In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital...
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...
Once again murder and small-town life go hand in glove in Albert's enchanting 24th China Bayles mystery (after 2015's Bittersweet). Hospice nurse Kelly Kaufman, who has been renting China's guest cottage in Pecan Springs, Tex., while going through a bitter divorce, disappears one day, but she later phones China to say that she needs the herbalist's help with a situation involving murder. While driving to meet China, Kelly has a car accident that leaves her in a coma. Police chief Sheila Dawson suspects it was no accident, and China begins to dig for more information. One obvious suspect is Kelly's husband, Richard, who's involved romantically with the erratic and ebullient sister of China's best friend and business partner, Ruby Wilcox. In addition, rumors about a disagreement between Kelly and hospice owner Marla Blake raise a red flag. China can't resist a mystery, even when it puts her in grave danger. Snippets of plant lore will please botanists.
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24th book in series!
Blood Orange by Susan Wittig Albert is twenty-fourth book in China Bayles Herbal Mysteries. China Bayles is renting Thymes and Seasons Cottage (in Pecan Springs, Texas and behind China’s herb shop Thyme and Seasons) to Kelly Kaufman. China gets a call that Kelly missed an appointment with her attorney and could she check on her. China checks out the cottage. All of Kelly's belongings are still there (including wallet, keys, and car), but no Kelly. It turns out that Kelly knows something that someone does not want getting out. Someone is trying to kill her, so Kelly decided to go into hiding. Kelly wants China to investigate. On her way to meet China to give her information, Kelly is in an accident (well, not really an accident). China wants to find out who is after Kelly. Will she be able to find the culprit in time?
Blood Orange is an engaging novel. There are some slow parts and it does go on a little too long. But, the book contains good characters and a nice setting. Blood Orange is a part of a series, but you can read the novel without having enjoyed the previous books (though you will want to go back and read them). The book contains some interesting information on herbs and their uses (besides cooking). I give Blood Orange 4 out of 5 stars. The mystery was complicated, but I found it easy to solve (I was really hoping for a surprise twist). There are quite a few characters in the novel. I just gave you a description of the main event in the book. There are, though, a couple of different side stories (including China thinking her husband might be off having an affair). You will have to read Blood Orange to find out what it going on in Pecan Springs, Texas.
I received a complimentary copy of Blood Orange from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel!