cover image Rosemary Remember

Rosemary Remember

Susan Wittig Albert. Berkley Publishing Group, $19.95 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-425-14937-9

It's unsettling to find your doppelganger murdered. So learns China Bayles in her fourth novel (following Hangman's Root). The Pecan Springs, Tex., herb store owner (and former attorney) goes to retrieve lover Mike McQuaid's truck from CPA Rosemary Robbins, who has borrowed it, only to find, first, that Rosemary looks a lot like her, and, two, that Rosemary won't be filling out any more 1040s. Discussing the murder with various denizens of the small town, she learns that Rosemary was about to divorce her abusive husband and was forming a relationship with hotel co-owner Jeff Clark. Ex-cop McQuaid, meanwhile, is convinced the killer is a paroled convict who, having vowed revenge on McQuaid, mistakenly whacked Rosemary, thinking she was China. But when Jeff, who is off on a fishing vacation, becomes the local police's prime suspect, McQuaid goes to the coast to find him. Dodging threats from the ex-con and relying on the help of her friends, China solves Rosemary's murder and, in the process, forges a connection with McQuaid's Star Trek-enthralled 11-year-old son. Herb lore and China's game approach to everyday problems, as well as extraordinary ones, make this Rosemary memorable, indeed. (Nov.)