From Publishers Weekly
Add another fragrant bloom to the dozen already in the bouquet of Albert's herbal cozies (Thyme of Death, etc.) starring China Bayles, a former big-city attorney who now runs Thyme and Seasons Herbs, a small shop in quiet, touristy Pecan Springs, Tex. Dill is the featured herb in this installment of the high-concept series. As Pecan Springs gets ready for its annual Pickle-Fest, China and the other members of the Pretty Pickle Planners panic when Phoebe Morgan the Pickle Queen disappears right before the big event. There are plenty of suspects, false scents and surprises as China scrambles to keep Pickle-Fest alive-and solve a murder or two. The interplay of the author's core characters, including China's husband Mike McQuaid and her best friend Ruby Wilcox, keep the plot perking along. McQuaid, a former cop, is focused on becoming a PI, while Ruby's daughter, Amy, seems bent on making the same mistake Ruby made as a young woman-becoming a single mother. The only sour notes Albert hits in this dill-infused mystery are the terrible pickle jokes, but China's good sense and good humor easily compensate.
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Fans of the prolific Albert know that her China Bayles series delivers more than just a whodunit. Included in all of her "herbal" mysteries are several recipes--some featuring delicacies served at former lawyer China's Thyme for Tea shop and others featuring the herb showcased in the story. Dill takes center stage here, mostly in the form of pickles. Tiny Pecan Springs, located in the Texas Hill Country, is preparing for the gala tenth anniversary of Picklefest. China, whose husband, McQuaid, is launching a new PI business, is on the planning committee. Coincidentally, McQuaid's first client turns out to be Phoebe Morgan, the "Pickle Queen" whose family pickle business is the biggest in Texas. When Phoebe disappears before the festival, China and her best friend, Ruby, try to figure out where she went and why. Meanwhile, Ruby's daughter Amy is pregnant--and not divulging the father's name. As China learns more about the baby's father, Phoebe's disappearance, and an embezzlement scheme at Morgan's Premier Pickles, surprising connections are revealed. Readers will relish this more-sweet-than-sour adventure. Jenny McLarin
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