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

In This Issue

  • Book Report
  • Out and About
  • Lifescapes & the Pecan Springs Journal
  • All About Thyme: A Weekly Calendar of Times & Seasonings
  • Herb Snips

    Book Report

    It's here! Spanish Dagger is available! And since we know that some of you can't wait to get your hands on the book to read the first chapter, we've posted it online. "It's possible to solve a mystery and still not know all the answers," China says. Read the chapter to find out what's going on with Ruby's mother, what's happening at the herb shop, and why China isn't looking forward to spending the evening with one of her relatives. And then read the book to learn why it's so hard to discover all the answers.

    If you're wondering when the next Robin Paige mystery will be published, you're not alone—lots of people have asked. Bill and Susan have decided to discontinue the series, at least for now. Read about their decision here. Death on the Lizard (the last book in the series) will be available in paperback in July. All twelve books are still in print, and will remain so as long as there is a demand for them.

    But there's good news for you Cottage Tale fans! The Tale of Hawthorn House (Book Four in the series) will be published in September. Susan has written a brief synopsis on her Amazon blog.

    And more good news. What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest is now available! This is the nature anthology that Susan has been working on for several years, recently published to strong reviews. To read her introduction to the book, click on "Editor's Note." You can order the book here. And if you're interested in writing about place and landscape, you'll want to check out this important conference: "A Land Full of Stories," June 8-9, Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.


    Out and About

    The Spanish Dagger book tour will take Susan through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri (just a quickie—sorry!), Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. The schedule is here. Mark your calendar for the days she plans to be in your area—and be sure and tell your friends. Susan's talks are always fun and informative, and you can bring your collection of books for her to sign.


    Lifescapes & the Pecan Springs Journal

    With luck (and the cooperation of the Great CyberGoddess) Susan will be blogging her book tour. She promises to take pictures, too. Join her for this experiment at Lifescapes. Meanwhile, China and Ruby are taking a vacation from their blog (while the cat's away, the mice will you-know-what). But there are some interesting archives at The Pecan Springs Journal. (Did you read the one about chili coyote?)


    All About Thyme: A Weekly Calendar of Times & Seasonings

    If you enjoy herbs, you'll enjoy our new weekly herbal e-letter. Every issue will tell you something you don't know (guaranteed!) about herbs, herbalists, gardening, cooking, and the changing seasons. The freshest and most original way to get your daily dose of herbal fun!


    Herb Snips: An Herbal Spring Cleaning

    Harsh chemicals not your cup of tea? Here are some herbal housekeeping helpers, just in thyme for a good, old-fashioned spring cleaning:
    • Use fresh sorrel leaves from your garden to renew your copper-bottomed pans. Just wet and scrub.
    • Discourage hungry moths with cedar shavings, which can be more cheaply purchased from pet-supply stores. If the cedar doesn't smell strong enough, add a few drops of cedar oil. Package your cedar repellant in cloth bags and drop into drawers with stored woolens. Fragrant additives for an extra moth-chaser kick: powdered cloves, fresh rosemary, southernwood, lavender, tansy.
    • Your dryer will deliver sweet-smelling clothes (and your laundry room will smell like your favorite herb shop!) if you toss in a cloth bag filled with herbs, along with the laundry. Try mint, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary.
    • A bouquet of fresh basil and sweet bay on the window sill will banish flies from the kitchen. Drops of mint oil on a cotton ball will send mouse critters packing. Fresh bay leaves, placed in a container with grains, cornmeal, or flour, wards off weevils. Raccoons in the garbage can? A sprinkling of cayenne pepper on the lid will give them paws for concern.
    • Renew and polish wood furniture with a soft cloth moistened with a mixture of 3 tablespoons linseed oil, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and ½ teaspoon lemon oil.

    Read more herb snips.


    Spanish Dagger
    Spanish Dagger
    "One of her best mysteries." —Kirkus

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

    Click to read the first chapter (pdf).

    Bleeding Hearts
    Bleeding Hearts
    "Quirky, enlightening and surprisingly profound." —Ransom Notes

    If you've been waiting for the paperback, the wait's over!

    Join Susan for ten short takes on herbs!

    Listen to Susan's series of ten podcasts, "All About Thyme"

    Take a Trip to the Lake District

    The Tale of Hill Top Farm

    For a delightful change of pace, listen to the gentle tale of how Beatrix Potter came to Hill Top Farm and began to make a new life. For details, go to To see all six of Susan's 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.