Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hangman's Root by Susan Wittig Albert

Hangman's Root
by Susan Wittig Albert
3 stars - good, predictable fun

Ah, sweet relief.

After a bad run on one and two star books, I settled in for a cozy mystery by an author mentioned by one of my followers. 

Just what I needed to freshen up my reading pallet.

China Bayles, lawyer-turned-herbalist in Pecan Springs, Texas is the heroine. The mystery centers around the apparent suicide of a professor at the local university. A professor who was engaging in dubious animal experimentation and the sworn enemy of one of China's good friends, Dottie the cat collector.

Suicide... or was it? After Dottie is arrested and charged with murder, China sets about finding out what really happened. She calls an old law school pal in to help with the investigation and we are away.

Plenty of twists and turns and enough quirky characters and subplots to keep my interest. 

Absolutely formulaic and that is just what I was looking for. Bad guys are really bad, good guys are vindicated, nobody gets hurt (OK, except for the dead guy, but we didn't like him anyway, did we).


  1. No, we didn't like the dead guy. This sounds like just what I need to relieve my stress this week.

  2. Of course we don't like the dead guy. He's dead. ;-) Formulaic is good; I just finished listening to Ken Follett's 'Winter of the World' and because it's part of an 'epic trilogy' you know that at least some of the main characters are going to survive and have kids (or there would be no third book), you know how WWII is going to end (well, I hope you do...) and there's enough plot to keep the commute interesting while still allowing part of my brain space to focus on watching for moosies. Sadly, now that I'm done with that, I need another 30 hour book to listen to that will keep my attention. (I've started Thomas Pynchon's 'Against the Day' and it just hasn't grabbed me yet, although I feel duty bound to give it a few hours before I really wonder why everyone thought it was so great...) BTW, even if it takes me a while to stop by, I love seeing what you're reading and what you think about it.

    -Dr. Liz, and not Fiona the dog, who prefers mysteries set in ancient Rome.

  3. No, of course we didn't like the dead guy! It sounds like a very entertaining story, which is usually what I'm looking for!

  4. This is one of mama's favorite 'purse' writers: books that can be carried in her purse, read in any environment while she waits, and not excessively demanding on the intellect. Comfort mysteries, like comfort food for the mind. Glad you enjoyed the China Bayles book. She's got two other series that mama really enjoys, both historic: one Edwardian-era based on Beatrix Potter with lots of animal characters [and human, too]; one Depression-era that revolves around life in a small Southern town and a gardening club.