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Blood Orange By Susan Wittig Albert: Review/Giveaway


FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Blood Orange and a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore, and a link to purchase it on Amazon as well.

China Bayles is owner of Thyme and Seasons, an all-things-herbal shop in Pecan Springs, Texas. She shares the space with her best friend Ruby, owner of the Crystal Cave, the town’s only New Age shop. They also have a tea room, cater, teach classes and workshops, run a food delivery service, and they rent out the small cottage on the property.

Currently, it’s rented to Kelly. She’s a hospice nurse in the middle of a divorce and in need of a neutral-ground place to stay for a week or so. When she misses an appointment with her lawyer, China goes to check on her. The door is ajar, her purse, car keys, cash, and clothing are all there. The only missing things are her laptop and Kelly herself. book

China’s concerned enough to call the police who don’t take it very seriously since there’s no sign of a break in or a struggle. Kelly does call China later and asks to meet but never shows for their appointment either. The next day, China finds out Kelly was in a car accident on her way to China’s house.

To complicate matters further, Ruby’s sister, Ramona, has invested in a local craft brewery. She’s also invested in the owner who just happens to be Kelly’s husband. He says Kelly’s being difficult about the divorce and ownership of the property. He can’t understand why Kelly won’t just walk away so he and Ramona can live happily ever after. Ramona wants what she wants and expects it to happen immediately.

Kelly’s crash proves to be no accident. Her van was rear-ended on a dangerous stretch of road. She’s on life support and things don’t look good for her prognosis. On the phone with China, Kelly said she knew about a murder, thought she knew who did it, and the proof was on her computer. She wouldn’t talk about it on the phone. China’s got to wonder, but not say anything to Ruby, did Ramona have anything to do with the accident?

As China delves into Kelly’s mystery, she finds out more and more about hospice care and has an idea of what Kelly was up to—and it’s all pretty ugly.

This is the twenty-fourth book in the China Bayles series. The title comes from the fact that Ramona wants to add more varieties of beer to the menu, including one made with blood oranges. China has to examine her own life as much as figure out the mystery. Have she and McQuaid become too complacent in their marriage? Ruby figures out that no matter how much she worries about Ramona, there’s little she can do to rein in her sister’s overenthusiastic attitude.

Readers get to see more of China’s adopted daughter, too, and a whole new side to Sheila, the police chief. As always, a satisfying read, a chance to catch up with old friends, learn about herbs and brewing beer, and how murder can sneak into any situation. Each book is a visit to Pecan Springs that readers don’t want to end.

Recipes include orange-rosemary muffins; blood orange granita; orange-rosemary liqueur; blood orange, avocado, grape and spinach salad with orange vinaigrette; spicy henbit; no-cook overnight orange-mint oatmeal; tortellini with lemon basil butter sauce; coffee-pecan liqueur; blood orange liqueur; strawberry shrub (non-alcoholic drink); homemade ginger ale; and stress buster orange banana slush lunch.

To enter to win a copy of Blood Orange, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “orange,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 9, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy:


Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Brown April 2, 2016 at 7:31am

Another great novel to read; thanks for the chance 🙂
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com


2 Celia Fowler April 2, 2016 at 7:44am

This book sounds wonderful, and what awesome recipes! I have never read Susan Wittig Albert before, but would love to start with this book!


3 Bev Boehm April 2, 2016 at 8:32am

I have enjoyed all of this series and look forward to reading this new one.


4 LuAnn Summers April 2, 2016 at 8:44am

Thanks for this opportunity. Love China Bayles


5 LuAnn Summers April 2, 2016 at 8:49am

Thanks for this opportunity.


6 Elaine Roberson April 2, 2016 at 9:09am

I have read many of the books in this series and enjoyed all of them. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of Blood Orange.


7 Della Williamson
Twitter: @DellaWilliamso6
April 2, 2016 at 9:54am

Looks like a great read. Am most interested to see what China has found out about Kelly. And get a handle on what’s going on with Ruby, Sheila, and the others. Who did it? But I suppose I can wait a bit for the book. Thanks for the chance to win it.


8 Cheryl April 2, 2016 at 11:18am

I love Susan Wittig Albert, currently reading Widows Tears. One of my top five authors. I would be thrilled to win this book. Thanks for the great reiview.


9 Kathleen Costa April 2, 2016 at 2:22pm

I love blood oranges, and can’t wait to try out some of those recipes. the author is new to me, so I’ve started exploring some of her other books. Wow! The whole series is really exciting…but where do I start?
Thanks, Susan, for setting me off on a wonderful reading adventure to last quite awhile. Thanks, KRL, for an opportunity to get one of her books.


10 Donna Townsend April 2, 2016 at 3:26pm

Love China Bayles and the gang. All of Albert’s books are well worth reading!


11 Wendy Clark April 2, 2016 at 4:54pm

Please enter me!


12 DEBBI GOODMAN-SMITH April 2, 2016 at 5:54pm

I would love to get together again with China, Ruby and and the gang in Pecan Springs, TX. through Susan Wittig Albert’s newest book.


13 Dianne Casey April 2, 2016 at 6:05pm

This book sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading. Like the herbal theme and also that it includes recipes.
A recent post from Dianne Casey: East Tennessee Give A Heart Rat RescueMy Profile


14 Sarah Hills April 2, 2016 at 9:36pm

Love this series!


15 Doward Wilson April 2, 2016 at 11:02pm

Thanks for sharing this great review and a chance to win.


16 Linda Herold
Twitter: @Linda
April 3, 2016 at 12:16am

Thanks for another chance at a great book.


17 Kathleen Hubenschmidt April 3, 2016 at 10:01am

I read the China Bayles series when it first started but at some point lost track of it. I do, however, love blood oranges (the fruit) and think I’ll try a revisiting!


18 Trisha Faye
Twitter: @texastrishafaye
April 3, 2016 at 12:09pm

Great review for one of my favorite authors. I love the China Bayles series and have followed Susan since I discovered her in 1996. Thanks for holding a drawing for Blood Orange.
Trisha Faye
texastrishafaye at yahoo dot com


19 Jean McNeil April 3, 2016 at 12:31pm

I love the series. I also love blood oranges. Sounds like a win to me.


20 Karen Warren April 3, 2016 at 1:47pm

I enjoy your website and Susan Witig Albert’s books.


21 Carolsue
Twitter: @MsCarolsueA
April 3, 2016 at 2:31pm

This looks like a great book! Hope I win it!
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net


22 Teresa Young April 3, 2016 at 3:56pm

I love the China Bayles series, and Blood Orange sounds like it will be as satisfying as the previous books.
tmyoung at rochester dot rr dot com


23 Karen April 3, 2016 at 8:23pm

Looking forward to this new China mystery, thank you for the opportunity to win.


24 Ruth Nixon April 3, 2016 at 11:18pm

Would love to win this book. I’m a big fan of China Bayles and have all the others. Love the title.
Ruth Nixon ruthenixon@sbcglobal.net


25 Candice April 4, 2016 at 5:40am

I am looking forward to this book and absolutely love this series. By far my favorite books. herbalinfusions3@gmail.com


26 Karen Jamison
Twitter: @Fusion
April 4, 2016 at 5:48am

I LOVE China Bayles! This is just what I needed!


27 Mary Ammann April 4, 2016 at 6:33am

Love the China Bayles series. I am few books behind. Would love to catch up with this one.


28 Susan J Tweit
Twitter: @susanjtweit
April 4, 2016 at 6:40am

Susan Wittig Albert’s mysteries just get better and better. I can’t wait to read this one!
A recent post from Susan J Tweit: Why I Live in SalidaMy Profile


29 Gail Allen April 4, 2016 at 7:27am

My favorite author! Can hardly wait to read this one since I have been rereading all of her books! I live in the Hill country so I love reading about all the local areas.


30 Jonquil April 4, 2016 at 4:01pm

Sounds like a fun read. 🙂


31 sherry oden April 4, 2016 at 8:25pm

I have read all the books in this series, love the characters and know this new story will be as great as all the previous ones!


32 Jeanette Larson April 5, 2016 at 5:42am

Always great to have a new China Bayles!


33 Cris April 5, 2016 at 5:43am

Love China and her crew. Have enjoyed seeing everyone’s live develop over time.


34 Michele Dorsey
Twitter: @cmicheledorsey
April 5, 2016 at 5:50am

I have loved this series for years! Not just the stories, but I became hooked on herbal gardening. Can’t wait to read this one. cmicheledorsey@gmail.com


35 CarolH April 5, 2016 at 6:00am

Have enjoyed reading all the China books. Would love to win Blood Orange.


36 Cheryl Hawes April 5, 2016 at 6:14am

I am so ready for a new China Bayles mystery!


37 Ana April 5, 2016 at 6:21am

I live in Pecan Springs, more or less. The fictional town is located between San Marcos and New Braunfels and includes elements of both. I know the street China lives on well and graduated from the real-life university. I’m pretty sure that the inspiration for China shop is an herbal shop in Austin, though Ruby’s half actually sold hand-made stamps when I visited. There’s a newer version of China’s shop just a bit northeast in Lockhart, the Market Street Apocathary and Cafe, and the people there are just as friendly (a major virtue around here)!


38 Jane April 5, 2016 at 6:41am

I love the way SWA depicts the complexity of relationships and staying true to self too. I don’t usually pay much attention to the recipes, but reading in your review what they’ll be has me thinking about oatmeal!

Thank you. (janespickettatgmaildotcom)


39 Anna April 5, 2016 at 7:31am

Wonderful series! Can’t wait to read more about China!


40 Barbara LH April 5, 2016 at 7:33am

looking forward to reading another wonderful SWA book with favorite China Bayles


41 Sandy April 5, 2016 at 8:35am

Howdy! The Texas hill country & a good mystery: Yee-Hah!


42 doreen doss April 5, 2016 at 10:35am

Just finished reading Loving Eleanor, and I am looking forward to another China Bayles book.


43 Toni Hothan April 5, 2016 at 10:46am

Love this series! tonitdg@aol (dot) com


44 Donna Donabella April 5, 2016 at 12:50pm

Love Susan’s work and especially China Bayles…looking forward to reading this one and hope I win!


45 Amy Palmer April 5, 2016 at 1:59pm

I LOVE your books and pass them on to everyone I know! Thanks for a chance to win one! 🙂


46 Renee April 5, 2016 at 5:50pm

Delighted to see another China Bayles mystery arriving!


47 Caryn April 5, 2016 at 6:43pm

I love this series. I didn’t realize there was a new book coming out !


48 Lilly Mathews April 7, 2016 at 6:50am

I enjoy your books so much.


49 J Teague April 8, 2016 at 3:00pm

Can’t wait to read this one. SWA is a terrific author!


50 Laurie April 8, 2016 at 3:17pm

Sounds like another fantastic story!


51 Marilyn Watson
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
April 8, 2016 at 5:23pm

Great Contest and another book I would love to read. Thank you so much…
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


52 Taryn Lee
Twitter: @TarynRaeLee333
April 9, 2016 at 2:23pm

Love her work. This is one of the first cozy mystery series that I ever read and have been enjoying it since I picked up the first book.


53 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
April 18, 2016 at 2:01pm

We have a winner!


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