The Christmas season is turning out to be a busy one for herbalist and store owner China Bayles, but it is not a merry one. McQuaid, her husband, is busy researching the Texas Rangers, her partner and best friend Ruby is acting oddly and shutting China out of her life. If thats not enough, the store is having trouble getting mistletoe from Carl Swenson.

The question of why Swenson is not delivering mistletoe is solved when his body is discovered in a ditch. China is very interested as not only had she known Carl but one of her friends comes under suspicion of his death. With McQuaid on sabbatical from the police, China is not going to have any inside help if she wants to find out the truth behind Carls death.

Theres a down-home, neighborly feel to MISTLETOE MAN that makes this an extremely pleasant read. Readers are going to find themselves as intrigued by the subplot about Ruby as they are with the mystery, and as a bonus, Ms. Albert gives us some fascinating facts about the history and use of mistletoe. (Oct., 304 pp., $21.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg