The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles Series #25)

The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles Series #25)

by Susan Wittig Albert

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Now in paperback, the exciting new mystery from the New York Times bestselling author, in which China Bayles fears for her husband's life as an escaped convict targets him...

A killer McQuaid put away years ago has busted out of Huntsville Prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. China wants to stay by her husband's side and keep him from harm, but McQuaid insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she's agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.

The owner, Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza's nephew is contesting the will. While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid's plan to stop the convict backfires. And now McQuaid's life is not the only one at stake—and this time may really be his last chance...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425280041
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Series: China Bayles Series , #25
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 263,307
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the New York Times bestselling author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "The Last Chance Olive Ranch"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Susan Wittig Albert.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles Series #25) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read, interesting duel story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Albert has given us an outstanding read that easily holds your interest. Great for relaxation reading. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I totally enjoyed this story! It's more like two stories woven into one. Seeing Brian as a young man, getting just a peek of his life, was an added gift. I'm looking forward to more of the saga of China, Mike, the youngsters, Ruby and ????. Yup, read the book; its great fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is interesting and then it just ends abruptly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She's done it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont think I.ll get anymore of her books.
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
It’s hard to believe this is the 25th installment in the China Bayles Mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert. The author keeps the stories fresh and engaging. She continues to let her characters grow and develop from story to story. New readers to the series won’t be in the dark when it comes to the characters and their relationship even though they have missed the characters growing and flourishing over time. Returning fans will delight in following the characters as they head out on new adventures. The story moves at a good pace with adrenaline-fueled moments spread through. The author focuses on two plots that takes readers on separate journeys while intermingling them from time to time. While this story doesn’t focus just on China, it shows how police work impacts the entire family. The author features the usual comfortable small-town atmosphere while blending in bits of suspense and intrigue for a tantalizing thriller. The twists and turns will keep you guessing. In addition to entertaining readers with an enticing mystery, the author includes tasty recipes and informative tidbits on olives. THE LAST CHANCE OLIVE RANCH is a captivating story you don’t want to miss. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert is the twenty-fifth book in The China Bayles Mystery series. Mike McQuaid and China Bayles are awakened early by the phone ringing. The call is for McQuaid to let him know that Max Mantel, a convict he put away in prison, has broken out of Huntsville prison. Mantel has already killed Paul Watkins, the prosecutor at his trial. McQuaid is glad that China is going out of town for the weekend to teach a conference. China, though, would rather stay in town and make sure that McQuaid is safe. McQuaid is not going to risk China’s life, so he ensures that she is off with Ruby. China agreed to teach a workshop at Maddie Haskell’s Last Chance Olive Ranch. After teaching on Saturday, they will have the rest of the weekend to relax. It turns out that Maddie has a little problem. She inherited the ranch from Eliza Butler and Eliza’s nephew, Billy Butler is less than thrilled. Billy is contesting the will and has the probate judge in his pocket. The weekend is not going to be as restful as China was hoping nor as safe as McQuaid was expecting. Meanwhile, McQuaid is setting a trap to capture escaped Max Mantel. The plan goes awry when Sally, McQuaid’s crazy ex-wife shows up in town. Sally ends up getting kidnapped by Mantel who believes he has China. Mantel wants McQuaid to turn himself over in exchange for Sally. McQuaid sets out to capture Mantel and reluctantly save Sally (she is one nutty lady). China and McQuaid are in for a rough weekend. The Last Chance Olive Ranch is nicely written and has some interesting information about olives and olive oil. I did not know olives could grow in the United States. I found the pace to be a little slow at times especially during the McQuaid sections (it did help me fall asleep one night). The story is told from two different perspectives: China and McQuaid. I would have preferred third person to make the story more cohesive and logical (instead of switching back and forth every other chapter). Personally, I wish the author had only done one storyline. The McQuaid sections are not the type normally included in cozy mysteries. I keep hoping the author will find a way for McQuaid and China to solve cases together (cozy mystery cases). Actually, I was a little bored with no mystery to solve. The revelation regarding Maddie was no surprise. I am sure that the majority of readers will figure it out long before the secret is revealed. I give The Last Chance Olive Ranch 3 out of 5 stars. I did not find this novel to have any suspense (and it was supposed to). The writing is descriptive (overly so), and I never was able to get into the story. This is one of those books that I just read. I love it when a book fully engages my attention and draws me in. While reading the McQuaid storyline, I kept hoping that McQuaid would capture Max and Sally would get hit by a stray bullet (and then bite the bullet if you get my meaning). I found Sally to be a very unlikeable character and an unwelcome addition to the book (I do not understand why she is not in a mental health facility). While The Last Chance Olive Ranch is the twenty-fifth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author provides all the necessary background details on China, McQuaid and the family (including Sally). I preferred the early books in The China Bayles Mystery series. I did appreciate the ending of The Last Chance Olive Ranch. It is sweet and nicely wraps up
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
THE LAST CHANCE OLIVE RANCH, is a novel packed with action. Between the chapters dealing with China, and the other chapters dealing with her husband McQuaid, readers with be hard pressed to find any down time in this story. Both characters have their hands full in their respective storylines. Splitting the chapters as she does, author Susan Wittig Albert makes her books feel like two or more stories in one, yet having them cross at times to connect everything together. As always, I love that each chapter starts off with something interesting. In this case, each chapter featuring China, had a fact to do with olives. The chapters featuring McQuaid simply start by following a time line. This was a story with so much energy, at times I felt a rush of adrenaline so strong that I just wanted to get to the end of the book so I could take a deep breath. In the end I was I satisfied with the outcome, and found THE LAST CHANCE OLIVE RANCH to be a great story. I have noticed that with the China Bayles Mysteries, the author is slowly branching away from the more traditional feeling mystery, and getting closer to being considered (at least to me) a suspense thriller series. So far, you will still see cozy-ish things like small towns, an educational aspect, and wonderful recipes, but you will also see a few edgier scenes, and a bit more cursing. No matter what genre author Albert is aiming for, the one thing that can’t be denied is her truly wonderful writing.