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Hangman's Root: A China Bayles Mystery Hardcover – Oct 1994

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684196778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684196770
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,129,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Welcome back in her third appearance (following Thyme of Death and Witches' Bane) is China Bayles, the prickly and independent former lawyer who swerved out of the Houston fast lane to open an herb shop in Pecan Springs, Tex. Miles Harwick, an unpopular biology professor whose mild appearance belies a vindictive nature, is found drugged and hanged in his office even as animal rights activists are in the quad protesting his research and the new lab he wanted to build. When China's friend, the cat-loving and plain-talking Dottie Riddle, Harwick's neighbor and colleague opposed to his plans, becomes the main suspect, the herb-shop proprietor reluctantly realizes that her lawyer's instincts can't be left behind as easily as big-city life and activates the old-girl network to come to Dottie's defense. Despite a slow start and little herbal lore, the plot unfolds briskly and with sly humor as China and friends, some of the savviest women to inhabit mysteries since Harriet Vane, investigate crimes and motives.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

It looks like a duel to the death between cat-rescuing fanatic Dottie Riddle and her Central Texas State College colleague Miles Harwick, whose latest grant finances the wholesale slaughter of guinea pigs who've endured a long ``weightless'' suspension. Fortified by an animal-rights contingent (including Amy Roth, an unprepossessing young lady who's just full of surprises), Dottie pickets Miles's lab; Miles imprisons one of Dottie's beloved felines and sends her threatening letters; Dottie forges a death threat to herself; but it's Miles who's found dead in his office, strung up like--well, like a guinea pig. Dottie's friend China Bayles, retired from the Houston rat race to an herbal shop in Pecan Springs (Witches' Bane, 1993, etc.), dusts off her law degree to help clear Dottie and soon learns, with the help of a blackmail letter obligingly left behind in the college's computer files, that Miles was hiding much bigger secrets than cruelty to animals: He'd been involved in child molesting and a complex financial scam- -though none of this stuff, rather improbably, is the real reason for his death. In fact, the circumstances of the murder, from motive to method, defy belief. The good news is that, having largely written herself through the pipe-dream Pecan Springs herbalist cozies and dysfunctional family babble that marked her first two mysteries, Albert goes in for more serious plotting and a more generous distribution of suspicion here. Who knows what's next? (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
China Bayles becomes disillusioned with her career as an attorney so she moves to the small town of Pecan Springs in the Texas Hill Country and opens an herb shop. In this third book of the series, China's good friend, Dottie Riddle, a biology professor at the university in Pecan Springs, is being accused of murdering one of the other faculty members, Miles Harwick. Harwick's animal experiments have galvanized opposition from animal rights groups, but Dottie has personal as well as professional problems with Harwick. A piece of physical evidence is all it takes for Dottie to be arrested. As China does some investigating, she discovers that other people have a motive to murder Harwick as well. Just as she thinks that she has the mystery solved, yet another possible suspect appears on the scene. The setting of the Texas Hill Country is a great place for a mystery and the characters surrounding China, especially her boyfriend Mike McQuaid just add to the fun.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was talking to a friend the other day who's read this series and we both agreed that we'd love to live in Pecan Springs, Texas and be one of China's quirky friends! The true test of a good mystery is that it keeps you guessing right up to the end, and this one more than fills the bill. The characters are as real as they come and some of the most interesting 'people' I know! LOL! Reading a new China Bayles mystery is like arriving at a party and discovering that all your favorite people are there.
In this tale, China is appalled when she hears that her friend, Dottie (The Cat Lady), has been accused of murdering the mean old Professor Harwick (who's been known to threaten her cats) and sets out to find the real killer. Lots of intriguing twists and turns in this interesting, well-crafterd plot. Thanks, Ms. Albert, for creating such an entertaining, likeable character in China Bayles!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As much as I enjoy this series, I feel like something is lacking, I just can't figure out what it is. I like the closeness of the characters, but have a hard time looking at them realistically. China is off on another investigation, this time trying to free her friend and animal rights activist, Dr. Riddle, from a murder charge. China owns an herb shop, but can always seem to find someone to 'mind the store' anytime of day whenever she needs to go nosing around on a case. This is the third in the series, and I'm not seeing any character development at all. The storylines are fun and good for a quick read, and I'm hoping the author will bring China out of her shell a little bit in future books and make her more enthusiastic toward her relationship with McQuaid.
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