Thyme of Death – Susan Wittig Albert

761668 (1)

3/5 Herb Shops

On The Back:

China Bayles has it all – a prestigious Houston law practice, money, power – but it’s not enough. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s confident, and she knows she wants something more out of life than the fast track offers. Something like the Thyme and Seasons herb shop in Pecan Springs, Texas. Realizing that her career is turning her into somebody she doesn’t like, China does what many people only dream of doing: She relocates to a small town to begin a new and, she hopes, a gentler, more fulfilling life. But even in Pecan Springs, evil can occur among ordinary people living everyday lives. China soon learns that while she can move from the city, she can’t escape the world of moral choice. When China’s good friend, Jo Gilbert, apparently commits suicide, China is more than puzzled. Jo had been suffering from a terminal disease, but wasn’t the type to take her own life. And, to a lawyer like China, some revealing letters that Jo leaves behind shout blackmail and murder, not suicide. But why would anybody want to kill a woman who will die soon anyway? And what about the scent of perfume in Jo’s house? When another mysterious death occurs, China is sure she’s dealing with homicide. Helped by her best friend, New-Ager Ruby Wilcox, and with support from lover Mike McQuaid, a former-cop-turned-professor, China follows a trail of greed and fear to discover some unsettling answers. Thyme of Death marks the memorable debut of one of the most original and appealing new female sleuths to come along in years. Readers will identify with China Bayles as she makes the kind of tough decisions that confront us all.

My Thoughts:

I don’t know how many times I’ve checked this book out from my local library, but until this week I’d never read it. I’m sorry to say that I was missing out! I enjoyed this mystery enough to look for the second book.

I liked China, she was a strong, intelligent character, but yet I didn’t “click” with her character, I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t seem to relate with her at all. At times she was also arrogant. However, I immediately clicked with the rest of the characters, from Ruby to Meredith, to Mike.

The mystery was excellent, it was really the highlight of this story. It not only had a well-thought-out ending but it had enough clues and fake clues to throw me for a loop. I really enjoyed it. The setting was also excellent, I loved the herb shop and China’s home in it, it was all very well described and I could picture it easily.

This was a decent book that I enjoyed, however it was on the line between cozy and non-cozy to me, a few scenes didn’t follow the “cozy-mystery” definition of very little sex and/or blood and gore. Not that the book was bad in any way, but I just expected it to be a little bit different.

Overall a very good book with a few small things I didn’t like. I’ll be looking for the next one soon.

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