Widow's Tears (China Bayles)
Susan Wittig Albert
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Herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is “in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum” (Publishers Weekly). In Widow’s Tears, a haunted house may hold the key to solving the murder of one of China’s friends…
After losing her family and home in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Rachel Blackwood rebuilt her house a hundred miles inland and later died there, still wrapped in her grief.
In present-day Texas, Claire, the grandniece of Rachel’s caretaker, has inherited the house and wants to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast. But she is concerned that it’s haunted, so she calls in her friend Ruby—who has the gift of extrasensory perception—to check it out.
While Ruby is ghost hunting, China Bayles walks into a storm of trouble in nearby Pecan Springs. A half hour before she is to make her nightly deposit, the Pecan Springs bank is robbed and a teller is shot and killed.
Before she can discover the identity of the killers, China follows Ruby to the Blackwood house to discuss urgent business. As she is drawn into the mystery of the haunted house, China opens the door on some very real danger…
to a small fenced plot at the edge of a wood, the other went to a barn, a double garage, and a small frame house—the caretaker’s cottage, probably. Behind that were a kitchen garden, a chicken coop and fenced yard, and several sheds. Ruby took a deep breath, then another. Nothing much had changed in the years since her first visit, except that the house, still out of place and uncompromising, had grown older and more worn and tired. Seen from this angle, it was even more maimed and misshapen
Viagra). Garlic continues to be a staple of the Indian Ayurvedic healing system and an essential therapy in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine. In Europe, in plague season, it was worn around the neck and had the virtue of keeping possibly diseased people from getting too close. Garlic has long been considered a powerful force against evil, the devil, and ghostly spirits. In the Mediterranean region, it was hung over the bed to protect from evil spirits or ghosts while sleeping. In Slavic
Ramona was telling the truth or handing me a big bunch of baloney. Was Ruby really thinking of selling her shop to her sister—and hoping to sell her share of the partnership, as well? I was aware that she was overdoing it and needed a vacation, but I hadn’t suspected anything so drastic. Maybe I was being selfish about this as well, but the thought of having Ramona as my next-door shop neighbor did not fill me with rejoicing. And as McQuaid pointed out, if Ruby left the partnership, it would be
The helicopter wouldn’t be able to fly in the storm, but we’d be on the list when the weather cleared. And knowing McQuaid, I was sure he’d be in touch with the Fayette County emergency services, too. We went out the back door, around the house, and down the slope, Claire leading the way. The rain was still coming down in buckets. The path was ankle deep in water and it was a struggle to keep my footing. My sneakers were immediately soaked and the hood of my poncho kept blowing off. I finally
something metallic, and I swung it back. It was the back bumper of a pickup truck, nose down, the cab roof flattened down as if it had been in a rollover. It was wedged beneath a fallen tree and almost fully submerged, the bed jacked up on a boulder, FORD clearly visible across the tailgate. It was thirty yards or so downstream of the bridge, about four or five yards from the bank, completely surrounded by rushing water, completely out of our reach. “There, China!” Claire yelled, seeing it at