Another Review at MyShelf.Com

China Bayles Mystery #23
Susan Wittig Albert

Berkley (Prime Crime)
April 1, 2015/ ISBN 9780425255629
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


China Bayles plans to visit her mother, Leatha, for Thanksgiving and learns her step-father, Sam, is in the hospital after a heart attack. After she arrives in Utopia and learns that Sam’s prognosis is good, China becomes concerned that Sam’s illness may make him unable to help Leatha with the bird-spotting retreat they set up to earn a living. China is relieved to learn that Sue Ellen Krause will help her mother for a several months. Then the young woman asks for China’s advice: Her husband is involved in something dangerous. But before China can learn the facts, Sue Ellen is killed in a car accident.

Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers is Utopia’s new game warden, a divorcee who believes that her job dedication was the primary reason she and her ex-husband split. Mack knows that ranchers can legally breed genetically modified deer with massive antlers to lure hunters to their property. When Mack meets the local vet, she learns that he saw altered tags on fawns on a ranch licensed to breed only cattle. They make plans to discuss it the next day, but when Mack arrives at his practice, she learns that Doc Masters has been murdered.

Bittersweet is a tense, fast-paced, spellbinding mystery that had me reading well into the early morning hours. Ms. Albert always provides fascinating plots, often tied to current, fascinating and controversial trends, and I learn something important from each novel. I love China Bayles, for she is a strong female, an ex-attorney who cares about family, friends and the people who need her help. What I love most about Ms. Albert’s books is that she introduces us to characters we come to love, such as Mack, a strong female who believes she’ll never find love due to dedication to her career.

China Bayles' Book of Days (NonFiction)

Reviews of other titles in this series

Mistletoe Man #9
Dilly of a Death #12
Dead Mans Bones #13
Bleeding Hearts #14
Spanish Dagger #15
Nightshade #16
Wormwood #17 [review 1] [review 2]
Mourning Gloria #19
Cat's Claw #20
Widow's Tears #21
Death Come Quickly #22
Bittersweet #23
Blood Orange #24
The Last Chance Olive Ranch #25 [review 1] [review 2]
Queen Anne's Lace #26

Reviewed 2015