"In a class with...sleuths V.I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum,"(Publishers Weekly) China Bayles stumbles over old secrets in a Shaker village.
China's friends and family are urging her to get some rest-and a Kentucky Shaker village seems the ideal place for it. At Mount Zion, China can assist with some herbal workshops-while absorbing all things Shaker, from their furniture to their peaceful ways. But the restored modern version of the village, striving to become a popular tourist attraction, is plagued with misfortune and strife- some of it the likely result of sabotage. China and her friend Martha are hoping to get to the bottom of it.
However, much like Shaker history itself, the case appears simpler at first than it is. There is tension behind the serene exterior. And after a shocking death occurs during her stay, China will plunge into the archives of another time to connect the sins of the past with a modern-day murder.
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Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.From Publishers Weekly:
Murders past and present with a Shaker link intersect in alarming ways in Albert's engaging 17th China Bayles puzzler (after 2008's Nightshade). Recent painful events help prompt China, who runs an herb shop and tearoom in Pecan Springs, Tex., to visit her herbalist friend Martha Edmond at Kentucky's Mount Zion Shaker Village, whose board president, Rachel Hart, wants to turn the quaint Shaker museum center into an upscale spa, contrary to the spirit of the original believers. Martha asks China to investigate recent disturbing events, including vandalism, the suicide of a thieving gift shop manager and, according to financial director Allie Chatham, Rachel's embezzlement of funds. When Allie's later found dead in Zion's pool, where a Shaker woman drowned in 1912, Martha and China suspect murder. Shaker-inspired recipes, excerpts from a fictional Shaker journal, insights into the Shaker religion and plenty of herbal lore enhance another winner from this dependable veteran. Author tour. (Apr.)
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