The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries
The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries feature herbalist China Bayles, who abandoned her career as a hot-shot Houston criminal attorney to buy an herb shop in a small town located half-way between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. China wants the things that many contemporary women seek: a quieter life, rewarding work, a close relationship, friends, and community. Each of her mysteries has a signature herb that is connected to a major theme, and each is liberally sprinkled with information on growing and using herbs. The China Bayles novels have been praised for their intelligent plots, quirky and appealing characters, interesting settings, and strong writing.
- Thyme of Death (1992) —China's first adventure. A friend dies—murder or suicide?
- Witches' Bane (1993) —China and Ruby discover that the supernatural isn't funny.
- Hangman's Root (1994) —Animal rights, academic politics, and murder—a potent mix.
- Rosemary Remembered (1995) —Who remembers the victims of crime?
- Rueful Death (1996) —Grace, forgiveness, and the mystery of community.
- Love Lies Bleeding (1997) —China learns a tough lesson in love.
- Chile Death (1998) —Hot stuff, folks! (Funny, too)
- Lavender Lies (1999) —Mystery, murder, and a wet 'n' wild wedding
- Mistletoe Man (2000) —What's Christmas without mistletoe? What's life without Ruby? Join China as she faces both of these difficult questions.
- Bloodroot (2001) —Bloodroot takes China on a difficult journey into her past, and into the bloody roots of her family's Southern history.
- Indigo Dying (2003) —Colors to Dye For, a deep-dyed mystery, and a true-blue China & Ruby collaboration!
- A Dilly of a Death (2004) —A dilly of a mystery, especially if you like pickles. And even if you don't, you're sure to smile (and maybe hiss) at China's pickle jokes.
- Dead Man's Bones (2005) —The bones in a cave have a story to tell, and hold a clue from the past that could help China solve an urgent mystery in the present.
- Bleeding Hearts (2006) —The wrong kind of love leads to bleeding hearts, ruined lives, desperate fear—and murder.
- Spanish Dagger (2007) —What happens when Ruby falls in love with a cloak-and-dagger man with a past life full of secrets?
- Nightshade (2008) —China and McQuaid team up to put an old family skeleton—and a very fresh corpse—to rest.
- Wormwood (2009) —China and her friend Martha Edmond visit a Kentucky Shaker village and are pulled into a deadly crime and a bitter history of loss.
- Holly Blues (2010) —Bad-Penny Sally, McQuaid's ex, turns up in Pecan Springs, and turns a green Christmas blue. China and Ruby (disguised as Big Bird) investigate a murder; McQuaid makes a trip into his past.
- Mourning Gloria (2011) —An intern-reporter at the Pecan Springs Enterprise gets too deeply involved in a story. When she disappears, China is determined to find her—before she becomes headlines.
- Cat's Claw (2012) —Police chief Sheila Dawson and China get snagged by several thorny mysteries. What was George Timms looking for when he burgled the computer shop? Who killed the computer shop owner? Life (and death) in Pecan Springs is never dull.
- Widow's Tears (2013) —Ruby discovers that a haunted house holds the secret of her past—and the key to the very special gift that she inherited from her grandmother.
- Death Come Quickly (2014) —China learns that death paints itself in many colors.
- Bittersweet (2015) —This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles—who teams up with a game warden friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder in a South Texas ranching community.
- Blood Orange (2016) —China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital and uncovers a complex case of fraud and murder...
- The Last Chance Olive Ranch (2017) —China Bayles and Mike McQuaid spend an unsettling weekend settling a few old scores.
- Queen Anne's Lace (2018) —China and Ruby meet a former resident of Pecan Springs and delve into an intriguing mystery from the long-ago past.
- A Plain Vanilla Murder (June 2019) —China Bayles and Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson team up to solve a vanilla-flavored murder.
- Crystal Cave Trilogy (2019):
- An Unthymely Death (2003) —These are the China Bayles short mysteries originally written for the Country Living Gardener web site, complete with recipes, crafts, herb lore, and other herbal goodies!
- Murder Most Crafty (2005) —Anthology of 15 new stories of criminal handiwork and the art of deduction, by 15 of your favorite mystery authors, featuring 14 popular sleuths PLUS a China Bayles short story, "The Collage to Kill For." Interesting crafts, crafty crimes.
- China Bayles' Book of Days (October 2006) —365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs. Featuring recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more, this special volume is your personal calendar to the legends and lore of herbs. It also features brand-new essays by Susan, clues from China's mysteries, and some special contributions from the irrepressible members of the Myra Merryweather Herb Guild, Pecan Springs's oldest civic organization. Celebrate each day of the year by discovering your own personal place in the green, growing world!
Herbal recipes and more about herbs on every book's web page!