China Bayles
  Susan Wittig Albert & Bill Albert
Mystery Partners MysteryPartners e-Letter  
February 2007  

In This Issue

  • Book Report
  • All About Thyme
  • Out and About
  • Lifescapes & the Pecan Springs Journal
  • Herb Snips

    Book Report

    Hill Top Farm Available in Audiobook
    The waiting's over! Now you can listen to the first book in the Cottage Tales series, read by Virginia Leishman, whose British accent gives the tale its proper telling. Available as rental or purchase from Recorded Books.

    Have You Seen Miss Potter Yet?
    Enjoy the movie, starring Rene Zellweger as Miss Potter—then read Susan's The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (new in paperback this month) to find out more about Beatrix's life. Also newly published: Linda Lear's splendid biography, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature. Visit the Cottage Tales webpages for an interview with Lear and the Story Circle Book Review web pages for Susan's review of Lear's biography. And while you're looking at the Cottage Tales pages, visit Miss Potter's Bookshelf, for a handy collection of books about Beatrix's life and work.

    All About Thyme Podcasts
    Susan is working on a series of ten podcasts, all about herbs. She hopes to have the series ready for podcasting in mid-February. Stay tuned!


    All About Thyme

    National Toothache Day is coming up on February 9, and you'll want to be prepared. How about an herbal mouthwash? You can learn how and why by reading All About Thyme, our weekly eletter celebrating the mysteries of herbs and the changing seasons.


    Out and About

    If you've been wanting to take a writing class with Susan, here's your chance! She is leading a women's memoir writing retreat for Story Circle on the weekend of March 16-18, 2007. For full details, including a program description, see the LifeLines page. If you're interested, please register now, as the remaining places are going fast.

    Susan has been putting the finishing touches on her upcoming book tour, which will take her through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. The schedule is here. Be sure and tell your friends! Meanwhile, there are several events on the calendar for February and March. Details here.


    Lifescapes & the Pecan Springs Journal

    February is one of those in-between months, part winter, part spring. Read Lifescapes to find out what's blooming at MeadowKnoll, and what Susan and Bill are up to these days.

    And to catch up with China, Ruby, and the gang at the shops, read the weekly Pecan Springs Journal.


    Herb Snips: Winter-Thyme Healers

    Many of our summer-time herbs are winter-time allies, and in the cold-and-flu season, they shine. Here are a few garden remedies our grandmothers used.
    • Thyme for a cough. Modern research lends support to thyme's traditional use as an expectorant. Use 2 tsp dried thyme per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink up to three times a day.

    • Yarrow and plantain for a stuffy head cold: 1 tsp dried yarrow and 1 tsp dried plantain per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Drink three or four times a day.

    • Horseradish for a chill: Add 1 tsp grated fresh horseradish to a cup of hot water. Drink three times a day. (To preserve your own horseradish, scrub and peel the root and grate. Place in a jar and cover with white vinegar. Refrigerate.) Each day for a week, add a shake or two of salt and stir. Store in refrigerator.)
    For additional herbal remedies, The Healing Herbs, by Michael Castleman, is a readable, reliable resource.

    Read more herb snips.


    Spanish Dagger
    Spanish Dagger

    "Quirky, enlightening and surprisingly profound, Albert's China Bayles mysteries are an absolute delight to read: head and shoulders above most other amateur whodunits." —Ransom Notes

    "A leisurely cozy with a Southwestern flair." —Publishers Weekly

    Click to read the first chapter (pdf).

    Cuckoo Brow Wood
    Cuckoo Brow Wood
    "A mystery that's a stellar tribute to the famous children's author. As charming as the 'little books' themselves, this is sure to delight Beatrix Potter fans and cozy lovers everywhere." —Publishers Weekly

    "Enchantment." —Kirkus Reviews

    "Ms. Albert has a light whimsical touch and integrates animal and human thoughts and conversations in a refreshing, matter-of-fact of way. Delightful and charming old fashioned village mystery, with a twist. It should appeal to teens, animal lovers, and devotees of Beatrix Potter of all ages." —Judith Rovenger, Youth Services Consultant for the Westchester Library System, Ardsley NY

    Click to read more or to order the book.

    Deadly Dull Drive?

    Bleeding Hearts

    The adventures of China and Ruby will brighten your drive. There are now six books—Bleeding Hearts, Dead Man's Bones, A Dilly of a Death, Indigo Dying, Bloodroot, and Mistletoe Man—in the Recorded Books rental catalog. For details, go to To see all six available books, type in the author's name.

    We appreciate your help in spreading the word about MysteryPartners. Please forward this newsletter to anyone interested in mysteries, herbs, and gardening.

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    This newsletter is a publication of MysteryPartners, PO Box 1616, Bertram TX 78605-1616. It is provided free, via e-mail, to anyone, worldwide. ©2007 Bill & Susan Albert

    Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues with appropriate credit to Bill & Susan Albert.
    This newsletter is written and edited by Peggy Moody & Susan Wittig Albert.