Apr 092016

special guest blue

I am pleased to welcome Susan Wittig Albert to Escape With Dollycas today! 

susan wittig albertBlood Orange Blog Post
By Susan Wittig Albert(Post provided by publicist.)

This year marks the publication of the 24th China Bayles mystery, Blood Orange. Gosh—it seems like yesterday when the first book, Thyme of Death, came out. But that was way back in 1992, the same year that Bill Clinton became president, Hurricane Andrew bulldozed across South Florida, and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven cleaned up at the Oscars. To tell the truth, I never imagined that China and Ruby would be still be sleuthing, 24 books later. But I’m glad they are, for they’ve given me, as their partner-in-crime, many wonderful (and challenging) hours of writing fun.

Back in the day, those early China Bayles mysteries broke some new ground. For one thing, regional mysteries were fairly new to readers, and I was a little worried that a small town in the Texas Hill Country might not be appealing. What’s more, China was a shop owner, an herbalist, and a gardener, the first of her kind in the U.S. (British mystery author John Sherwood had already written several books in his Celia Grant horticultural series but there were none in America.) China’s mysteries were also among the first to feature recipes (Diane Mott Davidson began doing this at about the same time). And China Bayles herself was the first ex-lawyer (a criminal attorney) coupled with an ex-cop boyfriend/husband.

blood orangeTo my mind, it was China’s background as a lawyer that made her different from other female amateur sleuths—and still does. She’s had experience with lots of different bad guys, which gives her an eye for criminals and a pretty strong sense of who isn’t telling the truth. She knows the law and is trained to spot the ways people—both bad guys and good—use the legal system to their advantage. Her relationship with Mike McQuaid has given her an insight into the way cops and professional investigators think and work, and her friendship with Sheila Dawson, Pecan Springs’ first female chief of police, provides a strong connection to local law enforcement. On the other hand, her longtime friendship with highly-intuitive slightly-wacky Ruby Wilcox gives her a different view of what’s going on.

All these elements stir up a rich stew of plot possibilities for every China Bayles adventure, and Blood Orange is no exception. I had fun playing with the possibilities of blood oranges for food and drink—and the unexpected discovery that blood oranges are used in artisanal beer gave me a clue to an important plot thread. But it’s China’s background as a lawyer that makes the Blood Orange plot so complex. When she unearths some fraudulent doings in the local hospice, her legal experience helps her find a murder that has been buried so deep that even the cops can’t find it.

But even though China is very smart and experienced, it’s often Ruby who gets her out of a really tight situation. I had a lot of fun writing the scene near the end of the book where China gets locked in the villain’s garage and Ruby—

But I don’t want to spoil your fun, so I’ll just invite you to pour a cup of tea, grab a handful of your favorite cookies (maybe Ruby’s Hot Lips Cookie Crisps), and settle in with Blood Orange. It has all the elements that make China Bayles a true Texas original: an amateur sleuth with a green thumb and a serious nose for prime-thyme crime. I hope you enjoy it!


blood orange

Blood Orange (China Bayles Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280003
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In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital…

It’s mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her part ownership of the Comanche Creek Brewing Company, which she is refusing to sell.

At the same time, as a nurse employed by a local hospice, Kelly has discovered instances of suspicious practices. Even more disturbing, she suspects that a patient was murdered. Kelly’s knowledge could be dangerous, and she wants to get guidance from China on what to do.

But on her way to China’s house, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured, putting her in a medically induced coma. Now it’s up to China to determine who wanted her out of the picture. Was it her soon-to-be ex? His new lover—who happens to be the sister of China’s friend Ruby? Or someone connected with the corruption at the hospice?

China owes it to her friend to uncover the truth—but she may be putting her own life at risk…

About This Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the New York Times bestselling author of four Prime Crime series: China Bayles, The Darling Dahlias, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and (with her husband, Bill Albert) the Robin Paige Victorian Mysteries. She also writes historical fiction. Recent titles: Loving Eleanor and A Wilder Rose. Her website: www.susanalbert.com

Books in this Series

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 Hardcover Copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

  40 Responses to “Special Guest – Susan Wittig Albert – Author of Blood Orange – #Giveaway too!”

  1. Love a good mystery.

  2. I like the sound of this book. Would really enjoy reading this book, love the cover. Great giveaway, thanks.

  3. I like the synopsis, sounds like a great read.

  4. I love Susan Albert’s series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of her latest.

  5. I have not read any of Susan Witting Albert’s books yet, but have heard so many wonderful things about the China Bayles mysteries. Definitely need to add to my TBR stack!

  6. I’ve been a fan of Susan’s since I first read Thyme of Death. I love the China Bayles Mysteries, and the Beatrix Potter series as well. I don’t have access to all of her other books, or I’d be reading them too!

  7. Sounds like a good mystery! I love the covers in this series.

  8. I’ve read every one of Susan Wittig Albert’s books and have enjoyed them thoroughly. I call it painless learning since I learn so much about horticulture through her books, not to mention such believable characters who become your family, too.
    I take issue with your comment, though, re recipes: Diane Mott Davidson took over for Virginia Rich-the first to publish recipes-due to her untimely demise. Ms. Rich had left some ms. that Diane Mott Davidson-a fine author in her own right!-completed those books and went on to establish her own seris…another one I don not miss! Thank you.


  10. I love the China Bayles books and learning about all the herbs. Thanks for the chance to win.

  11. I love this series.

  12. Thanks for the enticing synopsis/review. This is a new, but very exciting series. I’m in! thanks.

  13. Susan Wittig Albert is an author whose writing has proved reliable to her readers in each new book published. Thank you for the review and giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  14. I just can’t believe that I’ve been reading this series for over 20 years. Wow! Thanks for all the good books and keep them coming.

  15. I have really loved this series over the years. I also love all the herbal information too

  16. Love this series,

  17. The series looks great, interested in reading it for sure!!

  18. I didn’t realize how many books were in this series that is great and this one sounds so good.

  19. This sounds like a really interesting story. I would love to read it.

  20. I am a big fan as a speed reader/ Avid cozy reader of Susan Witting Albert’s books. I follow this blog by email and on FB. Hello Miranda ! Hope to win this fabulous book Thanks for the opportunity I do not use twitter.

  21. I didn’t realize there was this many books in this series. I love reading Susan Wittig Albert books. Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. I’ve been a fan for years, love all the books , have read all the books at least once. Would love to read/wing this one

  23. Have loved the China Bayles books since the beginning. I hope to read many more!

  24. SO glad we have another trip to Texas!

  25. So many books in this great series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Love your Mysteries, Thanks for this chance.

  27. Those covers are always so unique and attractive. I can’t wait to get into the story. Thanks

  28. This story sounds interesting.

  29. Sounds like an exciting read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. I’ve followed this series since it started. Love it and look forward
    to each new installment. Can’t wait to get this one in my hands.

  31. I love China’s stories and have read them all to date. I even own the last one in hard cover. I’d be honored to add this to my home library if I won it.

  32. Wonderful series and great author. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.

  33. Love these books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. Love this series. Have been watching for a give-away as I am on fixed income and have to rely on the library.

  35. Just bought blood oranges at the fruit market. What a coincidence.

  36. I’d love to add this book to my shelf!! Thanks for offering it!!

  37. I enjoyed reading this post and all the history on China and series. Wow 24 books in a series! That has to be a record.
    I also like how China – interesting name by the way – is a strong female character, especially since the books started as early as 1992! (I was four at the time!)

  38. 24 books in one series….that is amazing! Thanks for having the giveaway. Your books sound like marvelous mysteries.

  39. Susan, I have been a fan of your China Bayles cozy mysteries from way back starting with Book 1 Thyme of Death. I was excited when I heard about Blood Orange. I have been receiving your newsletters for years.

    Best wishes. 🙂

  40. Appreciate this post and am looking forward to what will be a great read if the blurb is any indication. It has been a few years since I have read one of her books. I enjoyed it. And am looking forward to getting reacquainted with her style and characters. I am looking forward to this. The books are on the TBR. Am hoping for an early start. Thanks for the chance to do so

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