Hangman's Root (China Bayles, #3)
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Hangman's Root (China Bayles #3)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,985 ratings  ·  81 reviews
When an animal researcher is found hanged, China Bayles discovers that her friend the Cat Lady is not the only one who wanted him dead, becomes involved in animal rights issues, and deals with a romantic ultimatum from Mike McQuaid.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Berkley (first published 1994)
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The Alienist by Caleb CarrSoul Music by Terry PratchettWizard's First Rule by Terry GoodkindLord of Chaos by Robert JordanInteresting Times by Stephen Briggs
Best Books of 1994
28th out of 153 books — 49 voters
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Books Set in Texas
246th out of 260 books — 104 voters

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A nice little mystery with some interesting characters. I wasn't sure I would like the herbalist aspect of the book, but I did find it interesting. The mystery was well-done with sufficient red herrings and the legal aspects were accurate, including the memories of law school. I did find China a bit annoying but I cannot put my finger on why -- I think it has something to do with her approach to her relationships, including friends and boyfriend. And I was disappointed that her feline, Khat, did...more
BOTTOM LINE: #3 China Bayles, herbalist, ex-lawyer, Pecan Springs, Texas, would actually rate this as four-and-one-half stars. An excellent series, not at all as sweet as you might think.

University politics and family connectedness intertwine in surprising ways, as China tries to help her friend Dottie Riddle survive the death of a colleague she detested. Seems she’s being set-up for the fall.... China’s New Age friend Ruby plays a large part as both investigator and center of family dysfunctio...more
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University politics is a fierce competition, too often riddled with animosity and infighting as those involved plot against each other to gain greater status and tenure. Sometimes, as China Bayles discovers in her latest mystery, it can even be deadly. China's friend Dottie, a cat-loving professor at the local college, enlists China to help her deal with the threats of an associate professor in her department, a man focused on questionable animal research who has riled the local animal rights ac...more
The third in the China Bayles series--I'm now reading the second, Witches' Bane, although I hate reading series out of order. Hangman's Root--unlike the first book but like the second--takes a while to get to the murder that is at the center of the mystery. Albert has ignored the formulaic "get to the central tension in the first chapter" advice, and it works for her. The exposition and set-up at the beginning of the book are well done and the plot is good. Central to Albert's successful storyte...more
Nice story. Enjoyed reading it.

Now for the research quibble. Guinea pigs play a small part in the plot, as rapidly multiplying lab animals. My siblings and I bred and raised guinea pigs when I was a teenager, so I know guinea pigs. Quite well.

They might be rodents, like rats and rabbits, but they do not breed like rabbits. When a guinea pig is pregnant, it's obvious. Like a pregnant human is obvious. Much more so than even cats or dogs. The female waddles around with these enormous bulges on ei...more

Once again, the mystery was very well played and I enjoyed watching it unravel. I can't say I liked the victim, nor did I honestly care about him - he was just so very easy to dislike. There were quite a few people with reason to want him dead and I didn't figure it out until just about the end. I also liked that we are starting to see China grow a bit more as a character. I appreciate that she has her own strengths and weaknesses, but I really liked seeing her bend and go out of her comfort zo...more
Sarah Sammis
Hangman's Root is the third in the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert but the only one I've read but I want to read more. It is a cozy mystery in vein of Miss Marple, the Cat Who books and so forth but it manages to avoid being too cute or too depressing.

China Bayles is an ex attorney who has switched careers to run an herb shop in a small town near Austin Texas. Her friend who works at the local university and runs a cattery for strays is accused of murder when a biology professor is fo...more
China is on the case in this 3rd book in the series. She has to help her friend Dottie, a professor and cat rescuer defend herself against murder charges for killing her neighbor and fellow professor. Entangled with the main story is China's relationship with McQuaid going to the next level and their house hunting expedtion. We are introduced to a new character, the chief of Security at the University, who China and McQuaid nickname "Smart Cookie" I have a feeling that she and China will become...more
Just as two stars means: it was okay. I would probably give it 3 or even 4 stars if the author didn't keep tossing in the occasional f or s word. This crude language doesn't seem to be in character with the plot or the writing style, and it most certainly doesn't add anything - only takes away. Last year I had determined not to read any more of the China Bayles series for exactly that reason, then I started again when I became a little desperate for something to read. I am now reading the next b...more
A prominent animal researcher is found hanged in the midst of angry protests against his experiments. Suspicion falls on Dottie Riddle, the Cat Lady of Pecan Springs -- a local biology prof whose sympathy for stray cats just might make her capable of murder. But China doesn't think so. She hires a lawyer for Dottie and starts looking around for clues. But she and Ruby quickly discover that digging up old evil is a dirty and dangerous business!

Hangman's root is another name for catnip but you'll...more
I am enjoying this mystery series. China Bayles is an ex-attorney turned herb shop owner in a small Texas town. She is enjoying life now that she's stepped out of the fast lane. She has several good friends, and a developing relationship with Mike McQuaid, an cop who also has retired from the field and now teaches at the local college. In this installment, China investigates the murder of a prominent science professor at the local college and tries to clear the name of another professor who's be...more
This continues the China Bayles series. China is an amateur detective and herb shop owner. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep one reading right along, and China and her friends are a likable group. China's relationship with ex-cop Mike McQuaid give her access to far more information than she would be privy to otherwise. China and McQuaid, as she calls him, are moving along in their relationship. It is not likely China could meddle in an investigation as much as she does, but if the rea...more
Mar 18, 2014 Pat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Great setting, wonderful herb shop.
Animal rights.
Professor is killed.
Jennifer Bagby
Nov 25, 2013 Jennifer Bagby marked it as to-read
Shelves: mystery
China Bayles
1. Thyme of Death (1992)
2. Witches' Bane (1993)
3. Hangman's Root (1994)
4. Rosemary Remembered (1995)
5. Rueful Death (1996)
6. Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
7. Chile Death (1998)
8. Lavender Lies (1999)
9. Mistletoe Man (2000)
10. Bloodroot (2001)
11. Indigo Dying (2002)
12. A Dilly of a Death (2004)
13. Dead Man's Bones (2005)
14. Bleeding Hearts (2006)
15. Spanish Dagger (2007)
16. Nightshade (2008)
17. Wormwood (2009)
18. Holly Blues (2010)
19. Mourning Gloria (2011)
20. Cat's Claw (2012)
21. Widow's...more
All of the China Bayles series books are written with a conversational style, and endearing sincerity. The characters are both loveable and believable as are the places. Albert describes things well enough to give you a picture for your mind's eye without allowing the descriptions to overtake the storyline. If you've never lived in Central Texas trust me when I tell you that this is as close as you can get without moving here! These books are a comfortable, easy read - equally good for rainy day...more
Een boek dat mij aansprak omwille van het verhaal over de moord op een wetenschapper die met proefdieren werkt. Een zeer vermakelijk boek, dat erg vlot leest en mij al van in het begin kon boeien. Initieel wordt enkel het gekke mens dat 95 katten in haar tuin houdt verdacht van de moord, maar naarmate het verhaal vordert komen alsmaar nieuwe verdachten aanbod, waardoor je toch tot op het laatste je afvraagt wat er precies gebeurd is. Verschillende verhaallijnen kruisen mekaar, alleen jammer dat...more
Catherine Woodman
I really like this series, and this, the third book in the series is just as good as the others. In this book China takes on a challenging case to try to absolve her friend of a murder that was staged to look like she had done it. China relies on her lawyer friend and her very eccentric friend Ruby to help her friend, the town eccentric called the "cat lady". We also see China take the big step of a committment with her boyfriend. There's enough murder and mayhem as well as gardening information...more
Feb 17, 2013 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
Shelves: murder-suspense
China Bayles and Mcquaid have decided to mov ein together and rent a gorgeous 5 bedroom Victorian house for 18 months. So, China is nervously taking their relationship to another level meanwhile she is busy investigating a suicide. A friend of hers Dottie Riddle was falsely accused as the murderress but China knows she didn't do it. Her sidekick Ruby is working as assistant investigator along side China and hopelfully with both of them working on Dottie's side they'll dig up some solid evidence...more
It was okay. Not one of my favorites.
Heather Adkins
There's just something about Albert's characters that scream "real." I'm an avid reader, and it takes a terrible book to keep me from finishing it. I'm big on series, and this China Bayles series is one that I'm really enjoying. China is flawed, kind, and almost a teensy bit selfish, which really helps me to connect with her. The people around her in the books remind me of family, friends, and neighbors here at home; I recommend this series and am looking forward to continuing it.
Scott Newsom
All of the China Bayles novels are set in San Marcos whether the author admits it or not. Having grown up there I recognize much of it. My father also knows the author well as they were colleagues at SWTSU for many years. It is fun to pick out aspects of the novels that reflect people, places and things I know well, or at least knew back then. That being said, the mysteries are good whether you know San Marcos or not. Enjoyable characters and believable plots make for fun reading.
Hangman's Root - Ok
Albert, Susan Wittig - 3rd in China Bayles series

A prominent animal researcher has been hanged. And suspicion has fallen on the Cat Lady—a local biology professor whose obsession with rescuing strays makes her, in some people's minds, capable of murder in defense of animals. But China is a friend of the Cat Lady, and she doesn't agree. This may have been an act of pure human aggression…

Protagonist owns an herb shop. It was okay; very light.
Donna Jo Atwood

China Bayles' third book introduces Sheila "Smart Cookie" Dawson, the new head of campus security at CTSU, where most of the action takes place. As usual, the solving of the murder is slightly improbable (how many police departments would stand for the amount of interference China and her friends manage?) but the relationship are fun to watch evolve. In this one China and McQuaid are looking for a house to rent together.

Read for 2009 Spring Challenge 15.9a
Oct 02, 2010 Nancy added it
China is asked by a biology professor who rescues cats to help her fight against a neighbor who is after her cats. The neighbor is also a professor at the college where she works and he is murdered. The woman is charged with the crime. She is eventually released and the college secretary is arrested for the crime. China also is house hunting with her boyfriend so they can move in together. Ruby's unknown daughter shows up.
Toni berkshire
Sorry I read these books out of sequence, because this one gave me much needed background on the character of China Bayles and why she is the way she is, which was a bit mystifying to me. Finally, 'get it'. Good series. I still have a few left, but enjoyed this one because of the background and the cat loving character and the introduction of Ruby's daughter. So many side developments going on.
Catnip is also known as hangman's root. I didn't know that! In this book (#3 but they are just as much fun out of sequence) we meet China's best friend, Ruby's long-lost daughter - the murder suspect, of all things. In this book we learn a recipe for flan using lemon verbena (and it's yummy!) We also meet Smart Cookie, and will see a lot more of her in future books.
Yet another good book in the China Bayles series. I never would have guessed the murderer in this book. Very good, and now I want to build a cattery! ; ) I read the first handful of books in this series out of order, mainly because I'd pick them up at the library book sale or on clearance at HPB as I'd see them, but I think from here on out I'll be on track.
China Bayles makes me want to uproot my "corporate life" and pack my family off to a small town in the south to slow down and enjoy life. Only without all the murder and crime that China seems to get involved in. And I'm probably more inclined to a new age shop like Ruby than an herb shop. I love China Bayles and the whole Pecan Springs crew!
Mary Barleycorn
Another author that I try to read everything she has written.
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Susan is the author/co-author of biographical/historical fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction.

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