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Dead Man's Bones (China Bayles Mysteries #13) Hardcover – Apr 5 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1st edition (April 5 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425200175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425200179
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,354,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Albert's assured 14th outing for China Bayles (after 2004's A Dilly of a Death), the herbalist and ex-lawyer is worried about the effect of the poor tourist trade on her Pecan Springs, Tex., herb shop, tea room and New Age store owned jointly with her best friend, Ruby Wilcox, when her 14-year-old stepson, Brian, announces a disturbing discovery: while on an archeological dig in a cave, he found a skeleton with its skull bashed in. Analysis later shows that the bones are about 30 years old. After a leading citizen shoots dead an apparent intruder in self-defense, China begins to suspect there's a link between this incident and the past murder. In her own quiet way, China pursues the truth. China's warmth and sensitivity toward Ruby's new boyfriend, the new professor at the local university and others will endear her to readers, while her investigative skills make her a leader among female sleuths. Fascinating information about herbs and tempting recipes round out this leisurely cozy with a Southwestern flair. (Apr. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

China Bayles is always trying to teach us stuff: it's not annoying at all but somehow soothing and fascinating. The ex-attorney turned herbalist in the Texas town of Pecan Springs loves to talk about the plants and herbs she grows; she loves to share recipes and run her business (herb shop, tearoom, catering) with her friend and partner, Ruby; and she loves the opportunity to enjoy her spouse and teen stepson. In this gently narrated cozy, a skeleton in a cave allows China to think about archaeology, forensics, love affairs, immigration, and secrets from the past. Meanwhile, two elderly and reclusive sisters, one imperious and the other frail, the last of their family, donate a building, the funds for its renovation, and property for a community theater, with the stipulation that a play written about their father must be the first production. These events turn out to be intimately connected to the body in the cave, and it makes for an enjoyable journey as China makes the necessary connections one by one. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4f08354) out of 5 stars 38 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a20f78) out of 5 stars NICE ADDITION TO A GREAT SERIES Aug. 27 2005
By D. Blankenship - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a long running series and there is a reason for it.. the books/stories are good, well written and just fun to read. I enjoyed this current additon to this already popular. I did not feel it is the best of the bunch, but am not complaining. It was fun to read and left we wanting yet another of the author's offerings. Ms Albert is a good story teller and has developed a very nice group of characters. China Bayles fans will enjoy this work even though it is a bit different. Recommend it highly. Enjoy!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a20b40) out of 5 stars Thyme & Seasons Sept. 18 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
14th in the China Bayles series, China and Ruby (China's best friend and business partner) are catering at the opening of a theatre. When China's stepson finds skeleton with its skull bashed in, the duo quietly start investigating without stepping on the toes of their friends - the police chief and the sheriff - who are on the outs with each other. When there is another death in town, China suspects that the two deaths are related. Albert includes - as usual - several interesting recipes and tidbits about herbs, especially the one included in the title. I buy Albert's books in hardback - and continue to enjoy all three of her mystery series.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6786408) out of 5 stars Good as usual May 17 2005
By Coppertop - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book, although I was a little sorry with how some of the characters were left at the end of the book (Brian's professor lady mainly). But the book was fast paced and interesting. I figured out the bones pretty quickly, but still got some surprises in the mix!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4900078) out of 5 stars entertaining and diabolically clever amateur sleuth mystery April 5 2005
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
With revenues down at China Bayle's Thyme and Season Herb Shop, Ruby Wilcox's Crystal Cave New Age Store and their joint venture, The Thyme for Tea restaurant, both women are taking on additional jobs. Ruby has started the Party Thyme Catering Service and China is doing more customized garden planning to make ends meet. China also has to balance her personal life which includes a husband, her stepson Brian and assorted pets.

In a cave Brian finds the skulls of two humans, who lived there over ten thousand years ago; the university sponsoring the dig is ecstatic. They are not so happy when Brian finds the body of a man that was murdered in the same location about a quarter of a century ago. The cold case heats up when the town's leading citizen Jane Oberman kills Hank Dixon in self-defense. Hank's father worked for the family for years. The sister state he broke into their home with a knife in his hand. China believes that killing and the discovery of the twenty-five year old skeleton are linked and plans to find what the two cases have in common.

Susan Wittig Albert has written an entertaining and diabolically clever amateur sleuth mystery focusing on a heroine who can't keep away from on ongoing investigation. She is endearing loyal and smart enough to figure out the identity of the victim in the cave. Together with Ruby, there two women make Batman and Robin look like amateurs.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7aebec4) out of 5 stars CHINA DIGS UP SOME BONES June 5 2006
By Michael Butts - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
DEAD MAN'S BONES is the thirteenth entry in the popular China Bayles series and in keeping with that unlucky number, Albert delivers a story with a little too much going on; a lot of the subplots interfere with the main mystery and even though Albert's prose and narrative are up to par, the book suffers due to this overstuffing. China's son Brian is on an archaeological dig when they discover some bones that are only about thirty years old and it is soon discovered a murder has been committed. But joining this plot are: a community theatre production written by a local spinster about her wealthy father; the spinster sisters with mysterious behavior; a forensic specialist who isn't what she seems; Ruby's mysterious new boyfriend with a shady past; Blackie and Sylvia's relationship; an illegal immigrant; a new partnership maybe? At any rate, many of the subplots are left unresolved, obviously to be continued in future books. But Albert just gave us too much and the resolution to the mystery is fairly predictable and she resorts to a cop out ending for our villain.

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