Monday, April 2, 2018

I'm happy to be joining #BerkleyMystery in celebrating the April 3 release of 
Book 26 in the China Bayles Mysteries

A present day ghost leads China Bayles to a secret from Pecan Springs's past in this haunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert.

While helping Ruby Wilcox clean up the loft above their shops, China comes upon a box of antique handcrafted lace and old photographs. Following the discovery, she hears a woman humming an old Scottish ballad and smells the delicate scent of lavender.... 

Soon, strange happenings start to occur in Thyme and Seasons: misplaced items, a ringing bell, and the appearance of lavender sprigs in odd places. When a customer mentions seeing a mysterious woman picking flowers nearby and then suddenly disappearing, China must finally admit what Ruby has always known--their building is haunted. But by whom?

As China investigates, the tragic story of a woman in one of the old photographs unfolds. Annie Laurie was a young widow who'd lost both her husband and her child in the same day. She manages to survive through her lace-making business and finds happiness again only to have a suspicious death overshadow her new life.

China delves into Annie's century-old mystery and realizes that solving it could have unimaginable repercussions in the here and now.



1 lucky reader will win a copy of


USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.



I will never argue the fact that Susan Wittig Albert is a wonderful author. Her writing is easy to read. It has a flowing quality that keeps you reading long after you have planned to stop. Just one more page. One more chapter. You know the kind. And her knowledge of the plants she uses in each of her China Bayles mysteries, well, it’s clear she does her research, and that it’s a topic she enjoys.

In QUEEN ANNE’S LACE, China is trying to solve a mystery from the past. Not hers, but that of a woman named Anne. Anne’s story takes place in the late 1800’s. Every other chapter in this book is set in the past, and then the present. I didn’t really enjoy the back and forth of this. While Anne’s story is interesting, I would have preferred much less of it. It turned half of the book into a historical story, and while I have a few historicals that I read, they aren’t my favorite.

As always with this author, the writing is impeccable. And, the factoids on the Queen’s Anne lace are fascinating. Diehard fans of Susan Wittig Albert as well as fans of historical fiction, will enjoy QUEEN ANNE’S LACE.

As a writer, I work in three genres, mystery, historical fiction, and memoir. My mysteries include the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries and The Darling Dahlias, about a Southern garden club in the 1930s, as well as an eight-book series, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the 12-book series that my husband Bill Albert and I coauthored under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

My historical fiction includes THE GENERAL'S WOMEN, a wartime romance about Ike's love affair with Kay Summersby; LOVING ELEANOR, about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A WILDER ROSE, about the mother-daughter team that produced the Little House books. A WILDER ROSE is currently under option for film.

Bill and I live in the Hill Country of Central Texas, where I write, garden, raise chickens, and practice the fiber arts. You can find out more in my two memoirs: TOGETHER, ALONE: A MEMOIR OF MARRIAGE AND PLACE; and AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS.


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  1. Thanks, Lisa. On a side note, I love Queen Anne’s Lace (the plant) and think it is very pretty. Happy Monday!

  2. Thank you for your honest review on "QUEEN ANNE'S LACE" by Susan Wittig Albert. I have read books with dual times and have enjoyed them but never a cozy. I'd love the opportunity to read it. Thanks for the chance!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. Thanks for sharing your review, Lisa. Sounds like a good book.

  4. I always wanted a haunted loft!

  5. Thanks for featuring Queen Anne's Lace on your blog and for your giveaway. Susan Wittig Albert is certainly a prolific author, and I can't believe I have not read any of her books yet! Happy Monday!

  6. This is the only China Bayles I have not read and I am looking forward to doing it soon. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. I'm hoping to win, this looks like an awesome book!