Quote of the Week

"The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them."
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic
10-30-03. Web Comic Pioneer

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Spanish Dagger" by Susan Wittig Albert

Spanish Dagger is the 16th book in the durable China Bayles Mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert. .  I have been a fan from the beginning and when ever possible I like to get these on CD for the car.  This book was no disappointment.  As many of my friends know I appreciate when the author spends a little time catching you up on what is going in the series, JUST in case you have been busy reading other things.  Set in Pecan Springs, Texas about half-way from Austin to San Antonio this book fit nicely with my trek around the country reading mysteries by state.  Consistent with the herbal themes in the series Spanish dagger or also known as yucca plays a big part in the story.  China as usual is a busy bee between her catering business, the herb shop, and a weekend paper making class.But while gathering supplies for her paper making class, she finds a dead body in a patch of yucca plants.  In a side story, China's half-brother Miles has decided to investigate their father's death which was a old and cold case.  Miles asks McQuaid, China's husband and former cop and current PI to help with the case.  The book moves fast and the tidbits about the landscape and the yucca plants was very interesting.  I think Albert was on her game with this book and shows why she has such a devoted following.  In my quest to have books have place be a significant part of the story, this did not disappoint.  I found myself loving the heat, the descriptions and, the flavor of this part of Texas.  Albert keeps a web site and blog about her books which is a great resource.  She provides reading resources too.  If you have not read her books,  I would suggest reading one or two of the beginning in the series where the author establishes the characters and the type of books they will be.  Then, if you read out of order, you can follow along.  I got my book from my public library but check out now your local system for e-books and audios as well as print and as always support your favorite independent book store that I am sure has a few of these great mysteries on the shelf.