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Lavender Lies by Susan Wittig Albert

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

Lavender Lies by Susan Wittig Albert

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: #8 in the China Bayles series
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 297
Challenges: Support Your Local Library #30
Source: Library ebook

The Short Version:
In the middle of last minute wedding stuff, herb shop owner China Bayles finds herself trying to help solve a murder so that her fiance can wrap up the case before they leave on their honeymoon.

Why I Read It:
This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series and I was in the mood for something a bit light.

The Book
It’s the 8th in a series so I can’t keep this spoiler free of storylines that have developed over the first 7 books. Skip to “my thoughts” if you care.

It’s a busy week in Pecan Springs. China and McQuaid are getting married on Sunday and there are a ton of last minute things to do. With McQuaid serving as interim chief of police it gets even more complicated when local businessman Edgar Coleman is found murdered. China is worried that if the murder investigation isn’t resolved, their honeymoon and possibly even their wedding might not happen.

In the interest of getting the investigation wrapped up at the same time as the last minute to do list for the wedding China and her friend Ruby get involved in trying to find out who killed Coleman. It turns out that many of their friends and just about everyone on the city council is a valid suspect.

Don’t forget about the stranger who shows up and asks for China’s help in connecting with her long lost daughter. And we don’t even want to talk about the hurricane in the gulf that could definitely put a damper (or downpour) on the outdoor wedding plans.

My Thoughts:
This continues to be one of my favorite cozy mystery series. There’s just enough of police/legal procedural mixed in due to McQuaid’s police background and China’s former legal career. It keeps it from being quite the total amateur/busybody sleuth type of story.

I also really enjoy the information about herbs and flowers as well as recipes scattered throughout the book. One interesting tidbit is this prelude to one of the chapters.

The god of silence is represented as a young man, half-naked, holding a finger to his lips and with a white rose in the other hand. A white rose used to be sculpted over the door of banqueting rooms to remind guests that they should never repeat outside the things they had heard I their festive moments. The same emblem was once carved on confessionals. Sometimes actual white roses were hung by a host over the tables where he entertained his guests – the origin of the phrase sub-rosa “under the rose”. The phrase goes back in English at least until the time of Henry VII
The Meaning of Flowers
Claire Powell

I didn’t know that and found it interesting.

I also found the story interesting. By book 8 I’ve come to know China and her family and friends and their story progressed in this one intermixed with a mystery that kept me guessing in as many places as it was predictable.

Rating 3.5/5


Ladytink_534 7/23/2010 7:14 AM  

Hangman’s Root was the last one I read in this series and that was in 2006! I really need to start this (and other cozy mysteries I'm behind in) up again.

SuziQoregon 7/27/2010 8:28 PM  

Ladytink: Oh yes you need to get back to this series. I've stuck with this one longer than many other cozy series I started. One of my favorites.

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