Mourning Gloria by Susan Wittig Albert is the 19th book in the “China Bayles” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley (Penguin), April 2011

China is relishing the scents, produce, and even the showers of spring. She’s also buys manning her booth at the Pecan Springs Farmer’s Market. It brings additional customers to her herb shop, Thyme and Seasons, and residents find rare ingredients they wouldn’t otherwise find in the supermarket. Everybody wins.

but as the town bustles back to life in the warmth of the season, one woman’s life is tragically bought to an end. China happens upon a burning house trailer and hears a woman screaming for help. The evidence leaves no doubt that it’s an arson homicide—but who would commit such a ghastly crime?

Jessica Nelson, an intern-reporter at the local paper, is assigned to cover the story. Drawn to the case by its similarity to her own tragic loss—Jessica’s family died in a fire—she soon finds herself deeply involved. And when Jessica disappears, China is determined to find her before she becomes headlines herself.

China happens upon a house trailer in flames and hears the cries of help from within but arrived too late to help. Intrepid reporter Jessica, who lost family in a fire long ago, vows to search for the truth for the victim of this heinous crime. When China gets a troubling call from Jessica who has disappeared, this puts China on the trail of Jessica and a killer who’ll do anything to protect their identity. What a great read. From beginning to end, I was emotionally invested in all aspects of this well-written story. This enjoyable story made me feel like a member of China’s circle of friends as she divides her time between her daily life and her pursuit of justice. With an easy tone and calming voice, this story is full of action as China takes all possible roads to find her missing friend. The closer China gets, the more frantic the search becomes to find Jessica before her deadline become final. Recipes are included in this charming series which salivates with flavor.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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