cover image Bittersweet


Susan Wittig Albert. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-25562-9

Bestseller Albert addresses some big social and political problems in her entertaining 23rd mystery featuring herbalist China Bayles (after 2014’s Death Come Quickly). China and her family are planning to spend Thanksgiving with her mother, Lethea, and stepfather, Sam Richards, in Texas’s Uvalde County. When Sam suffers a heart attack, Lethea persuades China not to cancel the visit. On arrival, China starts worrying about helping her mother, but she soon has other concerns, including the havoc caused by invasive foreign plants and the privacy issues presented by drone technology. The big money involved in deer hunting, however, looms over everything else. Some ranchers have turned their properties into specialized resorts where wealthy guests can shoot bucks bred to have enormous antlers. Opponents call them “canned hunts.” It’s a subject fraught with political implications—and the shooting death of a veterinarian may be related. Hunky deputy sheriff Ethan Conroy, a distinctive character in his own right, lends assistance in one of China’s more memorable adventures. [em](Apr.) [/em]