Thyme of Death (China Bayles #1)
By Susan Wittig Albert
Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1992. 260 pgs. Mystery
China Bayles used to be a big city lawyer, but when the law profession became too stressful for her, she moved to the small town of Pecan Springs, Texas, where she opened up her own herb shop. One day, she gets a phone call that one of her good friends has apparently committed suicide. However some circumstances don’t quite match that conclusion. Is it murder? Using her police connections and knowledge of the law, China starts investigating, and when another murder is attempted, China realizes there is more going on in Pecan Springs than she realized.
This book has a nice small town feel where everyone knows each other and, for the most part, is willing to help each other out. It also includes the element of small town gossip where everyone (thinks) they know each other’s business. China is an interesting character and I loved how she uses her knowledge of law to direct her investigation. She knows what types of evidence will hold up in court, and that’s the type of evidence she looks for. This was a fairly light and easy to read mystery, and the first in a series if you want to read more about Pecan Springs.