Witches' Bane (China Bayles Series #2)

( 3 )

Overview

The second China Bayles mystery. Herb shop owner China is shocked when Halloween hijinks take a gruesome turn in Pecan Springs, ending in a brutal murder. And China is even more shocked when her friend Ruby, a New Age expert in tarot and astrology, becomes the prime suspect after a minister accuses her of witchcraft.

The second China Bayles mystery. Herb shop owner China is shocked when Halloween hijinks take a gruesome turn in Pecan Springs, ending in a brutal ...

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Overview

The second China Bayles mystery. Herb shop owner China is shocked when Halloween hijinks take a gruesome turn in Pecan Springs, ending in a brutal murder. And China is even more shocked when her friend Ruby, a New Age expert in tarot and astrology, becomes the prime suspect after a minister accuses her of witchcraft.

The second China Bayles mystery. Herb shop owner China is shocked when Halloween hijinks take a gruesome turn in Pecan Springs, ending in a brutal murder. And China is even more shocked when her friend Ruby, a New Age expert in tarot and astrology, becomes the prime suspect after a minister accuses her of witchcraft.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Murder and suspicion of witchcraft in a small Texas town draw attorney-turned-herbalist China Bayles into her second case (after Thyme of Death ). Rumors of devil worship are rampant in Pecan Springs following the probable suicide of a teenager and the unexpected deaths of a transient and a nursing home resident. The turmoil increases when the Reverend Billy Lee Harbuck begins picketing the Crystal Cave, a New Age shop, claiming that the owner, China's friend Ruby Wilcox, and her customers are practicing witchcraft. Wealthy Sybil Rand, notorious for maintaining a garden of poisonous plants, is found murdered with Ruby's knife after a feminist Halloween party attended by assorted goddess worshippers. Ruby becomes the prime suspect. Other candidates for the murderer's role are Ruby's newest love interest, Andrew Drake, who has a mysterious past and may have been Sybil's lover, and, despite his excellent alibi, the widower, C. W. Rand, managing partner of a nearby resort and sometime ladies' man. As China and her lover, criminal justice professor and ex-cop Mike McQuaid, delve into the case, China must cope with her feelings for an alcoholic mother who is finally taking control of her own life. Albert's lively mystery captures the flavor of a modern small-town being reshaped by big-city refugees. Mystery Guild alternate. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A former fast-lane lawyer, now an herb-shop proprietress, China Bayles has both the expertise and the time to help her friends when they get into trouble. After police accuse best friend Ruby's new boyfriend of a cultlike murder, China charges to the rescue. A local anti-Satan, anti-witchcraft, anti-anything-different preacher with a grudge against the two women becomes the prime suspect. This novel has a nicely constructed plot and captivating characters and dialog. Even better than Thyme of Death ( LJ 11/1/92).
Emily Melton
High-powered Houston attorney China Bayles has forsaken big bucks in the big city to become a good ol' gal in tiny Pecan Springs, Texas. She's opened an herb store and now dabbles in New Age arts and crafts, hangs out with the local "single and loving it" ladies, and solves crimes in her spare time. And it's a good thing she does--Pecan Springs is in the throes of a witch hunt. First it was the appearance of sacrificial artifacts. Then it was a Wiccan Night of the Dead celebration. Next someone slit the throats of the town pets. And now the wife of a local developer has been found brutally murdered. Albert dishes up abundant Tex-Mex detail (flora, fauna, lingo), hearty local recipes and cooking tips, herbal wisdom, and lots of female bonding scenarios--a combination ripe with cornball potential. Luckily, Albert also offers a delightful cast of unusual characters, a catchy plot, and a refreshing heroine to balance the often too-hearty folksiness. On the whole, an entertaining and engaging story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425144060
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Series: China Bayles Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 203,763
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 7.04 (h) x 0.76 (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.

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
  • Posted February 9, 2010

    Enjoyable Series

    My mom really enjoys this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Almost as good as the first!

    In this second book in the series, there appears to be witchy deeds occurring in Pecan Springs. All kinds of strange things happen, such as pets with their throats slit, secret meetings in the night, and finally a murder of the wife of a prominant citizen. China and Ruby set out to determine who and what is behind all the mayhem.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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