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Wormwood [Mass Market Paperback]

Susan Wittig Albert
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 6 2010 China Bayles Mystery
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.

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About 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.

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3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing story in a favorite series Aug. 12 2014
I love the China Bayles mysteries, but this was mostly about a century-old murder, and, like Albert's other venture into 'historical forensics,' I don't think it works as well as most of the other books in the series. First off, I didn't much care about any of the historical characters, and secondly, in the present-day mystery, the victim might as well have worn a classic Star Trek red security shirt. It was much too obvious who was going to wind up as the next corpse, and I'd expected China - who is usually pretty savvy -- to have foreseen the danger. Most of the time I rate China Bayles at 5 stars because I enjoy reading about intelligent characters, but she must've been having a string of bad-brain days. Worth reading to keep up with the storyline, but nowhere near the pick of the litter.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A change of scene for China April 26 2009
By Karen Potts - Published on Amazon.com
China Bayles has been through some difficult times, so her friends and family urge her get a change of scene by accepting the invitation of her friend Martha to go to Mr. Zion, a Shaker village in Kentucky, where she would help to lead some classes on herbs. When she arrives, she discovers that there are disagreements among the staff about the future of the village and there are also some financial concerns. China becomes embroiled in these current problems, but also does her share of research into customs of the Shakers when they actually lived in the village in the early 1900's.

In my opinion, this is one of the best books of this series. The background information on the Shakers is fascinating, and author Susan Wittig Albert does a masterful job of weaving the current-day story of Mt. Zion with the story of Martha's Aunt Charity who was living in the village in 1912.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great Bayles whodunit April 11 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
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
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHAKER INSPIRED April 24 2009
By ITZME - Published on Amazon.com
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the mystery? Nov. 2 2009
By Loves to Knit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Love the series but not this book. Sure Pecan Springs is the town I wish I lived in. But Albert showed us in "Bloodroot" that China Bayles can mix herbs and mystery out of PS (and blend some history in for good measure). "Wormwood" has 2 thoroughly predictable "mysteries," herbs definitely take backstage (good grief, her friend even makes the same lunch she served back in "Bloodroot"), and a quite contrived plot device to bring China out of PS and into KY. Also the turn-about in the character of her friend Ms. Edmunds was so drastic. In "Bloodroot," you have a calm and intelligent older woman (same age as China's mother); in "Wormwood" you have someone who acts like she's a few fries short of a full pack herself. Whenever one character said, "Do the [obvious thing that needs to be done]" and the other character says, "Good idea!" I just cringed. And since when did China become a mealy-mouthed little miss with a sheriff? Where's the China of "Mistletoe Man?" I'll keep reading the series; I've read the first chapter of the new book from the website and it already sounds a lot better than Wormwood.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wormwood April 29 2009
By Anna M. Holshouser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent insight of different cultures within the US.
I found it informative as well as a fun read.
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