Author Julie Seedorf

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


DEATH COME QUICKLY
Book 22 in the China Bayles Mystery series
by Susan Wittig Albert


Herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is back in New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert's Death Come Quickly. This time a friend’s murder may be the key to solving a nearly fifteen-year-old cold case… 

When China and Ruby’s friend Karen Prior is mugged in a mall parking lot and dies a few days later, China begins to suspect that her friend’s death was not a random assault. Karen was a filmmaker supervising a student documentary about the almost fifteen-year-old murder of a woman named Christine Morris and the acquittal of the man accused of the crime. Is it possible that the same person who killed Christine Morris targeted Karen?

Delving into the cold case, China learns the motive for the first murder may be related to a valuable collection of Mexican art. Enlisting the help of her San Antonio lawyer friend Justine Wyzinski—aka the Whiz—China is determined to track down the murderer. But is she painting herself into a corner from which there’s no escape?

MY REVIEW


DEATH COME QUICKLY was sent to me by the publisher to review and is the first book I’ve read in the China Bayles series. I’ll admit that when I purchase books, unless it’s a series I already know, the cover is what draws me in. Don’t get me wrong, the covers in this series are beautiful, they’re just not the cozy covers I’m used to, so I never gave them a chance. Well, I’m happy the chance was given to me.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Albert started each chapter with “Herbs of Good and Ill Omen”. It was extremely interesting to learn about the beliefs associated with all the different plants me mentioned.

I really liked the character China. She’s a wonderful protagonist. I felt a connection with her right away. All the characters in the story are incredibly well written and so multidimensional.

The story itself is extremely compelling. Very detailed and intriguing. It had much more happening than the back cover description alone would lead you to believe. And it as a pleasant surprise to find recipes at the end of the book.

I now know what so many other readers before me already knew. . . . Susan Wittig Albert is a great author and she now has a new fan of the China Bayles series in me. 


BITTERSWEET
Book 23 in the China Bayles Mystery series
by Susan Wittig Albert


New from the author of Death Come Quickly and Widow's Tears
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles—who teams up with an old friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder in a South Texas ranching community…


It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise—turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

How will Leatha manage if Sam can’t carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.

Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen’s death may not have been an accident, and if there’s a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger…

MY REVIEW


Having just read and reviewed DEATH COME QUICKLY, book 22 in this series, I was eager to read BITTERSWEET. But when I read what the subject of BITTERSWEET was, trophy game ranches, places where animals are kept and raised for the purpose of hunting them for thrills and trophies, I almost choose not to read the book. I personally find such places appalling and feel they should be outlawed.  But I was sent this book by the publisher to review, so I read it.

This is only the second book I have read in this series, but as with DEATH COMES QUICKLY, I found BITTERSWEET to be very well written. There is no doubt author Susan Wittig Albert knows how to draw readers into a story.

Written partly in first person with China narrating, and partly in third person with the story of China’s friend Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers being told, I wasn’t sure I was going to care for it at first, but I found myself looking forward to the spots where the POV changed (Normally at the start of a new chapter). It kept the story fresh, and I think it was a creative choice.

And even though the subject was not a favorite of mine, without giving anything away, I had reason to smile near the end when the universe had a unique revenge planned for the villain. I cheered!

Rounding out the book is very interesting information on different types of plants, and some tasty sounding recipes.

After reading books 22 & 23 in this series, I’m going to get book 1 and start this great series from the beginning. 

Both books are now available 
for pre-order for their 
Tuesday, April 7 release date!

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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13 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa! Great Reviews! I have read one book in this series and really liked it. I plan to read more.

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    1. I just ordered the first from B&N. I really enjoyed them!

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  2. Both of these authors are new to me. Thank you for the reviews! :)

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  3. Thanks, Lisa! I would have had difficulty, based on the book subject, too, but glad to hear there was reason to cheer!

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    1. Yes Pat. You know how I feel about animals. And the thought that there are places that raise animals, some endangered, for the soul purpose of hunting and killing them makes me ill. But yes, cheer I did! ;-)

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  4. I started this series years ago when it first began but then other series pulled me away. It sounds like I need to start at the beginning again. Thanks, Lisa!

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    1. Joan, that happens to me too. So many new books coming out all the time!

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  5. I haven't read any books by her in a while. Thanks for the reviews! I will have to check them out again when I get to a bookstore.

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    1. Elaine, she really does have a wonderful style of writing.

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  6. Susan Wittig Albert is a favorite author of mine. I haven't read this book, but have read many of hers, starting at the beginning of the series.

    Great review, Lisa.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. I just mentioned above to Dawn that I ordered the first in this series. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  7. Sorry to neglect you, Lisa. I've been a little busy with housework (ugh) but I'd rather be reading your blog! Susan Wittig Albert is one of my favorite author's and I look forward to reading this one. Thank you for a great post!

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