Hangman's Root: A China Bayles Mystery

Front Cover
Scribner's, 1994 - Fiction - 245 pages
5 Reviews
Fur is flying in Pecan Springs, Texas, as lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles finds herself snarled in a deadly animal rights dispute. Dottie Riddle, biology professor at Central Texas State University and the notorious Cat Lady of Pecan Springs, runs the ritziest cat rescue operation in Texas. But Dottie's generous concern for strays has earned her the hatred of neighbor and fellow biology professor Miles Harwick, and her active opposition to the biology department's animal experimentation program has brought her more academic enemies than she can count. So when Harwick is found dead with his neck in a noose, police chief Bubba Harris charges Dottie with murder. Dottie assures her good friend China Bayles that, although she hated the man, she is not a killer. As China begins to unravel the knotted threads of the dead man's life, she discovers that Dottie isn't the only one who may have wanted him dead. There's the lab assistant who knows that animals weren't the dead man's only victims. There's the student animal rights activist who pulls China's best friend, Ruby Wilcox, into the turmoil. And there's the biology chairman who shared with the dead man a festering secret that threatens the entire department. Which of them fastened the noose around the dead man's neck? Or was it, in fact, a vengeful suicide? Ably assisted by tall, flaming-haired Ruby Wilcox, law school nemesis Justine Wyzinski ("The Whiz"), and stunning Sheila ("Smart Cookie") Dawson, Chief of Security at CTSU, China digs for the root of evil deep in the hearts of people who had a motive for murder. But meanwhile she must also dig deep into her own heart to discover how she feels about sexy ex-cop Mike McQuaid, who givesher a final ultimatum about their relationship. The China Bayles mysteries are a spicy brew of remarkable characters, intricate plots, and small-town shenanigans, stirred together with a rich seasoning of herbal magic. Hangman's Root is the best yet in this original and critically acclaimed series.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DrLed - LibraryThing

Synopsis: Murder of a nasty professor on a college campus brings China to the aid of a cat-loving biologist and of a PETA organizer. China and Mike are house hunting. And Ruby meets a relative she has ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lindahallmann - LibraryThing

A nurder of a professor at the local college keeps China busy. Miles Harwick is involved with research on live animals that raises the ire of the local animal rights group. When he is found dead his past casts shadows across the obvious solution to his death. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Susan Wittig Albert was born in Illinois in 1940. In 1985, she changed careers from working as the vice president and an English professor at Texas State University to becoming a full-time writer. During the mid- to late-1980s, Albert was a ghostwriter for the Nancy Drew mystery series. She wrote the acclaimed "Work of Her Own: How Women Create Success and Fulfillment off the Traditional Career Track" in 1992. Under the pseudonym of Robin Paige, Albert and her husband, Bill Albert, co-authored a twelve-volume mystery series set in late Victorian/Edwardian England. Albert writes the bestselling China Bayles mystery series, which features as its main character a Texas herbalist who had been a criminal attorney in Houston. Albert also writes the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter historical fantasy series, which is set in England during the early twentieth century.

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