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

In This Issue

  • Book Report
  • Lifescapes
  • All About Thyme: A Weekly Calendar of Times & Seasonings
  • Herb Snips

    Book Report

    Robin Paige: The Last Book
    Here it is, Robin Paige fans—the last book in the series of twelve Kate and Charles mysteries. Death on the Lizard is now available in paperback. For a list of all the books, in the order of their publication, go here. If you're missing any, better get them while they're still in print and available. If you missed Susan and Bill's discussion of their reasons for ending the series, you can read it here.

    Cottage Tales Website!
    Just launched: our delightful new Cottage Tales website. We hope you'll enjoy the new features and Peggy Turchette's charming artwork. For you map collectors (you know who you are!), the map for The Tale of Hawthorn House is now in full color—even before the book is out. You can also read the book's prologue and the latest edition of Susan's all-about-Beatrix newsletter, News from the Land Between the Lakes.

    Linda Lear's Biography Wins Lakeland Award
    Linda Lear's book, Beatrix Potter, A Life in Nature, has just won a prestigious Cumbrian prize for literature, the Lakeland Book of the Year Award. Lear is the first American to win the top prize in the 23-year history of the award.

    What Wildness is This
    What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest is the anthology of women's nature writing that Susan and others have edited, recently published to strong reviews. To read Susan's introduction to the book, click on "Editor's Note." You can order the book here. And there's more good place-writing by women here, in the new What Wildness blog. Check it out!



    This has been MeadowKnoll's wettest spring ever, with 31" of rain—a full year's supply!—already. The garden may be soggy, but something's always blooming, there's always a writing project on the desk, and something on the needles. For the latest developments in Susan's writing, gardening, and fiber-arts life, read her blog at Lifescapes. And check out her post, "Here be Dragons" on the new Wildness blog.


    All About Thyme: A Weekly Calendar of Times & Seasonings

    If herbs are your passion, you need our herbal eletter. 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: Herbal Flea Fighters

    Under a flea attack? If you prefer to fight fleas without resorting to chemicals, here are some herbal tricks to try:
    • Vacuum every inch of the rooms your pet frequents and dispose of the vacuum bag. Wash the throw rugs, the animal's bedding, and your slipcovers and bedspreads. Sprinkle the carpets, furniture, and pet beds with dried pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) or pyrethrum powder (the dried flowers of Chrysanthemum cineariifolium). Wait 3-4 days, then repeat the entire process.

    • Bathe Bowser or Puss in a flea-repellent shampoo: 1 cup mild dishwashing detergent mixed with 2 teaspoons oil of eucalyptus. Lather, rinse; lather again, rubbing for five minutes. Rinse in a strong tea of pennyroyal leaves steeped in hot water and cooled. Dry, and brush well.

    • Make a collar by sewing a cloth tube (an old bandana works well) and stuffing it with pennyroyal, or with cotton on which you've sprinkled a few drops of oil of eucalyptus. Fasten the collar around your pet's neck and refresh every 3-4 days.

    • Plant pennyroyal (a fragrant, low-growing herbal ground cover) around your pet's kennel and as a path border.

    • To prevent doggie odor in the house, mix a few drops of pine or cedar oil with warm water and spritz the pet's bedding and hair brush.

    Read more herb snips.


    Death on the Lizard
    Death on the Lizard
    "Eminently satisfying...intricate mystery. Delightful pair of sleuths. A wonderful sense of atmosphere and place."
    Gothic Journal

    Click to read more or to order the book.

    The Tale of Hawthorn House
    The Tale of Hawthorn House
    A foundling baby, gypsies camped in the meadow, a fox on the loose, and a nest of unhatched eggs. Miss Potter has another flock of mysteries to solve! Read the prologue and pre-order your autographed/personalized copy (coming in September).

    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).

    Take a Trip to the Lake District

    The Tale of Holly How

    Virginia Leishman's reading of The Tale of Holly How is
    magical! For details, and to see all nine available books
    (six in the China Bayles series and three Cottage Tales),
    click here. And please be sure to tell your local library
    that the Cottage Tales are available in audio!

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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.