Blood Orange By Susan Wittig Albert: Review/Giveaway

Apr 2, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra 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:

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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

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

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

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

    Reply
  4. Thanks for this opportunity. Love China Bayles

    Reply
  5. Thanks for this opportunity.

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
  8. 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.

    Reply
  9. 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.

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

    Reply
  11. 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.

    Reply
  12. This book sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading. Like the herbal theme and also that it includes recipes.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  13. Love this series!

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

    Reply
  15. 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!

    Reply
  16. 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

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

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

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

    Reply
  20. 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

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

    Reply
  22. 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

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

    Reply
  24. I LOVE China Bayles! This is just what I needed!

    Reply
  25. Love the China Bayles series. I am few books behind. Would love to catch up with this one.
    Samplergal@gmail.com

    Reply
  26. Susan Wittig Albert’s mysteries just get better and better. I can’t wait to read this one!

    Reply
  27. 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.

    Reply
  28. Sounds like a fun read. 🙂

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  29. 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!

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

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

    Reply
  32. I am so ready for a new China Bayles mystery!

    Reply
  33. 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)!

    Reply
  34. 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)

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  39. Love this series! tonitdg@aol (dot) com

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

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

    Reply
  42. Delighted to see another China Bayles mystery arriving!

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

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  44. I enjoy your books so much.

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

    Reply
  46. Sounds like another fantastic story!

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

    Reply
  48. 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.

    Reply
  49. We have a winner!

    Reply

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