Monday, April 4, 2016

Blood Orange {+ Giveaway}

It never fails when I read a China Bayles Mystery by Susan Wittig Albert, I want to go work in my garden.

The author combines mystery and suspense with the world of herbs in a smooth and easy flowing fashion. You don’t have to like herbs to enjoy her books, that’s just an added bonus.

In her latest release, BLOOD ORANGE, protagonist China Bayles has rented her guest cottage to Kelly Kaufman, who is in the midst of a nasty divorce. A short time later it appears Kelly has been kidnapped from the cottage only to contact China requesting her help with a possible murder.

On her way to see China, Kelly is forced off the road and critically injured. Now China has to find out if Kelly’s plea for help had to do with the brewing company she co-owns with her husband or the local hospice she was abruptly let go from.

As she handles her day-to-day business duties, cares for her daughter and looks into Kelly’s problems, China also wonders about her marriage and what her own husband, McQuaid, is up to during his extended out-of-town business trip.

The author has developed likable characters that are well-balanced and realistic. The core characters are unique and the supporting cast of characters adds depth to the story. 

The small town setting of Pecan Springs, along with the herb shop location, makes this a pleasant atmosphere that draws readers in. The mystery and suspense is woven in such a manner to keep you guessing. The mix of herbal information and recipes is blended in seamlessly making for a well-rounded story.

BLOOD ORANGE is the 24th installment in the China Bayles Mystery series. While this story can be read on its own, a deeper understanding of China and her actions will come from reading the series in order.

A well-plotted mystery with a determined sleuth, this tale will hold you spellbound until the end where you’ll find delicious recipes from the story. Don’t be surprised if you also learn a great deal about herbs along the way.

Blood Orange by Susan Wittig Albert, A China Bayles Mystery (Book #24), Berkley Prime Crime, @2016, ISBN: 978-0425280003, Hardcover, 320 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


Thanks to the wonderful folks at Penguin/Random House, I have a print copy of BLOOD ORANGE by Susan Wittig Albert to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 12.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your visit. Are you a fan of books that contain recipes at the end? Have you ever or do you try your hand at growing herbs?


  1. I have read quite a number from this series - thanks for the heads up about this one.

  2. I have heard a lot of good things about this series! I will have to pick one up soon.

  3. I haven't read Susan Albert for a long time! Thanks for the reminder that I need to check out her books again soon. :)

  4. We grew basil last year. I loved being able to walk out and pick it fresh.

  5. I think this series is really a good one, Mason, and it's nice to hear this latest outing lives up to the rest. I like China Bayles a lot as a character.

  6. I have read a few from this author, this one looks great, thanks for the chance :)

  7. I love Albert's work—thanks for the chance to win a copy of Blood Orange!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  8. I've read a book by this author and was bored. Sounds like you agree when you say you want to do gardening when you read her books. :-)

    1. techeditor, sorry you didn't enjoy the books. For me, the reason I said I want to do gardening is because the author inspires me to try growing new herbs through her writing.

  9. This sounds really good. I would love to read it! Thank you for the giveaway!

  10. I've read the last 2 books in this series recently and they were terrific! Looking forward to another great read in Blood Orange.


  11. This author's novels are captivating and unique. Thanks.

  12. Looks like we both have gardening on the brain. :) Thanks for dropping by my blog! I went to Amazon to have a peek at the book, too. Looks like a good one.

  13. I do like recipes at the end of novels, it adds an extra sense of reality to the story. We've grown some herbs, with varying degrees of success. The hardest part is keeping those darn white flies off of them.

  14. I certainly don't mind recipes in the back, I don't always try to make them! And I know what you mean, an early bit of spring weather has me itching to get out and garden too. Thanks!

  15. I haven't yet made a recipe from a book, but I've been tempted a few times!
    Sounds like a great book :)

  16. I do like the recipes at the end of the book. I've read a couple of her books in this series and enjoyed them.

  17. I do like when there are recipes included. Sometimes a dish described just sounds so good that you want to try it, so it's lovely when the recipe is included so you can. Unfortunately when it comes to any type of gardening, black thumbs have plagued my family for a couple of generations now, so no herb growing for me. I'm currently trying to make my way through this series (when I say trying it's not for lack of interest, just a little difficulty getting ahold of each book). I've enjoyed what I have read so far and am looking forward to the ones I have yet to read. Thank you for the chance to win this latest.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.