Wormwood by Susan Wittig Albert is the 17th book in the “China Bayles” mystery series.  Publisher: Berkley (Penguin), April 2009

China’s friends and family are urging her to get some rest-and a Kentucky Shaker village seems the ideal place for it. At Mount Zion, China can assist with some herbal workshops-while absorbing all things Shaker, from their furniture to their peaceful ways. But the restored modern version of the village, striving to become a popular tourist attraction, is plagued with misfortune and strife- some of it the likely result of sabotage. China and her friend Martha are hoping to get to the bottom of it.

However, much like Shaker history itself, the case appears simpler at first than it is. There is tension behind the serene exterior. And after a shocking death occurs during her stay, China will plunge into the archives of another time to connect the sins of the past with a modern-day murder.

China Bayles has had a rough couple of months with the death of her half-brother.  Her friends and family are encouraging her to get away for some much needed rest and relaxation.  Her friend, Martha, invited her to a 10-day workshop in a Kentucky Shaker village with an ulterior motive; she wants China to look into several accidents that has happened at Mt. Zion village.  When China looks into the situation, they discover from Allie the accountant, that funds have gone missing. When Allie is found dead in the pool, it’s up to China to solve this mystery.  I enjoyed reading about how the Shakers movement was established and their way of life.  [3 stars – liked it]

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