“Damn it. This is my wedding. Why can’t the week be normal?”
After I discovered Thyme of Death, I went a little overboard and tried to get the whole China Bayles series – I ended up with one paperback and two audio downloads. This was the paperback… Eminently readable (this was one of 2 1/2 books I read on New Year’s Eve, content on the chaise longue outside my uncle’s caravan at Tuross), yet missing something in that fantastic idea collection of the first book.
So China Bayles has quit her toxic lawyering in Houston for Mean Nasty Companies and retired to a little place called Pecan Springs where she runs a herb shop and her shop-neighbour is a crazy new Age lady called Ruby, and they are about to open a joint tea room. Local real estate mogul found dead. Most residents think “Good riddance”, but it transpires rather quickly that Mr. Coleman was having a number of affairs and was blackmailing city council members for their support on a dodgy land investment deal. And then a few more bodies pile up…Oh and China is planning her wedding (at last) to McQuaid, acting chief of police, so the case needs to be wrapped up by Saturday otherwise China’s honeymoon is going to get derailed.
I love a single lady investigator, and I’ve raved about the first book in this series; something in this one left me underwhelmed. It might have been that there was too much side chatter and not enough actual case; Ruby seems to have got even more mad and tipped over into caricature territory, and Wittig Albert is a little heavy-handed with the emotional preaching (China fiiiiiiiiiiiiinally gets over her issues with her mother).
That all notwithstanding, there are any number of red herrings, I didn’t guess the bad guy, China’s life is quite amusing to read about, Ruby does provide a lot of amusement and China does a nifty amount of sleuthing in a rather clever manner.
It’s a decent detective story, it’s just not as good as the first one in the series was.Additional information: Copy from Bookmooch. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 297 pages (paperback) Order Lavender Liesfrom Amazon* * this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards give-aways and site hosting