Mourning Gloria (China Bayles Series #19)

Mourning Gloria (China Bayles Series #19)

by Susan Wittig Albert

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Overview

Susan Wittig Albert, “who consistently turns out some of the best-plotted mysteries on the market,”* delivers the charm and suspense in her latest herbal treat, Mourning Gloria. Now ex-lawyer and current herbalist China Bayles must stop a killer whose evil is burning through Texas…

 

China is relishing the scents, produce, and even the showers of spring. She’s also busy hosting Pecan Springs’ Farmers’ Market. It brings additional customers to her herb shop Thyme and Seasons. And residents find rare ingredients they wouldn’t otherwise find in the supermarket. Everybody wins…

But as the town bustles back to life in the warmth of the season, one woman’s life is tragically brought to an end. China happens upon a burning house trailer and hears a woman screaming for help. The evidence leaves no doubt that it’s arson homicide—but who would commit such a ghastly crime?

An intern-reporter at the local paper, Jessica Nelson, is assigned to cover the story. Drawn into the case by its similarity to her own tragic loss—Jessica’s family died in a fire—she soon finds herself deeply involved and in danger. And when Jessica disappears, China becomes determined to help find her, before she becomes headlines herself…

*Houston Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425247013
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Series: China Bayles Series , #19
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 271,036
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Date of Birth:

1940

Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois

Education:

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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Mourning Gloria 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Books_And_Chocolate More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: "While Pecan Springs bustles back to life in the warmth of spring, one woman's life is tragically brought to an end. China Bayles happens upon a burning house trailer and hears a woman screaming for help. The evidence leaves no doubt that it's arson homicide. Jessica Nelson, an intern-reporter at the local paper, is assigned to cover the story. But she's gotten herself too deeply involved. When Jessica disappears, China is determined to find her, before she becomes headlines herself." I'm a fan of the China Bayles mysteries and always enjoy visiting China's herb shop, Thyme & Seasons, in the fictional town of Pecan Springs with its cast of eclectic residents. In this book, I like how Albert develops China as a parent as her stepson Brian gets older and she adjusts to the new challenges of raising her 11-year-old niece, Caitlin, as well as the development of other characters such as that of China's friend Donna as she deals with the return of her irresponsible sister who causes trouble when she returns to the family farm. Another story line introduced is that of the engagement of police chief Sheila Dawson to Sheriff Blackie Blackwell, and their realization that one of them will need to step down from his or her position in order for a marriage to work which will make for an interesting topic in future books. Overall I did like this book and appreciated that it did hold my interest from beginning to end and left me anticipating the next one in the series.
Marlyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 19th installment of the China Bayles mystery series, opens with China getting ready for the new farmer's market across the street from her herb shop Thyme and Seasons in the fictional town of Pecan Springs, Texas.No, that's not quite accurate. The book opens with a prologue, detailing the day of a young woman named Gloria (not one of Pecan Springs regular cast of characters) preparing to go away for the weekend in order to avoid Someone so that she can talk to the police. It's not until much later in the story that we learn who Gloria is. Before then, China comes upon a mobile home fire as she's driving to her house late one night. She calls 911, but hears a voice calling for help. She's unable to reach the person in time, and ends up with a slight case of smoke inhalation and no eyebrows. Firefighters manage to keep the fire from spreading, but are unable to save the trapped person. What China doesn't realize at the time, is that the trailer fire will lead her to a huge web of intrigue and illegal activities. Most of the narrative is first-person, from China's point of view. She charmingly describes Pecan Springs as though it were a real place, extolling its highlights and inviting readers to come and visit. But the best thing (at least to this lover of the botanical) is the way she describes herbs and other plants and explains their uses.*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.
MasonCanyon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spring is in the air (or at least the calendar says so) and it¿s the perfect time to pickup the latest installment in the China Bayles Mystery series, MOURNING GLORIA.Herbalist China Bayles has her hands full between operating her herb shop, participating in the weekly Farmers¿ Market, planning a psychoactive plant seminar for the local garden club, and of course, caring for her ever-growing family. This doesn¿t even include the slew of usual activities going on in Pecan Springs. The last thing China needs is to get involved in something else.On her way home one evening, China passes a burning house trailer. Remembering the trailer is vacant, China stops anyway and calls 911. She then hears a woman cry for help. As China tries to get inside the burning trailer there¿s an explosion. When the fire is finally out, firemen find a body that has been shot and bound before being burned.Learning the fire was an arson/homicide China can¿t get the cries for help out of her head. Meanwhile, Jessica Nelson, a new intern reporter for the local newspaper begins covering the case. The story becomes personal to Jessica who lost her entire family to a fire and now she¿s determined to find out why this killer did what he did.When Jessica disappears after leaving a frantic message on China¿s answering machine, China is compelled to find her. She fears Jessica has gotten too close to the killer for her own good.Author Susan Wittig Albert weaves an assortment of plausible suspects into the story keeping the reader on their toes for clues as China closes in on the killer. In addition, China¿s personal life is integrated in such a way readers can feel they¿re in her shoes (so to speak).MOURNING GLORIA is the 19th installment in the China Bayles Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. The author gives just enough background details so a new reader doesn¿t feel lost and a returning fan doesn¿t think, `I know all this already, get on with the story.¿ The returning fans renew old friendships with lovable characters and places, while new readers get to know them.Most of the chapters begin with a bit of information about various herbs and plants. In addition, readers are treated to a number of delicious recipes and herbal mixtures in the back of the book.As China searches for Jessica, the killer¿s reasons for his actions becomes clearer and more deadly. This is a suspenseful, fast pace mystery that will be hard to put down until you know why Jessica is MOURNING GLORIA.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Pecan Springs and China and her friends and family so much that I have to keep telling myself that this is fiction. These characters are so real, and Pecan Springs seems like an actual town. I absolutely love this series to pieces! I look forward to each new book with bated breath. I like the links to food, drink and gardening as well. Each book teaches me things in these three areas. In this book China is trying to find a young reporter who has disappeared while searching out a story about a body in house trailer fire. China happens upon the fire scene right after the fire is started and actually hears a young woman crying for help. The fire is so hot that China can't get to the girl. China also is trying to find out what happened to the young woman. Darn it anyway. Now I have to wait for another year to read another China Bayles story.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
China Bayles comes upon a mobile home fire, hears a woman inside call for help, but is unable to save her. What a horrible way to die! It turns out the fire was arson, and its unidentified victim tied up and unable to help herself. As a fire witness, China becomes a news source for an up-and-coming and ambitious college intern, Jessica Nelson, at the local paper in fictional Pecan Springs, Texas. Young Jessica is eager to track down the story and make a name for herself. When Jessica makes an aborted phone-call for help to China, then goes missing, our heroine is the only person in town who is concerned she¿s the victim of foul play. China also believes Jessica¿s disappearance and the arson-homicide are related. To find the missing reporter, China needs to find the killer. And she¿s on her own, as McQuaid, her private-eye husband is away on a case. China¿s personal life isn¿t simple either. In addition to mothering her husband¿s teen-age son, she¿s also helping raise the pre-teen daughter of her deceased half-brother. With her herb shop/café to run, China has quite a balancing act even without a mystery to solve. Mourning Gloria is just the kind of book the many fans of Susan Wittig Albert expect from this veteran author. I, for one, have been reading the China Bayles mysteries (along with other of Ms. Albert¿s series novels) since the author started writing them. Mourning Gloria is in the same mold: great writing, complex and interesting characters, tight plotting ¿ and a can¿t-put-it-down story. Mystery reading doesn¿t get much better than this.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent entry in an excellent series! China delves into the darker side of herbs. McQuaid and Bryan are off stage for this story, a smart choice with so many developed characters at this point and a busy and above-average plot. I love the time I spend in Pecan Springs though these books and miss it while I'm waiting for the next book to come out.
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As always China gets involved in murder in unusual ways. There are alot of twists and weaves to the story. I believe you will enjoy Mourning Gloria. I did!
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MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
Spring is in the air (or at least the calendar says so) and it's the perfect time to pickup the latest installment in the China Bayles Mystery series, MOURNING GLORIA. Herbalist China Bayles has her hands full between operating her herb shop, participating in the weekly Farmers' Market, planning a psychoactive plant seminar for the local garden club, and of course, caring for her ever-growing family. This doesn't even include the slew of usual activities going on in Pecan Springs. The last thing China needs is to get involved in something else. On her way home one evening, China passes a burning house trailer. Remembering the trailer is vacant, China stops anyway and calls 911. She then hears a woman cry for help. As China tries to get inside the burning trailer there's an explosion. When the fire is finally out, firemen find a body that has been shot and bound before being burned. Learning the fire was an arson/homicide China can't get the cries for help out of her head. Meanwhile, Jessica Nelson, a new intern reporter for the local newspaper begins covering the case. The story becomes personal to Jessica who lost her entire family to a fire and now she's determined to find out why this killer did what he did. When Jessica disappears after leaving a frantic message on China's answering machine, China is compelled to find her. She fears Jessica has gotten too close to the killer for her own good. Author Susan Wittig Albert weaves an assortment of plausible suspects into the story keeping the reader on their toes for clues as China closes in on the killer. In addition, China's personal life is integrated in such a way readers can feel they're in her shoes (so to speak). MOURNING GLORIA is the 19th installment in the China Bayles Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. The author gives just enough background details so a new reader doesn't feel lost and a returning fan doesn't think, 'I know all this already, get on with the story.' The returning fans renew old friendships with lovable characters and places, while new readers get to know them. Most of the chapters begin with a bit of information about various herbs and plants. In addition, readers are treated to a number of delicious recipes and herbal mixtures in the back of the book. As China searches for Jessica, the killer's reasons for his actions becomes clearer and more deadly. This is a suspenseful, fast pace mystery that will be hard to put down until you know why Jessica is MOURNING GLORIA.