A disturbing experience involves Texas ex-lawyer, herbalist, business owner and amateur sleuth China Bayles in yet another murder case.
On her way home from a friend’s party, China Bayles notices a trailer on fire. She calls 911, then races to check for occupants. But the door is locked, and although she hears cries for help, the trailer explodes before she can do anything. The trailer fire was no accident, and the unidentified female victim had been bound and shot before the fire. Jessica Nelson, a graduate student at the local college who’s doing a summer internship at the Pecan Springs Enterprise, is eager to pursue a hot story. In addition, her memory of the fire that killed her parents and her twin sister makes this assignment especially urgent for her. When Jessica can’t be found after leaving an interrupted message on China’s answering machine, China takes her disappearance seriously, but her friends in the police force are not so concerned. With her private detective husband away on a case, China takes time away from her store to follow in Jessica’s footsteps as she looks for clues to her whereabouts. It soon becomes apparent that the dead woman may have had a drug connection. Dissatisfied, China digs up even more dirt in hopes of finding the answer.
China (Holly Blues, 2010, etc.) continues to provide good value, with solid mysteries, fascinating herbal lore and appended recipes.