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A plain vanilla murder
2019
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Author Notes
Susan Wittig Albert was born in Illinois in 1940. In 1985, she changed careers from working as the vice president and an English professor at Texas State University to becoming a full-time writer. <p> During the mid- to late-1980s, Albert was a ghostwriter for the Nancy Drew mystery series. She wrote the acclaimed "Work of Her Own: How Women Create Success and Fulfillment off the Traditional Career Track" in 1992. Under the pseudonym of Robin Paige, Albert and her husband, Bill Albert, co-authored a twelve-volume mystery series set in late Victorian/Edwardian England. <p> Albert writes the bestselling China Bayles mystery series, which features as its main character a Texas herbalist who had been a criminal attorney in Houston. Albert also writes the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter historical fantasy series, which is set in England during the early twentieth century. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
China Bayles (Female), Shop owner, Herbalist, Married, Stepmother, Owns an Herb store and tearoom; experiences strange phenomena; teams up with police chief to help prove innocence of a friend
Mike McQuaid (Male), Professor, Private investigator, Remarried, Father, China's husband
Genre
Fiction
Mystery
Suspense
Southern fiction
Topics
Herbalists
Murder
Police
Professors
Ex-wives
Murder investigations
Setting
Texas - South (U.S.) / West (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Summary
From Susan Wittig Albert, the New York Times best-selling author of Queen Anne's Lace , comes an intriguing new addition to her widely-acclaimed China Bayles Mysteries. <br> <br> ​China and Ruby Wilcox are presenting their annual "Not Just Plain Vanilla Workshop," always a huge hit with customers at Thyme & Seasons Herb Shop. But someone involved with the workshop is driven by a deadly motive, and China soon finds herself teaming up with the very pregnant Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson to solve a vanilla-flavored murder.<br> <br> Sheila, happy to get out from behind the chief's desk, is investigating the death of a botany professor, a prominent researcher specializing in vanilla orchids. China is trying to help a longtime friend: the dead professor's ex-wife and a prime suspect in his murder. <br> <br> However, there's no shortage of other suspects: a betrayed lover, a disgruntled graduate student, jealous colleagues, and a gang of orchid smugglers. But the lethal roots of this mystery reach back into the dark tropical jungles of Mexico, where the vanilla vine was first cultivated. At stake: a lucrative plant patent, an orchid that is extinct in the wild, and the life of an innocent little girl.<br> <br> A Plain Vanilla Murder is a flavorful blend of mystery and herb lore, present sins and past secrets, and characters who are as real as your next-door neighbors--stirred together in an absorbing novel that only Susan Wittig Albert could create.
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