China Bayles’ latest adventure takes her to the mountains of North Carolina, where her friend Dorothea Harper serves as the director and curator of the Hemlock House Library, a priceless collection of rare gardening books housed in a haunted mountainside mansion.
China Bayles Mysteries
The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries feature herbalist China Bayles, who abandoned her career as a hot-shot Houston criminal attorney to open 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.
A Plain Vanilla Murder – Book 27
China Bayles and Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson team up to solve a vanilla-flavored murder.
Queen Anne’s Lace – Book 26
China and Ruby meet a former resident of Pecan Springs and delve into an intriguing mystery from the long-ago past.
The Last Chance Olive Ranch – Book 25
China Bayles and Mike McQuaid spend an unsettling weekend settling a few old scores.
Blood Orange – Book 24
China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital and uncovers a complex case of fraud and murder…
Bittersweet – Book 23
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for China Bayles—who teams up with a game warden friend to solve a complex case of theft and murder.
Death Come Quickly – Book 22
An artful crime and a crafty criminal teach China Bayles and her friends that death comes in many colors.
Widow’s Tears – Book 21
The Storm of the Century helps Ruby find the key to the very special gift she inherited from her grandmother.
Cat’s Claw – Book 20
Police chief Sheila Dawson and China get snagged by several thorny mysteries. Life (and death) in Pecan Springs is never dull.
Mourning Gloria – Book 19
When a reporter gets involved too deeply with a story and disappears, China must find her–before she becomes headlines.
Holly Blues – Book 18
Bad-Penny Sally, McQuaid’s irrepressible ex, turns up in Pecan Springs–and turns a green Christmas blue.
Wormwood – Book 17
China and her friend Martha Edmond visit a Kentucky Shaker village and are pulled into a deadly crime and a bitter history of loss.
Nightshade – Book 16
China and McQuaid team up to solve a mystery and put an old family skeleton (and a very fresh corpse) to rest.
Spanish Dagger – Book 15
What happens when Ruby falls in love with a cloak-and-dagger man with a past life full of secrets?
Bleeding Hearts – Book 14
The wrong kind of love leads to bleeding hearts, ruined lives, desperate fear—and murder.
Dead Man’s Bones – Book 13
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.
A Dilly of a Death – Book 12
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.
Indigo Dying – Book 11
Colors to Dye For, a deep-dyed mystery, and a true-blue China & Ruby collaboration that helps to save historic Indigo from destruction.
Bloodroot – Book 10
Bloodroot takes China on a difficult journey into her past, and into the bloody roots of her family’s Southern history.
Mistletoe Man – Book 9
What’s Christmas without mistletoe? What’s life without Ruby? Join China as she faces both of these difficult questions.
Lavender Lies – Book 8
China and McQuaid are finally getting married. Or are they? Mystery, murder, and a wet ‘n’ wild wedding.
Chile Death – Book 7
A chile cookoff in Pecan Springs–the perfect setup for a murder. A firecracker of a mystery. Hot stuff, folks!
Love Lies Bleeding – Book 6
China discovers that the roots of avarice, ambition, and desire run deep. When even good cops go bad, it’s time to learn a tough lesson in love.
Rueful Death – Book 5
China learns about forgiveness and discovers some hard truths about her own limitations. Grace, forgiveness, and the mystery of community.
Rosemary Remembered – Book 4
Something about the murder of an accountant just doesn’t add up for China Bayles.
Hangman’s Root – Book 3
A mystery with an attitude. Animal rights, academic politics, and murder—a potent mix that’s sure to brew up a pot of trouble.
Witches’ Bane – Book 2
China and Ruby discover that the supernatural isn’t funny, and that Halloween can call up a terrifying brand of evil.
Thyme of Death – Book 1
China Bayles has fulfilled her dream of having her own herb shop. Will murder be her first customer?
China Bayles’ Book of Days
Herbal recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more. Make this special volume your very own personal calendar.
An Unthymely Death
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!