by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Last Chance Olive Ranch. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
When a killer bent on revenge comes after McQuaid for putting him in jail, it’s natural that China Bayles would want to help her husband. It’s also natural he’d want her and their stepdaughter out of harm’s way. With son Bryan off at school, Caitie visiting grandma, China thinks everything’s set. McQuaid convinces her to go with her business partner Ruby to do a class at an olive ranch. It seems odd that olives grow in Texas, but with a lot of work, it’s possible. It’s also an obsession.
Maddie Haskell inherited both the ranch and the obsession from Eliza Butler. Eliza’s nephew Boyd, is contesting the will while wooing Maddie. He says if they get married, they can merge their ranches into something spectacular. Maddie’s not in love with him, but the idea is appealing. Ruby thinks it’s a big mistake, but then Ruby is a true romantic.
Of course, even though a killer is on the loose, presumed to be headed for McQuaid, life goes on. A quick, unannounced visit to Bryan brings a big surprise that Bryan apparently isn’t ready to talk about yet. He does tell McQuaid that Sally, his mother, is on a rampage again. She needs help and is in a panic which could mean anything from a broken fingernail to impending war in her world. Bryan suggested she call McQuaid, just what he didn’t need.
Working with Blackie, former police chief of Pecan Springs and his current private detective partner, is reassuring since Blackie seems to get calmer the closer they are to danger. Blackie’s wife Sheila is the new police chief and wants to help but isn’t able to due to an as yet unannounced situation of her own.
Ruby not so subtly maneuvers China into giving Maddie legal advice. There are questions about Eliza’s death by drowning since it happened at night and Eliza didn’t go out alone after dark. Sofia runs the ranch kitchen and more. She’s concerned about Maddie’s involvement with Boyd but will only tell China why. When a fire threatens to destroy the evidence she has, China puts herself into danger to retrieve it.
Meanwhile, the killer has come after McQuaid but in a way they never imagined. Now it’s up to McQuaid and Blackie with selected help from local authorities to save the day.
This is book twenty-seven in the China Bayles series. It’s a little different than usual since McQuaid and Blackie have their own case while Ruby and China are figuring out what’s going on at the olive ranch. Sheila has worries of her own. Bryan’s secret is sure to surprise. Only Caitie is missing in this episode.
Albert makes sure her characters are believable and evolving through the series. Readers can hope to follow China and McQuaid, Ruby and the rest into old age. Meet Winchester, the Basset rescue, Howard Cosell having crossed the rainbow bridge. He’s three so will be around for volumes to come.
Albert also writes the Beatrix Potter mysteries (8), the Darling Dahlia vintage mysteries (6) and with her husband (writing as Robin Paige) twelve Kathryn Ardleigh “Death at…” books plus five standalone books.
To enter to win a copy of The Last Chance Olive Ranch, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “olive,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 13, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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