by Susan Albert (read August 2006)
This is the first in a cozy mystery series featuring China Bayles, an ex-lawyer turned small town herbalist. I enjoyed this book and will, no doubt, read more in the series. I don't usually figure out who the killer is, but this one I had it pegged with a third of the book left. There were still interesting twists and turns that made it pleasurable reading.
About rating systems: They need to be qualified. I giving this book a 4 out of 5 rating, but that's a 4 in cozy mystery terms which is not necessarily the same thing as a 4 in good literature terms. That's to say that this book is better than a lot of mysteries and it's provided a 4's worth of reading enjoyment, but I would not put it on the same level as Animal Farm which I would also rate as a 4.
Does that make any sense? I guess I'm trying to say when it comes to books comparisons seem to be between apples and oranges, not apples and apples.