickly realizes that the fatal crash was no accident. When the barn is torched and Ellie is shot, China and McQuaid team up to reveal the killer. The conclusion to the trilogy exploring China's relationship with her father (Spanish Dagger, 2007, etc.) does a fine job of bringing together all the bits and pieces, even for those who have not read the first two installments.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615515486
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: China Bayles Series , #16
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2012

    It's okay, but...

    Nightshade is an okay read, but it is not Ms. Albert's best. I know it must be a reach sometimes to come up with one more Chian story; however, sometimes I think China can be so stupid. Does Susan Albert think she has to oversimplify for her readers. Of course, I keep reading them, but I only have 2 more loaded in my NOOK. I think I may bid a fond farewell to China and Ruby and the rest.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    fun & sarcastic

    You have to love sarcasm or at least "wit" to love Susan Wittig Albert and of course you have to like a mystery. It might be even better if you enjoy reading about herbs and plants. I enjoyed every moment of this but that is because I often enjoy a book because I like the character.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Susan Wittig Albert never disappoints.

    I have been reading Susan Wittig Albert for years now and I love all of her books. I love her writing style which pulls you right into the story. Every time I pick up a China Bayles mystery, I feel like I'm reading about an old friend. The plots are always unique and interesting. I love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    Nightshade; might grow on some readers

    My tastes in books and authors runs more towards Kathy Reichs and Elizabeth George, so this was not a good match for me. Might be great for someone liking an easy, non griping plot, much ramblling about side thoughts, and who also likes gardening.

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