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Authors: Susan Wittig Albert

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Mistletoe Man - China Bayles 09

BOOK: Mistletoe Man - China Bayles 09
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Mistletoe Man - - China Bayles 09
Book Jacket
Series:
China Bayles [9]
Tags:
Mystery, reworkpdf

SUMMARY:
Selected from a mix of all the popular Mystery subgenres -- classic whodunits, hard-boiled investigators, cozies, police procedurals, true crime, adventure/suspense -- and from the many highly acclaimed and unique Mystery titles that enter the market.Business is booming at China Bayles' newest venture, Thyme for Tea -- but she's too distracted to revel in her latest entrepreneurial triumph. When the former big-city lawyer isn't trying to spend more time with her new husband and stepson, she's worrying about Ruby, who just hasn't been herself lately. To further complicate matters, China has to round up a supply of mistletoe, the season's most popular herb. It seems an easy enough task -- until her chief supplier turns up dead. . . .

Mistletoe Man

 

 

 

 

 

Susan
Wittig
Albert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK

Praise for
Mistletoe
Man
..

"Ms. Albert artfully uses Texas
language patterns to bring the down-home town of Pecan Springs alive with
eccentrics in abundance in this colorful Christmas story."

—The
Dallas
Morning
News

"China proves herself
intelligent, independent, persistent and compassionate
...
This is a funny, human story that will give Albert's admirers
a ringing jingle bell romp."

—Publishers
Weekly

 

Raves for

SUSAN WITTIG ALBERT'S
previous China Bayles mysteries
...

 

LAVENDER LIES
...
"Realistic, likable characters."

—Chicago
Tribune

CHILE DEATH
...
"Satisfying
...
Not too spicy, just right."

—Publishers
Weekly

LOVE LIES BLEEDING
...
"The best yet in an appealing
series."                                                                               

Booklist

RUEFUL DEATH
...
"A page-turner."    
—Publishers Weekly

ROSEMARY REMEMBERED
...
"Memorable, indeed."

—Publishers
Weekly

HANGMAN'S ROOT
...
"Fine observations and sly humor."

—Wilson
Library Journal

WITCHES' BANE
...
"A delightful cast of unusual characters."

—Booklist

THYME OF DEATH
...
"Lively and engaging."

—Fort
Worth Star-Telegram

 

Mistletoe Man

 

 

 

 

 

Susan
Wittig
Albert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK

Dedicated to the memory of Marge Bell Clark

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by tile Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700,
Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada

(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250
Camberwetl Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson
Australia Group Ply. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre,
Panchsbeel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive,
Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand
Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee
Avenue, Rose bank, Johannesburg 21%, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered
Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is
entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does
not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their
content.

PUBLISHER'S
NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written.
The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that
may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any
adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

MISTLETOE MAN

A Berkley Prime Crime Book /
published by arrangement with the author Copyright © 2000 by Susan Wittig
Albert.

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be
reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without
permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted
materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized
editions.

For information, address: The
Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson
Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN:
1
-4406-6586-9

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley
Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and
the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA)
Inc.

Acknowledgments

 

Thanks to Pamela and Frank Arnosky, of
Texas Specialty Cut Flowers, in Blanco, Texas, for their fascinating and
informative articles in Lynn Byczynski's newsletter,
Growing for Market.
The Arnoskys' articles have given me useful
information about the challenges and rewards of growing flowers for market in
Central Texas.

Thanks to Bill, who makes it all possible, day
after day. And to expert herbalists Theresa Lowe, Carolee Synder, Pat Reppert,
Sybil Kunkle, Betsy Williams, and Deborah Cravens: E-mail friends who are
generous with their advice and support and who surprise me, over and over, with
their adventures and insights into the magical, mysterious world of herbs.

And speaking of herbs, I must add this caution to
all readers:

Please don't use this
novel as your herbal guide to good health. While both China Bayles and I have a
great deal of confidence in medicinal plants and frequently use them ourselves,
neither of us would presume to prescribe them as a treatment for your ailments.

The Druids hold nothing more sacred
than mistletoe
...
and when it is
discovered, it is gathered with great ceremony, on the sixth day of the moon,
which for these Gallic tribes constitutes the beginning of the months and the
years.... Hailing the moon in a native word that means "healing all
things," they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and
bring up two white bulls..
..
A
priest wearing white vestments climbs the tree and with a golden sickle cuts
down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill
the victims, praying to their god to render his gift propitious to those on
whom he has bestowed it.

Pliny the Elder (C.E.
23-79)

 

 

Chapter
One

 

There are three species of mistletoe, one
European, the other two American. All three are parasites that invade a host
tree and feed off its nutrients. European mistletoe
(Viscum album)
the legendary "Golden Bough," was
believed to cure epilepsy and ulcers, encourage fertility, banish evil spirits,
promote peace, and serve as an antidote to poisons. American mistletoes
(Phoradendron sp.),
which are widely collected as Christmas
decorations, have been used to treat cholera, hysteria, heart problems, and
nervous conditions. Western dwarf mistletoes
(Arceuthobium sp.)
are deadly tree pests whose infestations threaten
whole forests. Their leaves have no decorative or medicinal value.

China Bayles
"Mistletoe Magic" Home and Garden page, Pecan Springs
Enterprise

 

 

 

 

I said goodbye to Rowena Riddle and
put the phone down with a bang.

"Uh-oh," Laurel Wiley said.
"Doesn't sound good." "It isn't," I said grimly. "The
Christmas Tour of Homes is only a week from tomorrow, and I haven't even
started to clean house, much less decorate. Now Rowena wants to know what sort
of herbal goodies I'll be serving to the guests, so she can put it into the
program." I made a face. "She wants to know what my theme is,
too."

It was still a few minutes before nine, and the
pale winter sun was just beginning to slant through the window. But Saturday's
a big day at Thyme and Seasons, especially during the holiday season. Laurel
turned the
closed
sign
to
open
and
straightened the Christmas wreath on the front door. She has been my full-time
shop assistant since last spring, when I had to take time off to deal with a
major crisis in my personal life. Part Cherokee, Laurel has a wide streak of
earthy common sense.

"Seems like a
reasonable request to me," she said. "What
are
you
serving?"

I retrieved the cash
drawer from under the dust rags. "Hey, give me a break! The Thanksgiving
turkey is hardly cold on the platter. We're still eating leftover
stuffing." I shook my head disgustedly. "Whatever made me agree to
have the house included in that stupid tour, anyway? Everybody else has a
theme, or a color scheme, or they're decorating ten dozen angel cookies. I
haven't done the laundry since Halloween, much less decked the halls. It'll be
a disaster!"

BOOK: Mistletoe Man - China Bayles 09
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