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Blood Orange

(China Bayles #24)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,294 ratings  ·  226 reviews
In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital...
It’s mid-April in Pecan Springs, and China is renting her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who needs a temporary place to live as she contends with a very acrimonious divorce from her husband Rich. One nasty point of dispute is her
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Berkley
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Susan Many whistle blowers have the cases sealed to allow prosecutors can find additional evidence and so as not to taint possible juries in advance. Do you…moreMany whistle blowers have the cases sealed to allow prosecutors can find additional evidence and so as not to taint possible juries in advance. Do you believe that it is possible to find 18 people who have not heard about Snowden and his activities? (less)
Sofia Wren Premeditation and intention beyond that time period make it a more severe crime. Think about who you would rather have in jail for longer--someone who…morePremeditation and intention beyond that time period make it a more severe crime. Think about who you would rather have in jail for longer--someone who made a bad decision that week, or someone plotting and breaking laws for years in a calculating and sociopathic way? There are different levels the prosecution can try someone for, murder or negligent homicide, etc. and they require different kinds of evidence. A stronger case means they can try to get a longer sentence, and try him as guilty for a different kind of crime.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,294 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Who wouldn't like to live in a town where herbal stores, cafes, and breweries that want to make herbal-infused beer coexists with people who love to garden, cook, and brew tea? Maybe the murder victim, but - hey, he may have deserved it, who knows?

Even if you haven't read any of the other books in this series, plunge right in. It's a leisurely read, not so much cozy as conversational, with China narrating the storyline as well as the way the town came to be botanical-friendly. You'll learn about
Lauren Stoolfire
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Blood Orange is officially my third Susan Wittig Albert cozy mystery. I finally feel like I'm starting to get somewhere and get a real handle on some of the characters even though I missed the first twenty-one books in the series. I may have to read more in the books in the series in the future.
Lisa Morin
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Blood Orange
A China Bayles Mystery #24
by Susan Wittig Albert
Expected Release Date: April 5, 2016

I have been reading this series for many years and I always look forward to reading another book featuring China Bayles and the wonderful folks in Pecan Springs.

This book was intense from beginning to end. China has rented out her cottage to Kelly Kaufman, a hospice nurse who needs a quiet place to contemplate her divorce from her cheating husband. Kelly seems to have disappeared, but after receiving
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
After twenty-four stories, the new China Bayles Mystery is as fresh as the herbs mentioned throughout.

The first thing I know about a new China Bayles book is, I’m going to learn so many new things. Practically every chapter begins with information on different herbs, spices, and whatever each individual book is about. The second thing I know is, I’m in for an exciting, fast moving read. BLOOD ORANGE lives up to all of those expectations.

This book touched on so many subjects. The everyday runni
Becky Burciaga
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in the China Bayles series books I have read and I must say that I need to go back and read them from the beginning...they're just that good. Having read the previous books in the series wasn't an absolute necessity as the author does a fine job of providing the backstory throughout the book.

China has such a dynamic personality, so much so that she fairly leaps off the page...the mystery adds to her dynamics with the way she goes about solving the case. You feel her emotions a
Zanne Baker
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Well written. I did wonder how come it was okay for China's husband to lie to her face, tell the truth to the whole town but not her, and then, why China thought it was all her fault. He didn't even apologize. Maybe I missed something. I also thought that the reason given by China to start the denouement was stupid; I never have thought China was stupid, but this certainly was.
Holly McIntyre
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I do so like China Bayles and the other characters in the Pecan Springs series, but I think the herbal premise on which the series is based has worn thin. The herb shop expanded to tea room, expanded to catering service, expanded to B&B (or airbnb or something similar) seems to have exhausted the herbal allusions. The reference to blood orange in the title seemed forced to connect to various recipes China was trying out, not an integral part of the crime itself. As for Ruby's New Age shop -- ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The China Bayles series still remains one of my very favourites. I enjoyed this latest addition, but maybe not quite as much as most of the others in this series. China is always so level-headed in so many ways, but it sometimes stretches credulity how she lets herself get off on her own in what she knows perfectly well, are dangerous situations. In this book she finds herself locked in with a particularly dangerous and unpredictable killer. Luckily for her and for her readers, all comes out wel ...more
Julie  Durnell
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is one of the better books in the China Bayles Herbal mystery series-good plot regarding Medicare fraud and always great herbal lore intertwined! China's personal development was also addressed as she comes to terms with a husband who doesn't always play it safe in his PI work.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
China Bayles is one of my favorite characters, so I don't know why I stopped reading the series a couple of years ago. I love her hints, her crazy family life, Ruby, the pets, and her tea room. I'm really glad I picked up this book, and I'm going to catch up on the few others I have not read. In this installment, China is missing McQuaid who is off on an investigation with Blackie. Her guest at the cottage behind the store, a nurse named Kelly, disappears mysteriously and soon China finds hersel ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in the long-lived China Bayles series seems to be back on the right track. I was a bit disgruntled with the past two; let's face it, with any series that's lasted this long, there are going to be some books that are better than others, or that resonate more with some readers than others. But after two disappointing books in a row, I was really glad to see China and her circle of friends and family back in top form. All the herbal lore and knowledge and recipes on top of the story is ju ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A little something for, general information on herbs and plants and a China Balyes Mystery. Kelly needs a place while she goes through a messy divorce and stays in the back cottage of China's home when she disappears. She had left her job under iffy conditions as she was sure there were suspicious practices and even murder at the local hospice. I have not read any of the previous books in the series but it wasn't necessary. I would read more for quick reads when a non-threaten ...more
Carole Sullivan
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a nice surprise! Every once in awhile I need a comfortable cozy mystery. I like China Bayles and her stores and family and plants and recipes. The setting in West Texas is familiar - I'm in New Mexico and the flora and fauna and foods are similar. She writes well and there is little fat on the bone. The "regular" characters give her many sub plots to explore. I'm sure I will read her again and recommend you give it a try.
Wasn't as good as the other books in the series.
Good story, standards of these China Bayles mysteries have not declined, and that's a happy thing. Ms. Albert has tackled the problems of Medicare fraud and elder abuse in this story, and as usual has created some new characters that you quickly have an interest in. It's been a while since I read any of these, but they're just as enjoyable as I recalled.
Kris Meyer
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good series
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable installment in the China Bayles series. The mystery was okay but the real pleasure comes from visiting with this intelligent heroine and benefitting from Ms. Albert's painstaking research, in this case on herbal intoxicants and the hospice system.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It never fails when I read a China Bayles Mystery by Susan Wittig Albert, I want to go work in my garden.
The author combines mystery and suspense with the world of herbs in a smooth and easy flowing fashion. You don’t have to like herbs to enjoy her books, that’s just an added bonus.
In her latest release, BLOOD ORANGE, protagonist China Bayles has rented her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who is in the midst of a nasty divorce. A short time later it appears Kelly has been kidnapped from the cot
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-most-foul
The usual enjoyable experience with China Bayles and her friends/family. I did feel like this book was some sort of setup for the next book. The actual action takes place in less than a week.

Someone is killed and China investigates and runs down the killer in three or four days...that has to be some kind of personal record for her.

One thing in the book made me crazy. (view spoiler)
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have always enjoy this series. It's a nice, light respite between reading the newspaper and the darker books that I enjoy. Plus there are always interesting tidbits about herbs and spices. In this case it was about oranges and blood, both the fruit and the colors. Ms. Albert manages to tie things together nicely. China is upset because her husband is on a case and has called to tell her that she won't be able to reach him for a few days. She soon learns that his latest case is a very dangerous ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series has been a must read as soon I have a copy. I have followed China, Sheila, and Ruby from the first adventure. This book could be read as a stand alone as the background is explained. There is slight paranormal activity in the book. Interested in flavor liquors and beer there is beneficial information on the subject. China becomes involved in a whistleblowing case on medicare fraud. Ruby has a vision that China must be careful about entering a door. China has rented out her cabin to K ...more
Jill Manske
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I started reading Albert's China Bayles series when I lived in the Texas Hill Country. It was fun to read about places I knew from a kindred spirit. Even then, I recognized that Albert's books were just a couple of steps up from Nancy Drew. But I liked the characters and found the books a pleasant change from the more heavy-duty books I tend to read. I hadn't read one of her books in years, so when I saw "Blood Orange" on the new books shelf at the library, I picked it up out of sense of nostalg ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozies-mysteries
I love China Bayles, but I didn't love this book. It was ok, but I had a hard time getting into it, and sticking with it. I found the sub-plots distracting, between Ramona and McQuaid.

I frankly felt like McQuaid was an ass (view spoiler)
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can count on the China Bayles series being well written with characters that seem like people you’d actually like to meet, and Blood Orange is no exception. In addition to a good mystery, there are also interesting facts about plants and botanicals included, since China is the proprietor of an herb shop in Pecan Springs, TX. China’s friend Kelly, a hospice nurse, is going through a difficult divorce when she stumbles on some irregularities in her employer’s records. Even though China’s worried ...more
LInda L
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can hardly believe that I have not read other Susan W Albert books. She's written SO MANY. Don't think I can read them all, but I did enjoy this one: a mystery, murders, but no unnecessary mayhem or gore. Loved all the characters in the town -- China did some pretty stupid things even though she knew better, but fortunately someone had her back. And I loved the little blurbs about the plants - not that I'll probably ever use any of them, but it's interesting. I hope Albert writes more -- and i ...more
Westminster Library
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: debbra, mystery
The newest China Bayles mystery is an exciting continuation of our character’s lives. The story line builds with the happening of various mysterious events putting China back in the detective business. A wonderful series of books revolving around unique uses of herbs and recipes at the back of each book.

Blood Orange found at Westminster Public Library.
China is drawn into a missing person investigation when her bed and breakfast tenant disappears, turns up several days later, and then is involved in a horrific traffic accident. Meanwhile Ruby's sister Ramona has fallen in love with the missing person's husband, Ruby has visions of a mysterious door that China needs to avoid, and McQuaid is off on a mysterious job that had China thinking he may be having an affair.

I enjoyed this installment more than the last couple of books in the series. I th
May 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
A whydunnit as well as a whodunnit. Medicare fraud plays a part in the plot and I learned a lot about that. Lately the author has been using multiple POVs but this time it’s China’s straight through, which I prefer. She also provides her usual herbal lore, this time centered around the properties of oranges and the possibilities of herbal liqueurs and drinks. This is a good entry in the series.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read all of her herbal mysteries and enjoy them all. I love the Intro to each chapter with unique herbal information. And the recipes are great. This book starts with Blood Orange Rosemary Muffins, which I can't wait to try . I was recently in Texas very near the fictional town of Pecan Springs, so reading this book, I can almost picture everything.
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What I like most about the series is the setting - the Hill Country in south Texas, which the author describes in such excellent detail, the interesting main characters, and the detailed information on plants in every book. Not to mention delicious and unusual recipes.

My full review:
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