The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries

The Last Chance Olive Ranch (#25)
A Pecan Springs Mystery

Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has broken out of Huntsville Prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows there's only one way to stop the vengeful convict—set a trap with himself as bait.

China wants to stay by her husband's side and keep him from harm. But McQuaid insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she's agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.

When China and her best friend arrive at the ranch, she learns the owner, Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza's nephew is contesting the will.

While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid's plan backfires when Mantel executes a countermove he never saw coming. Now McQuaid's life is not the only one at stake—and this time may really be his last chance...

Here's what reviewers have to say about the China Bayles mysteries!

  • "[Albert] consistently turns out some of the best-plotted mysteries on the market."
    Houston Chronicle

  • "Engrossing...China continues to appeal with her herbal information and savvy sleuthing."
    —Booklist (starred review)

  • "[China Bayles is] such a joy... An instant friend."
    —Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author

  • "One of the best-written and [most] well-plotted mysteries I've read in a long time."
    Los Angeles Times

  • "Albert's dialogue and characterizations put her in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum."
    Publishers Weekly


publication date:
April 4, 2017

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The Last Chance Olive Ranch
The olive (Olea europaea) is native to Asia Minor and Syria, where it was used as an important food and medicine. While the olive has been a delicious and nutritious mainstay in diets across the centuries, science is only beginning to understand its full beneficial medicinal properties. It has been used to prevent heart attack and stroke (cardiovascular disease), breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is reported to be beneficial in treating constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood vessel problems associated with diabetes. Topically, olive oil (more accurately, the juice of the olive) is applied to the skin for minor burns and wounds. Extracts of the leaf and pulp are also used for a variety of medicinal purposes.

Twenty-fourth book in the series: Blood Orange

Twenty-sixth book in the series: Queen Anne's Lace, coming in April, 2018.