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Susan Wittig Albert

Author of Thyme of Death

78+ Works 16,944 Members 555 Reviews 79 Favorited

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert was born in Illinois in 1940. In 1985, she changed careers from working as the vice president and an English professor at Texas State University to becoming a full-time writer. During the mid- to late-1980s, Albert was a ghostwriter for the Nancy Drew mystery series. She wrote show more the acclaimed "Work of Her Own: How Women Create Success and Fulfillment off the Traditional Career Track" in 1992. Under the pseudonym of Robin Paige, Albert and her husband, Bill Albert, co-authored a twelve-volume mystery series set in late Victorian/Edwardian England. Albert writes the bestselling China Bayles mystery series, which features as its main character a Texas herbalist who had been a criminal attorney in Houston. Albert also writes the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter historical fantasy series, which is set in England during the early twentieth century. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Robin Paige is the pseudonym of husband-and-wife writing team Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert. As each also writes separately, this pseudonym should not be combined with either of the individual authors.

Image credit: Susan Hoermann/Evergreen Studios


Works by Susan Wittig Albert

Thyme of Death (1992) 1,001 copies
Witches' Bane (1993) 690 copies
The Tale of Hill Top Farm (2004) 643 copies
Hangman's Root (1994) 610 copies
Chile Death (1998) 598 copies
Lavender Lies (1999) 595 copies
Rosemary Remembered (1995) 591 copies
Mistletoe Man (2000) 573 copies
Bloodroot (2001) 566 copies
Rueful Death (1996) 563 copies
Love Lies Bleeding (1997) 546 copies
Indigo Dying (2003) 546 copies
A Dilly of a Death (2004) 541 copies
Dead Man's Bones (2005) 533 copies
Bleeding Hearts (2006) 501 copies
Spanish Dagger (2007) 486 copies
Nightshade (2008) 429 copies
The Tale of Holly How (2005) 420 copies
Wormwood (2009) 402 copies
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (2006) 357 copies
Holly Blues (2010) 354 copies
The Tale of Hawthorn House (2007) 327 copies
The Tale of Briar Bank (2008) 281 copies
Mourning Gloria (2011) 272 copies
The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (2010) 264 copies
Cat's Claw (2012) 253 copies
A Wilder Rose (2013) 242 copies
Widow's Tears (2013) 230 copies
The Tale of Castle Cottage (2011) 195 copies
Death Come Quickly (2014) 174 copies
Blood Orange (2016) 168 copies
The Last Chance Olive Ranch (2017) 152 copies
Bittersweet (2015) 150 copies
Loving Eleanor (2016) 134 copies
Queen Anne's Lace (2018) 122 copies
China Bayles' Book of Days (2006) 120 copies
Writing from Life (1997) 113 copies
A Plain Vanilla Murder (2019) 102 copies
Hemlock (2021) 67 copies
The General's Women (2016) 46 copies
Work of Her Own (1992) 36 copies
The Crystal Cave Trilogy (2019) 27 copies
NoBODY (2019) 11 copies
SomeBODY Else (2019) 10 copies
Out of BODY (2019) 8 copies

Associated Works

Murder Most Crafty (2005) — Contributor — 98 copies
Malice Domestic 3 (1994) — Contributor — 73 copies


(68) 1930s (61) Alabama (67) amateur detective (145) American (60) animals (70) audiobook (46) Beatrix Potter (255) China Bayles (1,030) China Bayles Mystery (81) cozy (373) cozy mysteries (42) cozy mystery (404) crime (89) ebook (115) England (113) fiction (956) gardening (71) herbalism (43) herbs (667) historical (58) historical fiction (117) historical mystery (104) Kindle (148) library (58) murder (62) mysteries (130) mystery (3,408) mystery fiction (84) own (100) paperback (54) Pecan Springs (62) read (74) recipes (81) series (211) signed (48) Susan Wittig Albert (62) Texas (742) to-read (593) women detectives (71)

Common Knowledge

Other names
Paige, Robin
Places of residence
Austin, Texas, USA
Illinois, USA
Bertram, Texas, USA
University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
university professor
university administrator
Albert, Bill (husband)
Paige, Robin (shared pseudonym)
Story Circle Network
Disambiguation notice
Robin Paige is the pseudonym of husband-and-wife writing team Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert. As each also writes separately, this pseudonym should not be combined with either of the individual authors.



A little more than 4 stars, I really enjoyed this! Although it was fiction, most was based in fact (as noted in her works used listed). It was really fascinating to hear/see that period of time through a different lens, tying and interweaving the many events together.
Fatula | 15 other reviews | Oct 2, 2023 |
"You're not practicing that focus pocus on me," I said. "If you have to tell fortunes, Ruby, start with Justine." Across the table, Justin Wyzinski looked up from the lavender stems she was attempting to braid. "Palm reading is only a parlor game, China. Just superstition. Play along- it won't hurt you." She tossed the braid onto the table with an impatient gesture and leaned back in her white wicker chair. "Isn't there something else I can do besides making these ridiculous lavender hearts? Ruby's are perfect? Mine are hideously deformed. "… (more)
taurus27 | 8 other reviews | Sep 21, 2023 |
It’s the early 1990s and China Boyles, disenfranchised lawyer and enthusiastic herbalist, has escaped to the fictional town of Pecan Springs, Texas where she acts as the town’s herbalist, selling herbs and items that smell like herbs. When her good friend dies, apparently by suicide, China is suspicious. More deaths ensue as clandestine relationships and financial arrangements are revealed.
Thyme of Death ticks all the boxes for a cozy mystery: somewhat amateur detective, very grisly murders, and police who act as a foil to the main character’s investigations. The chief of police in this small town, though, is only mildly obstructive; despite his slightly repulsive demeanor and habitual suspicion when dealing with China, the Chief holds a grudging respect for China. That respect is reciprocated, as China frequently tells her friends not to underestimate the Chief’s abilities.
There’s a bit of romance as well (not with the Chief), and toward the end of the book, possibly a hint of greener pastures for China in that department.

The book has two drawbacks: Most glaringly, dialect is used as shorthand to indicate that a character is somehow unpleasant or unintelligent. When a (presumably uneducated) townsperson uses the word “TV,” it’s depicted as “tee-vee” in dialogue; and when a character uses the word “thang” (in italics) instead of “thing,” the reader knows China does not respect that character. This is an unpleasant and ineffective literary device; I paused at every usage while trying to figure out how “tee-vee” would sound different than “TV.”
The second drawback? I figured out who the killer was early on, and was disappointed to see how long it took China and her cohorts to reach the same conclusion.
This series is still active with 28 titles, the most recent published in 2021. I’m giving it three stars; it’s a series I’ll probably continue, both because I mostly enjoyed the debut novel and because I’m looking forward to watching how technology unfolds as China moves from 1990s snail mail and home phones (they weren’t calling them land lines then) to the uber-connected wireless world of the 21st century.

… (more)
CatherineB61 | 44 other reviews | May 31, 2023 |
She has taken one of the shop owners in the China Bayles series and endowed her with some premonitory powers. Very cool. Should be a series!!!!
lhaines56 | 1 other review | May 9, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Joe Burleson Cover artist
Will Lee Cover designer
Tiffany Estreicher Interior text design, Designer
Susan K. Hoermann Author photo
Hemera Cover background
Judith Murello Cover designer
Brandon Dorman Cover artist
Judith Lagerman Cover designer
Peggity Price Narrator
Shutterstock.com Cover images


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½ 3.7

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