The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries

Blood Orange (#24)
A Pecan Springs Mystery

It's mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell.

At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly's knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do.

But on her way to China's house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it's up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover—who happens to be the sister of China's friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice?

China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth—but she may be putting her own life at risk...

Here's what reviewers have to say about the China Bayles mysteries!

  • A great cliffhanger with seriously nail-biting scenes, this is one China Bayles' mystery you don't want to miss. —Suspense Magazine

  • Albert puts a personal face on the Galveston hurricane of 1900, which claimed the lives of thousands. She also seamlessly merges time periods—no easy task. —Romantic Times

  • Albert's books are the kind you read over and over, for pleasure and enjoyment. And don't forget the herbal background (cat's claw, an herb with "hooks, designed to clutch and hold on to anyone or anything that comes near") and the recipes, which in this volume include such culinary tidbits as McQuaid's Favorite Breakfast Burritos and China Bayles' Curry and Cardamom Cookies. Whether you try the recipes or read the book (or both), you will find Cat's Claw a delicious delight. —Curled up with a Good Book

  • "Quirky, enlightening and surprisingly profound, Albert's China Bayles mysteries are an absolute delight to read: head and shoulders above most other amateur whodunits." —Ransom Notes

  • "Well-drawn secondary characters and lots of herbal lore... For readers who enjoy small-town settings and close-knit communities" —Booklist

  • "[The long-running series] continues to provide solid mysteries [and] fascinating herb lore..." —Kirkus

  • "China's followers will delight in the complicated relationships, recipes and historical flower information." —Kirkus Reviews

  • "A diabolically clever sleuth...China and Ruby make Batman and Robin look like amateurs." —Harriet Klausner

  • "A visit to China Bayles' herb shop is always delightful...Albert's heroine just gets better defined as the books evolve." —Romantic Times


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Blood Orange
blood orange
In the early 1990s, a gardener in Moorpark, CA, was startled when she saw something very unusual on her favorite Valencia orange tree. The oranges on one limb of the tree were reddish, and the fruit was blood red. A local farm advisor clued her in. Her Valencia orange had repeated a mutation that first occurred in China, where blood oranges made their first appearance centuries ago.

Traditional Chinese herbalists used oranges to treat the digestive and respiratory systems: improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and reduce phlegm. But the medicinal orange came into its own in the west in1747, when a ship's doctor in the British Royal Navy discovered that oranges (and other citrus fruits) prevented scurvy in sailors on long sea voyages. Now, we know that oranges are high in vitamin C, and that citrus flavonoids are potentially antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.

Twenty-third book in the series: Bittersweet

Twenty-fifth book in the series: The Last Chance Olive Ranch