Authors: Susan Wittig Albert
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. . . .
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK
"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."
"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."
SUSAN WITTIG ALBERT'S
previous China Bayles mysteries
"Realistic, likable characters."
Not too spicy, just right."
LOVE LIES BLEEDING
"The best yet in an appealing
"Fine observations and sly humor."
"A delightful cast of unusual characters."
THYME OF DEATH
"Lively and engaging."
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK
Dedicated to the memory of Marge Bell Clark
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NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written.
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adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
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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
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
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
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..
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.
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
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
which are widely collected as Christmas
decorations, have been used to treat cholera, hysteria, heart problems, and
nervous conditions. Western dwarf mistletoes
are deadly tree pests whose infestations threaten
whole forests. Their leaves have no decorative or medicinal value.
"Mistletoe Magic" Home and Garden page, Pecan Springs
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,
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
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
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