Thyme of Death (China Bayles Series #1)

Thyme of Death (China Bayles Series #1)

by Susan Wittig Albert

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Overview

Nominated for both an Agatha and an Anthony Award, Susan Wittig Albert’s novels featuring ex-lawyer and herb-shop proprietor China Bayles have won acclaim for their rich characterization and witty, suspenseful stories of crime and passion in small-town Texas.

Now, when China’s friend Jo dies of an apparent suicide, China looks behind the quaint façade of Pecan Springs and takes a suspicious look at everyone. And though she finds lots of friendly faces, China is sure that one of them hides the heart of a killer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425140987
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/1994
Series: China Bayles Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 173,948
Product dimensions: 4.21(w) x 6.73(h) x 0.78(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

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Maureen Reddy

Fans of strong women detectives will be delighted to meet China Bayles.

Susan Dunlap

A novel to savor...I loved it!

Customer Reviews

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Thyme of Death 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've already read other books in this series, but I particularly enjoyed this first one. I lvoe how the author sets up so many of the characters in books to come. This book is lighter on herb lore than some (something I missed) but the plot is better. I recommend this series and plan on reading them all myself.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
China Bayles gave up her high stress law practice in Austin, Texas, a few years agoand came to quiet little Pecan Springs, a small touristy town in east Texasand opened an herb shop. When China's friend Jo dies of an apparentsuicide, things just don't add up for China and her best friend, RubyWilcox. With some determined sleuthing and a couple of strokes of sheerluck, they uncover some old skeletons in Jo's closet that reach all the wayto New York City and Washington, D.C.This series is comfortable enough and the characters interesting enough tohold my interest, but there's really nothing about it that makes it standout for me. I found it just a bit irritating that Albert found it necessaryto describe in detail what each and every person was wearing in each andevery scene. I really don't care if someone's scarf matches their lipstick.But other than that, it's an okay book.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's almost surprising to me how good some of these gimmick mystery series are. There are a lot of lousy ones, to be sure, but many have solid characters, a good plot, good pacing, and enough twists in the puzzle to make it not too easy to solve.This is one of the better ones. China Bayles' transformation from high-powered lawyer to small-town shop owner is just about believable. The final identity of the murder seemed a bit unlikely, but I thought the motives fell into place nicely. I found the amount of fictional star power rolling through the tiny town to be a bit hard to stomach. Oddly, the smalltown characters seemed a bit more real to me than the millionaires and big-city types, but maybe that was just me. Definitely worthy of reading a few more if I find them.
TracyK1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. It is the first in a series and it is great fun. The main character is a woman who was a lawyer and quite her job and has an herb shop is a small town in Texas. Great mysteries and fun!
IceQueenTN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So far I am liking this series. China is an intelligent ex-attorney, who now has her own herb store, and helps solve local mysteries.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the first in the China bayles series. China is an attorney who has given up the high paced legal jungle to pursue the quiet town living of an herbalist. That's what she says, but she gets caught up in the investigation of a murder which the police see as a suicide of one of her best friends. The story is well woven around the characters in the small town of Pecan Springs, TX. What amazes me is the way the writer leads the reader down a path leaving subtle clues but misdirecting you in other areas so that when the resolution comes to light, you say to yourself - DAH! I should have seen that, but everything points that other way. Definitely a series I want to continue.
bugeyzz23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
China Bayles is such a delightful character. She makes you want to live in her little town and HAVE her life. :) This is a good book (one of many) that follows her journey in life, love and friendship.
wakela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the books that I had purchased through abooktrader.com. It was a great read. The characters were so wonderful. I really loved China's friend Ruby. She was a treat. I actually have friends like her.This story kept me guessing with all the twists and turns. I will definitely be looking for more of her books.I highly suggest this book!
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a series featuring China Bayles, our first person narrator, who quit her high-powered job as a criminal defense attorney to become the owner of a herbal store in small-town Pecan Springs, Texas. Next door is one of her best friends, Ruby, who owns a New Age store. Their friend, Jo, is found dead an apparent suicide but things aren't as they seem, and soon there are several suspects for her murder. The style was smooth enough, but not distinctive, nor was there enough wit, humor or charm to distinguish this book. I'll give it points for keeping me turning the pages and keeping me guessing. Nevertheless, I won't be picking up another book in the series. This just didn't have anything that makes me feel I'll remember this months later--the characters and setting were too generic, too stereotyped, the lines of good and bad too off the shelf liberal/progressive (rich developer = evil; environmentalist/feminist = good), and the legal and herbal angles weren't absorbing enough to make me feel I had a peek into a different world. So, good enough if you've picked this up to divert for a few hours--for me, not enough to invest more time in this world.
SlySionnach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe living this close to a major city has given me a kind of distant interest in small-town-folk. But more likely, some of Miss Albert's characters just annoyed me. Especially China.China Bayles has left her law practice to open up a herb store in a fictional small town in Texas. Her best friend, Ruby owns the New Age store (and she is so stereotypically "New Age" that it actually hurts to read sometimes). Candace writes for the local newspaper and there's even a "big evil corporation" vibe in the guise of Arnold S (I cannot spell that name and the book is at home). The rest of the town around her is quaint in an almost amusing way, but that's a point in her favor.A murder occurs - one of China's neighbors. As the details flood in, all is now how it appears at first. Something lurks underneath the mourning and the sad faces, bringing about a few twists that aren't to be expected. Though I did figure out the first problem, the second one took me awhile to deduce. My main problem is that China was always there. Yes, for a mystery, you do need this. If the sleuth isn't at the scene of the crime, how is the reader supposed to know? And yes, most of the time, there was good reason. But there were too many things that Just-So-Happened that it stood out to me while I was reading. Thank god the Police Chief, Bubba, also found some of these things a bit perplexing.But it's certainly not something so grating that it stops me from wanting to read more about China Bayles. She may not be the first detective on my list to read, but she's on there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Susan Wittig Albert is an excellent writer who holds your interest throughout the book. She is easy to read and offers lots of information. Her research is thorough and adds to the enjoyment of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnaLeigh63 More than 1 year ago
Bought this for my mom. She likes 'cozy' mysteries. She really enjoyed this book, the characters, the setting. And she looks forward to each new installment.
CheliD More than 1 year ago
This book is the first in the China Bayles series. China is an attorney who has given up the high paced legal jungle to pursue the quiet town living of an herbalist. That's what she says, but she gets caught up in the investigation of a murder which the police see as a suicide of one of her best friends. The story is well woven around the characters in the small town of Pecan Springs, TX. What amazes me is the way the writer leads the reader down a path leaving subtle clues but misdirecting you in other areas so that when the resolution comes to light, you say to yourself - DAH! I should have seen that, but everything points that other way. Definitely a series I want to continue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emeraldlefey More than 1 year ago
I love Susan Wittig Albert's books. She has a wonderful writing style and her characters seem alive and are interesting on their own without the great mystery plot. This book got me started on the China Bayles series and I can't recommend it enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it. An easy read and a good page-turner.
rodeobelle More than 1 year ago
I started with the first book of the series and I have continued through to Chile Death. I plan to keep going until I catch up on China Bayles and McQuaid's life. These are well plotted and I rarely guess "who dun it". They are written in such a way as to have you believing that the town and the characters exists, as if they could be living next door. That's what makes them such an easy read and keeps you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first book I read in this series was SPANISH DAGGER, which was published in 2007. DAGGER sent me back to this one, the very first from 1992, and I was not disappointed. In fact, THYME OF DEATH proved to be a compelling and sophisticated page-turner. The themes are contemporary and relevant, and China Bayles and the city of Pecan Springs, Texas are very memorable. Among other interesting layers of plot and character development, THYME OF DEATH speaks to the value we place in our friends and the close relationships we form with friends and family over time (relationships, in fact, are the heart of this whole story). It's a book that also encourages us to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, and not wait until it is too late. Albert's book also addresses contemporary social issues such as sexual identity health and illness celebrity fame, fortune and greed and the environment, but never are these topics treated in a 'preachy' way. Everything works together to keep the pages turning and the reader racing toward the satisfying end. This is the second book I've read in this series in as many weeks, and I plan on reading all of them. I highly recommended this most interesting and well-plotted novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Totally Refreshing, New To Me Series! I read a lot of mysteries, and it takes a good series to grab my attention. This one is different and quirky enough that it's a pleasure to read. The setting in small town Texas is great, and if anyone is interested in herb folklore and eccentric people this series should satisfy that craving.Ruby is a delight. Not to mention China herself. The book is an gem. In her debut we see tough China trying to find out who murdered a friend of hers. We are introduced to her ex-cop boyfriend, as well as many other citizens of Pecan Springs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The charm of China Bayles is that she is just like you -- the idealized daydream of you. Each day of her life unfolds like the more unique days of my own. And while I have never been close to a murder, China is the middle-aged woman that my childhood girl sleuth, Nancy Drew, may have become. Intelligent, capable, and uniquely quirky -- China captures the mystery reader's fancy.