Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Review and Giveaway: Mourning Gloria by Susan Wittig Albert
Pecan Springs, Texas, in springtime is a busy place especially for China Bayles, owner of Thyme and Seasons. Her herb shop and garden is a time consuming enterprise now that she and her partner Ruby, owner of adjacent shop, Crystal Cave, have opened a tea room. China's personal life has become fuller in the last year too as her eleven year old niece, Caitlyn, has come to live with her and her husband, McQuaid and his teenage son Brian.
One night on her way home from the shop, China spots a trailer on fire and stops to call 911. When she hears screams for help coming from inside, China tries to help but the trailer explodes. After the sheriff investigates, it is ranked an arson homicide case seeing that the victim was bound and shot before the trailer was set on fire.
China is haunted by not having been able to save the young woman inside and her cries for help keep reverberating in China's mind. She begins some investigations of her own but the danger ratchets up when Jessica Nelson, young intern for the local newspaper, begins her own investigation. The fact that Jessica's family had perished in a house fire makes her more dertermined than ever to find justice for the victim. Unfortunately, Jessica gets a little to close to the truth and puts herself in a precarious position.
When China gets a frantic message from Jessica for help, China ramps up her own investigation and just by a stroke of luck being in the right place at the right time, she is able to help close the case.
Any fan of cozy mysteries or suspense will find this a riveting fast-paced read. There is a lot going on in this story with multiple viable suspects and motives. The dialogue in Ms. Albert's books rings true and the characters are very well drawn. I've read numerous books in this series and have enjoyed them all. 4****
Mourning Gloria is the 19th book in the series but it can easily be read as a stand-alone. Ms. Albert gives enough background snippets throughout the book for any new-to-the series reader but not overwhelmingly to make it sound repetitious to readers who have followed the series right along. At the end of the book are quite a few recipes. Each chapter is prefaced with some interesting info about herbs.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for my honest opinion.
To celebrate this month's release of Mourning Gloria, Berkley is allowing me to give away one hardcover copy of the book, US address only. Deadline to enter is April 15th at 5 PM (est0. Be sure to include an e mail address in your comment.
As always bonus entries available:
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