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China Bayles Series By Susan Wittig Albert

In the mood for a little light reading while exploring the world of herbs? Master Gardener and herb expert Shari Mayer reviews the “China Bayles” mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert. Each of the multiple volume mystery series centers around a particular herb. Read this article to learn more about this clever and informative mystery series.

Reviewed By Shari Mayer, Master Gardener

China Bayles Series By Susan Wittig Albert

In the mood for a little light reading with an educational bent?  Check out the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert.  This series can be likened to ‘The Cat Who…’ mystery novels, by Lilian Jackson Braun.  Even if you’re not a mystery buff, these books are delightful and you learn a lot about herbs along the way.  It’s a lovely read for a road trip, up at the cabin, or just sitting on your porch after a long day gardening. 

This series is comprised of 28 mysteries to date, each centering around a particular herb.  It’s a great way to explore the world of herbs.  I would recommend reading in order, although it’s not required.  Albert has been publishing this series since 1992, garnering several awards along the way, including the Agatha award.  She has a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley, and has also published under pen names, including Carolyn Keene and Robin Paige. 

In this series China Bayles is a high-powered attorney, who left that world behind to open an herb shop in a small Texas town.  Each book is centered around a particular herb, and it’s amazing how much you learn about that herb as the plot thickens.  I’ve been recommending this series for years now, and it doesn’t matter your age or inclination, everyone seems to love them.  If you haven’t tried them, now’s the time.  I used to get them from the library, but I hear Kindle, as well as Amazon Prime, both have options.  Happy reading!

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