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Nightshade Review

Nightshade is the wrap-up to a three-part story arc involving herbalist China Bayles and her half-brother Miles Danforth regarding the mysterious death of their father many years ago. Starting in Bleeding Hearts, the mystery continued in Spanish Dagger and now the case is closed in Nightshade.

Miles is the son of Laura Danforth, long time secretary and lover of Chinaís father. Robert Bayles was killed in a mysterious accident when his car went over a guardrail and into a river sixteen years ago. Miles believes it was no accident and continues to pester China about investigating their fatherís death. She finally gives in and begins to check out the letters and newspaper clippings he provided.

In the meantime, Miles hires Chinaís husband Mike McQuaid, a former homicide detective who is trying to get his new PI firm off the ground, to find out what really caused the fatal car crash. The investigation is hampered when the couple finds out that Miles is keeping secrets and has his own hidden agenda.

When Miles is killed in his office parking garage by a hit-and-run driver, China knows she must find out the truth. As she and Mike continue their investigation into the death of her father and half-brother, they are shocked at the depth of lies and corporate intrigue involved in these crimes.

Nightshade, written by Susan Wittig Albert, is the sixteenth book in the China Bayles Mysteries. Albert has linked many of the books in this series to one another when storyline dictates. Although this might pose a problem for readers who happen to come upon this series and begin reading out of order or who are unable to gain access to the books in the correct order, regular readers are able to follow favorite characters as they move through their lives.

An interesting twist in this book is that the author has Mike McQuaid speaking in his own voice so that readers understand what he is doing and thinking during his portion of the investigation.

In the meantime, the author also has China occasionally touching bases with series regulars to keep the flow moving forward in anticipation of the next book in the series.

Fans should not be disappointed as the secrets unfold and Nightshade delivers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

This particular book is part of my growing collection of China Bayles Mysteries. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, all of Susan Wittig Albertís books are available at Amazon.com.


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