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Widow's Tears    by Susan Wittig Albert Amazon.com order for
Widow's Tears
by Susan Wittig Albert
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Ex-lawyer, and now herbalist, China Bayles finds as much trouble in her present occupation in Pecan Springs, Texas as she did as a lawyer in a big city.

She and her childhood friend Ruby are in partnership together running a string of small businesses. Ruby's long time friend Claire has inherited Blackwood House, which she wants to restore and turn into a B & B. But is reputed to be haunted. Ruby seems to have second sight. Claire thinks Ruby can exorcise the ghost.

We as readers are told of the horrors of the September 8, 1900 hurricane that demolished Galveston and took thousands of lives. We live through this as we are introduced to someone who might be responsible for the haunting.

Back in Pecan Springs, the small local bank is robbed and a teller shot to death. China determines she must drive to Blackwood House because she needs some answers from Ruby but can't contact her because of a storm in the area. It seems Ruby's take-charge sister wants to invest her divorce settlement in buying into the partnership. China is sure that she and Ramona wouldn't last a week together. Enough is enough.

We endure another spooky storm. I won't look at any other storm in the same way I usually do, thinking 'This, too, shall pass.'

Albert has written another gripping story in Widow's Tears, to stand beside the multitude of other books she has authored. She has also co-written a series with her husband the Robin Paige books. Each as good as the last.

Albert has the ability to create characters who could be your next door neighbors, or your business partners. Or possibly members of your family. Then she weaves them into a story that will keep you engrossed until the last page.

She has a vast knowledge of plant lore that she interjects at the beginning of each chapter, defining a certain herb which I read but found distracted me from the theme of the book. That aside, I found Widow's Tears a mystery well worth reading.

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