Wormwood (China Bayles Series #17)

Wormwood (China Bayles Series #17)

3.9 15
by Susan Wittig Albert
     
 

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Evil can worm its way into the purest of hearts...

China Bayles needs rest, and a historic Shaker village in Kentucky seems the ideal place for it. There she can learn about the intriguing, dwindling Shaker culture and its medicinal herbs. Unfortunately, the village is plagued with misfortune and strife. China wonders if, with the help of some age-old

Overview

Evil can worm its way into the purest of hearts...

China Bayles needs rest, and a historic Shaker village in Kentucky seems the ideal place for it. There she can learn about the intriguing, dwindling Shaker culture and its medicinal herbs. Unfortunately, the village is plagued with misfortune and strife. China wonders if, with the help of some age-old journals full of scandal, she can get to the bottom of it. But after a shocking death occurs during her stay, China will plunge into the archives of another time to connect the sins of the past with a modern-day murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Murders past and present with a Shaker link intersect in alarming ways in Albert's engaging 17th China Bayles puzzler (after 2008's Nightshade). Recent painful events help prompt China, who runs an herb shop and tearoom in Pecan Springs, Tex., to visit her herbalist friend Martha Edmond at Kentucky's Mount Zion Shaker Village, whose board president, Rachel Hart, wants to turn the quaint Shaker museum center into an upscale spa, contrary to the spirit of the original believers. Martha asks China to investigate recent disturbing events, including vandalism, the suicide of a thieving gift shop manager and, according to financial director Allie Chatham, Rachel's embezzlement of funds. When Allie's later found dead in Zion's pool, where a Shaker woman drowned in 1912, Martha and China suspect murder. Shaker-inspired recipes, excerpts from a fictional Shaker journal, insights into the Shaker religion and plenty of herbal lore enhance another winner from this dependable veteran. Author tour. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425233863
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/06/2010
Series:
China Bayles Series, #17
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
222,652
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(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:
1940
Place of Birth:
Danville, Illinois
Education:
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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Wormwood (China Bayles Series #17) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
TRaceyCity More than 1 year ago
This book was quite different than the regular China Bayle's mysteries.This book included letters from a church group long ago.After a chapter of two you adjusted to this change in format.It was good and in the end it helped to explain the story.Was a very enjoyable book to read.
jj39 More than 1 year ago
Albert is a favorite because of her writing style and her documenting research on the subjects she chooses plus the time period. The Shaker story is fascinating and a departure from her usual murder mystery with a touch of herbal lore. This story about the Shakers is one that surprised me, but then again, truth is always a revelation. They were just as human as the rest of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MysticTravel More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to this book with its Shaker background, but I was so disappointed! It was so predictable. From the moment you meet the victim and the killer, you just know what will happen. Again, I think Ms. Albert is dumbing down her stories and I don't know why. I have one left loaded in my NOOK and I don't know if I will even read it. It is too bad because I have bought all of the China books. It is like looking at an old friend who had changed and not for the better. You have to wonder why...
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RajNC More than 1 year ago
A change in style for Albert by using flashbacks to link the present day story with events from the past in a fictional Shaker village. I liked learnig some of the history, etc of the Shakers. The story held my intrest all the way through and I read it in one day. As usual recipes for some of the dishes mentioned in the book are included in the back. Do wish Albert would quit having the main character China Bayles agonize over whether or not she can be a good mother. It is getting tiresome. Other than that the characters were interesting and fit the story well.
Hasyle More than 1 year ago
I have loved China Bayles and Susan Wittig Albert since day one, however this book just lost me. It takes palce at a Shaker Village in Kentucky. The first chapter is written as though China is talking to you and then every other chapter is from the viewpoint of a Shaker many years past. The plot was boring and the characters were as well. I missed the folks in Pecan Springs. It was a hard book to read, normally I can read this series in a day because it keeps my attention. This book in the series was one I forced myself to finish just to be able to say I read it. It was a major disappointment and I am glad I bought the paperback instead of wasting money on the hardcover. I'm sorry Mrs. Albert, but, this book wasn't your finest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wormwood is an entertaining story and history about Shaker life and a little bit of China Bayles solving a mystery in between. I did find Wormwood a little confusing since there are two stories in two different time periods going simultaneously but I somehow didn't pick that up right away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this entire series; I like the characters and the setting. This one (Wormwood) was well researched. The added historical information, as well as the herb lore and recipes are bonuses. The series is well-crafted and dependable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another in the series. Good enough, but not my favorite.
SamBTX More than 1 year ago
I've read all her books and this one is placed in a new location with a group seldom written about today (Shakers). Really enjoyable and I am looking forward to her next book.
Chloe123 More than 1 year ago
The last couple of books that the author wrote involving China Bayles were not up to the bar she had previously set. I was afraid that she had decidedly gotten bored with the character. But with "WormWood" she made a come back. The unusual way she tells the story, weaving the past and present events brings the current mystery to an impressive end. Not to mention the excellent herbal history and tips that are always a huge part and trademark of any China Bayles mystery. It is worth reading and re-reading. A real keeper.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Pecan Springs, Texas, herbalist and entrepreneur China Bayles is emotionally exhausted after discovering she had a half-brother Miles who wanted to get to know her; only, Miles was murdered leaving behind an orphaned daughter Caitlin to be raised by her Aunts Marcia and China. They want to make the tweener comfortable as China plans to be the best guardian she can be.

China and her friend Martha Edmond go on vacation to the Mt Zion Shaker village, a tourist attraction in Kentucky. Martha tells China about a series of ¿accidents¿ in the village culminating with an arson fire that left several horses dead. She asks China to investigate, which the sleuth does. They learn from the accounting officer Allie that some stocks are missing form the endowment trust. Soon afterward the two women find Allie murdered. They know that someone will kill especially meddling investigators to keep the truth concealed.

This is the usual great Bayles whodunit, but enhanced with a strong look at the history of the Shaker movement as Martha¿s grandmother lived in Mt Zion; her story rotates with the modern day mystery. Obviously Susan Wittig Albert has done a lot of meticulous research into the Shaker culture especially the belief system as the lifestyle comes across as if the audience is visiting a late nineteenth century village. Fans will enjoy China¿s latest tale as ironically, the crimes of the present mirror that of the past.

Harriet Klausner