Susan Wittig Albert
|Susan Wittig Albert|
Wittig Albert at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
January 2, 1940 |
Vermilion County, Illinois
|Pen name||Robin Paige, Carolyn Keene|
|Notable works||China Bayles Mysteries|
Susan Wittig Albert grew up in downstate Illinois, attending Danville High School before moving to the nearby community of Bismarck, where she graduated. She earned a degree from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She became a college professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin, university administrator at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans and vice president for academic affairs at Southwest Texas State University. She writes a column for Country Living Gardener magazine.
By the 1990s, Albert was ready to embark upon an independent career and wrote Thyme of Death, her first China Bayles novel. The book was warmly received, and was nominated for two national mystery awards, the 1992 Agatha and the 1993 Anthony in the "Best First Novel" category.
All 21 of the China Bayles novels include the names of herbs, and the subsequent mysteries invariably include detailed, meticulously reported herbal themes that invoke the title. She is a popular guest speaker at both herbal clubs and women's groups around the country. Albert has described her books as "cozy mysteries," because they do not describe much violence or gratuitous behavior.
She and her husband, Bill, have also co-written The Robin Paige Victorian Mysteries, a series of a dozen mysteries set in the Late Victorian era. Albert is also the author of The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, a series of mysteries featuring author Beatrix Potter.
- A Wilder Rose (2013): The true story of Rose Wilder Lane, who transformed her mother (Laura Ingalls Wilder) from a farmer's wife and occasional writer to a literary icon.
The China Bayles Mysteries
The China Bayles herbal mysteries center around the title character's deductive reasoning and knowledge as an herbalist and ex-lawyer, who solves murders with her best friend, Ruby Wilcox, owner of a New Age shop. As one critic wrote, "China Bayles ... is a former corporate lawyer who grew tired of the rat race and left it behind in Houston. She has moved to the Texas hill country ... Despite the slower pace of life in Pecan Springs, Texas, China still manages to run across her share of murders."
- Thyme of Death (1992)
- Witches' Bane (1993)
- Hangman's Root (1994)
- Rosemary Remembered (1995)
- Rueful Death (1996)
- Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
- Chile Death (1998)
- Lavender Lies (1999)
- Mistletoe Man (2000)
- Bloodroot (2001)
- Indigo Dying (2002)
- An Unthymely Death (Short story collection) (2003)
- A Dilly of a Death (2004)
- Dead Man's Bones (2005)
- Bleeding Hearts (2006)
- The China Bayles Book of Days (October 2006)
- Spanish Dagger (2007)
- Nightshade (2008)
- Wormwood (2009)
- Holly Blues (2010)
- Mourning Gloria (2011)
- Cat's Claw (2012)
- Widow's Tears (2013)
- Death Come Quickly (2014)
The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter
- The Tale of Hill Top Farm (2004) ISBN 0-425-20101-5
- The Tale of Holly How (2005) ISBN 0-425-20274-7
- The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (2006)
- The Tale of Hawthorn House (2007)
- The Tale of Briar Bank (2008)
- The Tale of Applebeck Orchard (2009)
- The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (2010)
- The Tale of Castle Cottage (2011)
The Robin Paige Victorian-Edwardian Mysteries
These were co-written with her husband, Bill Albert under the name Robin Paige.
- Death at Bishop's Keep (1994)
- Death at Gallows Green (1995)
- Death at Daisy's Folly (1997)
- Death at Devil's Bridge (1998)
- Death at Rottingdean (1999)
- Death at Whitechapel (2000)
- Death at Epsom Downs (2001)
- Death at Dartmoor (2002)
- Death at Glamis Castle (2003)
- Death in Hyde Park (2004)
- Death at Blenheim Palace (2005)
- Death on the Lizard (2006)
The Darling Dahlias Mysteries
Takes place in a fictitious town called Darling, Alabama during the 1930s. Centers on a group of amateur, mystery solving women in a garden club called the Darling Dahlias.
- The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree (2010)
- The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies (2011)
- The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose (2012)
- The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star (2013)
- The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush (2014)
- Writing From Life: Telling Your Soul's Story (1997) ISBN 0-87477-848-4
- Work Of Her Own: A Woman's Guide to Success off the Career Track (1992) ISBN 0-87477-767-4
- page 7, Great Women Mystery Writers, 2nd Ed. by Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, 2007, publ. Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33428-5
- "Malice Domestic Convention - Bethesda, MD". Malicedomestic.org. August 23, 1988. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. October 2, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Partners in Crime HQ (official site)
- Swanson, Jean and Dean James, Killer Books: A Reader's Guide to Exploring the Popular World of Mystery and Suspense, Berkley Prime Crime, New York, 1998. ISBN 0425162184