Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Mourning Gloria by Susan Wittig Albert

Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Publisher-Format: Berkley (2011),320 pages,
also audio - Recorded Books, 2011, 9 hrs, 50 min
Narrators: Julia Gibson, Theresa Plummer
Subject: murder and mind-altering herbs
Setting: Pecan Springs Texas
 Series: China Bayles Mysteries
Genre: murder mystery, amateur detective
Source:public library audio download

Another swimming "read".  I love the China Bayles Mysteries, with their delightful explanations of various plants, herb, seeds, etc.  This newest one continues to live up to expectations.  In Mourning Gloria, China, a retired attorney who now runs a natural herbal garden and tea shop, whilst mothering an orphaned niece, is a prime witness to a gruesome arson/murder when she stops to phone in a fire she discovers on her way home one night.  After hearing cries for help, she is unable to rescue the young woman inside the burning trailer as it explodes before her eyes.  When the coroner determines that the victim was shot and left for dead before the fire was deliberately set, China cannot abandon her feeling of guilt, and when an eager young reporter from the town newspaper sets out to investigate "the rest of the story" and then disappears, China cannot let go.

Husband McQuaid, a retired cop private investigator is out of town for this one, and Sheriff Blackie, usually so cooperative is at first too immersed in his own coming nuptials to pay much attention.  As usual, China continues to pick at the bone, following a string of clues that inevitably lead to a good resolution in the nick of time.

A great audio, and a well plotted mystery with a definite sense of place.  The small Texas town is well portrayed, and the characters bring to life that sense of comraderie so endearing to these kinds of  locations.  This is another series you can start anywhere, but again, is more fun if read from the beginning.  Another fun addition to the March Mystery list. They are all still readily available so grab one, sit back and enjoy.


  1. I read this author's first two books and then never went back to her. Not sure why - she creates amusing characters and plots. Maybe I'll try this series.

  2. Anothr fun visit in Pecan Springs. I like the characters in this series, especially Ruby. Glad you enjoyed it so much.


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