Widow's Tears

Susan Wittig Albert. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-25572-8
The bond between China Bayles and her boon friend and business partner, Ruby Wilcox, suffers in Albert’s enjoyable 21st cozy featuring the Pecan Springs, Tex., ex-lawyer and herbalist (after 2012’s Cat’s Claw). Unfolding along with the present-day story is the tragic tale of the horrific Galveston hurricane of 1900 and its impact on Rachel Blackwood; her husband, a bank vice-president; and their five children. Ruby answers a plea for help from old friend Claire Conway, who has inherited the Blackwood family mansion in the tiny town of Round Top. Unnatural occurrences, including ghost sightings, are frustrating Claire’s plans to turn the old place into a B&B. While Claire and Ruby wrestle with spirits, China must deal with Ruby’s pushy sister, Ramona, who’s offering to buy Ruby out completely, a prospect that sends China running to Round Top. As for plant lore, this installment focuses on florigraphy—the language of flowers. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 04/02/2013
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