The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. Published by Berkley

The past has come back to haunt China Bayles and her husband McQuaid; a nasty piece of work, a killer named Max Mantel that McQuaid put away has broken out of jail and all sources say he’s headed to Pecan Springs to even the score with the man who had him locked up. China, scheduled to teach a class on growing and using herbs at the Last Chance Olive Ranch, wants to cancel the trip so she can remain by her husband’s side, but he convinces her to go ahead. At the ranch, China gets caught up in the crisis facing ranch owner Maddie Haskell who is facing a lawsuit from the former owner’s nephew, who doesn’t take kindly that his aunt left her business to someone other than him. Meanwhile, back in Pecan Springs, the trap McQuaid has laid for Mantel goes terribly wrong as the hunter becomes the hunted. Albert’s China Bayles stories are always fun cozy mysteries; I really enjoy them because of the herbal knowledge that China (Susan) dispenses

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