Read Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert Online


In search of respite, China takes off to St. Theresa's Monastery with her friend Maggie, a former nun. The goal is a brief, tranquil retreat - but there's a conflict at the convent. The mother superior has recently died, and a battle over the future of St. Theresa's suggests that her sudden demise might not have been accidental. Now, China's quest for a replenished spiritIn search of respite, China takes off to St. Theresa's Monastery with her friend Maggie, a former nun. The goal is a brief, tranquil retreat - but there's a conflict at the convent. The mother superior has recently died, and a battle over the future of St. Theresa's suggests that her sudden demise might not have been accidental. Now, China's quest for a replenished spirit takes second place to a more earthbound pursuit: catching a killer......

Title : Rueful Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425159415
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 275 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rueful Death Reviews

  • Pamela Mclaren
    2018-12-16 18:36

    I have to admit, when I began this book I was quite surprised at the main character. China Bayles, a former lawyer who now runs a herb shop, has always been a down t earth, level-headed gal and in this book, she seems to have lost her bearing. But then that is the reason that she decides to go on a retreat at a convent with her friend Maggie, an ex-nun. When she arrives, China is asked to solve a series of small fires. Along the way, she finds that there is more going on than the fires. The two groups living within the walls of the cloister have two very different attitudes about what should be done with the convent and the fires are only a sign of something much deeper and more deadly.Another solid mystery from Wittig Albert.

  • Fredell Boston
    2018-12-04 23:29

    Really enjoyed this China Bayles installment. In search of peace and quirt, a little reflection and downtime, China goes on retreat to St. Theresa's Monastery with her friend Maggie, a former nun. The goal is a brief, tranquil retreat - but there's a conflict at the convent. The mother superior has recently died, and a battle over the future of St. Theresa's suggests that her sudden demise might not have been accidental. Now, China's quest for a replenished spirit takes second place to a more earthbound pursuit: catching a killer. And, finding the arsonist who has set several small fires at the St. T's. As China deals with the calamities at the monastery, she longs for the quiet and solitude that she came for.

  • Ann
    2018-12-18 20:34

    When China feels burnt out from all the work at her herb shop, she travels to St. Teresa's, a convent that has rooms for reflection and peaceful vacations. When she arrives, though, it is to a hectic convent in the midst of a battle between keeping the convent as it is or building on to make it into a resort hotel. There have been several suspicious fires and a nun dies in a suspicious manner. China is asked to look into the problems and this leads to a good mystery and to the possible rekindling of an old romantic interest. This was a good book. I enjoy the China Bayles series and Ms. Albert is very good at spinning a mystery.

  • Katey
    2018-11-26 20:26

    In reading books like this, it makes me want to experience the same things that the main character does. In this book, China goes off to a retreat in an abbey, for some relaxation. I wouldn't want to become a nun, but I wouldn't mind experiencing what it would be like, for a day...possibly longer if the first day went ok. But just for the experience.Even nuns can have secrets up the sleeves of their habits. There was only one murder, occurring near the very end, and the killer wasn't a nun, surprisingly. Usually, a culprit is chosen near the middle of the book, and it turns out not to be that person, as it's too early to close out the book. On to the next book in the series.

  • Rachel
    2018-12-14 00:23

    China Bayles is burned out from the holiday season and decides to go on a retreat at a nunnery in the Texas hill country with her friend Maggie who used to be a nun there. Before she can relax China is asked by the abbess to investigate a series of fires and poison pen letters the nuns have been receiving. I like China but I missed her herb shop and her boyfriend McQuaid and best friend Ruby her were barely in this story. I was also a bit annoyed by the introduction of an ex-boyfriend of China's. I do like this series and will continue with it.

  • Emily Cullen
    2018-12-01 02:16

    Herbal shop owner China Bayles feels the walls are closing in on her so she goes with her friend on a retreat to Saint Theresa's Monastery. But her peace is short-lived as the Mother Superior asks her to investigate some suspicious incidents going on at the convent and eventually into catching a killer. I really like China, her personality and her relationship with her boyfriend, McQuaid who she is living with, along with his son and various pets! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

  • Sara Jane
    2018-12-01 01:14

    The back cover says China Bayles is "totally a woman of the nineties." Probably so, but he story was pretty good anyway.

  • Grace Young
    2018-11-30 18:25

    wonderful book series with so many great herbal recipes and information

  • Mandolin
    2018-11-28 21:24

    Having survived a whirlwind holiday season, China Bayles finds herself growing more unhappy with her life as a shop owner and with her personal relationship with her significant other, McQuaid. Desperate for a period of rest and peace that will give her time to answer the difficult questions about her life that she faces, China accepts her the invitation of her friend and former nun, Maggie, to visit St. Teresa's, the monastic retreat where Maggie once served. China's dreams of a peaceful holiday are shattered before she even arrives at the monastery, however, when she learns that someone within its walls has been setting fires and sending poisonous letters to its members. Soon after her arrival, China becomes embroiled in the mystery, astonished at the animosity that has developed between two factions of sisters. A legacy left to the order has spawned rivaling opinions about the monastery's future and created a deep breach within its walls. Jealousy, greed, hatred...they all simmer below the surface of this peaceful resort and it's up to China to discover the nun who has let those things lead her into hateful - and possibly deadly - actions. As if that weren't enough, China comes face to face with an old flame and finds that the passion between them is just as alive as it was when their relationship ended. Is her relationship with McQuaid coming to an end in favor of this old love? Despite a series of mistakes, China eventually solves the mysteries and comes to some conclusions about her life and future, learning a little about grace in the process. I found this book a little depressing with its view of the church as a male-dominated world out to crush the female spirit. Granted, there may be some truth in that perspective, but to let it become the focus of much of what should have been a light hearted mystery was a mistake. The philosophies espoused by several of the nuns bothered me, also. Albert's overall view of religion and the organized church is very negative, at least in this series, and that tends to make the book a darker read than it should be. It ends well, though, on an uplifting note of repentance and forgiveness that I found refreshing. All in all, a satisfying mystery but one in the series that I could have skipped without missing.

  • Maddy
    2018-11-19 02:41

    Formerly a high-powered Houston lawyer, China Bayles gave up a thriving practice and moved to Pecan Springs, TX, in an effort to find some meaning in life. She opened an herb shop, Thyme and Seasons, which has just recently experienced an explosion in sales. Recently, she moved in with her lover, Mike McQuaid, and his 12-year-old son. All should be well, but it doesn't feel that way to China. She's burned out personally and professionally, uncertain of what direction her life should take and if she' s in the relationship and business that are the best for her. Consequently, she's anxious to take advantage of a friend's invitation to go on a two-week retreat to a remote university, where Maggie had been a nun. Alas, the dreams of solitude and meditation soon fall by the wayside. Maggie, China and Ruby, another friend serving as chauffeur, have barely pulled into town before China is pulled into several investigations. There' s the matter of several small arsons that have occurred at the monastery. Then there's the poison pen letters accusing several of the sisters of various sins and demanding penance. The monastery land had been bequeathed to the diocese by a local woman whose family is contesting the will. There' s also a political battle between two factions in the sisterhood, and at least one suspicious death among the elderly nuns. Somebody seems to be trying to scare China off by shooting at her. And last but not least, a former boyfriend named Tom Rowan is the local banker. Much to China's chagrin, she finds that she is still strongly attracted to him. Amazingly, Albert retains control of all of these plot elements, although I did find myself confused by some of the cast of characters, particularly a group of nuns whose first names all began with the letter "R". China makes some wrong assumptions in her investigation, and there's more fire and death. The ending was particularly well done, when we see that revealing the truth is not always the best course to take. Albert does a nice job of depicting the nuns' lifestyle and also of laying out some of their modern day dilemmas.

  • Christyn
    2018-12-17 23:26

    Rueful Death was definitely not my favorite in the China Bayles series, in fact it's my least favorite, so far. I'm not even sure where to start. I think Albert took a chance with a new setting and pretty much a whole new cast of characters (with the familiar ones making brief appearances) with the exception of China and Maggie. It didn't pay off in this book. There were, naturally several things going on - but with so many new characters it was harder to figure things out and keep track of who's who - especially the nuns. We did get a better look at Maggie's character, which was interesting but the others - most of them were too flat and two dimensional. This focused mainly on the mysteries. China was not as endearing to me in this one - jumped to a (wrong) conclusion too quickly, I wasn't particularly fond of her interaction with Tom (though I am glad she came to her senses before anything else could happen) I also was not happy about her 'advice' about 'justice' to Mother - I mean shouldn't they have at least tried to have the Nun prosecuted? So two killers got away with murder in this book and I really didn't like that, it just felt wrong to me. I know it happens in real life - I just prefer, in the fiction I read for there to be a better sense of justice to it. The writing was not bad, and the overall story was okay but this one was not my cup of tea. Hopefully the next one is better. 2 stars.

  • Abbey
    2018-11-29 19:39

    BOTTOM LINE: #5 China Bayles, ex-lawyer, herbalist, Pecan Springs, TX. Another enjoyable visit with China, although I missed “the usual suspects”, aka, her friends and family in Pecan Springs. The ending was far too easy to guess, plus there was a romantic complication that seemed extremely out-of-place, unusual for Albert. But over all this was a decent-to-good entry in this long, and generally entertaining series.A quiet week at a country retreat, ah, bliss! Well, it was supposed to be, anyway, for China’s feeling a mite burned out after Christmas Rush at her shop and the continual difficulties of making her relationship with McQuaid work. Heck, she got away from lawyering because she was burned out - and the thought that she might be repeating herself is troubling. But there’s a power play going on at the retreat, concerning an immense bequest that might change everything in that part of Texas, and folks are getting deadly serious about it. Rather sweeter than most, and somewhat clumsily done, below Albert’s usual craft. The romantic subplot was downright tacky AND clunky. Surely if she wanted to move China along towards realizing the good thing she has with McQuaid she could have been less obvious? And the father’s machinations were so obvious... siggggh... Not her best. but I always enjoy China’s voice.

  • Beth Britnell
    2018-12-08 23:16

    Boo, Susan Albert ... Boo! The first several books of this series were awesome! This one was terrible! Spoiler .... Spoiler following ....Spoiler following .....Two people get away with murder! This is not how China Bayles operates! She turned her back on not just the law, but the right thing to do! An old man brutally bludgeons a woman to death, he confesses, and she deliberately turns her back on it, to save a few people from embarrassment? After he embezzled 14 million dollars from NUNS, she just lets it go and HELPS COVER UP THE CRIME!!! A mentally unstable nun facilitates the death of an elderly nun, and she just lets it go? A bumbling doctor, an incompetent sherriff ... and she just lets it all go? What happened to the ferocious, fierce, justice-seeking, avenging China Bayles? And that nasty, unnecessary bit about the priest and choirboys ... that was just gratuitous. Shame on you, Susan Albert! There's no need to jump on the bashing-Catholic-priests-bandwagon. You're better than that. I hope the next book redeems this series. (I know this is an older series, but I'm just now reading it, I didn't appreciate mysteries before.)

  • Michelle
    2018-12-01 21:35

    This is the 5th book in the China Bayles series. China is exhausted from the busy holiday season and trying to make it a special Christmas for Brian after his mother leaves. She decides to take a break from McQuaid and Brian and head to a convent retreat with Maggie, a former nun at the convent. Instead of the quiet contemplation she was expecting, China finds herself pulled into a conflict over the future of the property between the original group of nuns who grow garlic and the nuns transferred from a conference center that was sold. There are also some mysterious fires, poison pen letters, and 2 suspicious deaths. To make life even more complicated, a former love interest of China's makes a reappearance and stirs up some conflicting feelings for her. We get an interesting change of pace in this book and I liked the change of scenery and the chance for China to be vulnerable and yet more strong in her convictions. She shows some doubts and stumbles a little along the way, but manages to solve the mystery in the end. I felt this book got the series more on track and I hope the next book is as enjoyable.

  • Sue
    2018-12-13 02:34

    China Bayles had a rough December. It was the first holiday season with McQuaid and Brian, she did way too much at her herbal store and is feeling overwhelmed and drained. She decides to go with her friend Margaret Mary, a former nun, to her monastery for a retreat to refresh and think over her life. She is drawn into a complex web of secrets, lies, arson, and murder. This was a very nicely crafted story with subtle clues and moral dilemmas. I liked this story a lot. China makes mistakes, is vulnerable, confronts an old flame that makes her question her current relationship and makes some important decisions about her future. Maybe because she hangs out with nuns, there is very little language in this one.

  • Marilyn
    2018-12-14 20:25

    50 States and at least 50 Authors 2016 Reading Challenge. TEXAS.Maggie and China are headed to a retreat at the monastery where Maggie, as Sister Margaret Mary, once lived. Ruby is dropping them off and then joining some of her friends on vacation. Just before arriving, they stop for lunch at a restaurant in town and learn that Mother Winifred wants China to investigate some things going on at the monastery. Apparently, there have been some poison pen letters delivered to some of the Sisters demanding that they confess and do penance. In addition, someone has been setting fires. Also, there are some serious disagreements between the Sisters as to the future of the monastery. And finally, was Mother Hilaria murdered?

  • Blair
    2018-11-30 21:14

    Again, I'm not sure why I keep picking these up. They started as my guilty pleasure but they are getting worse as they go on. The first couple were great, cookie-cutter mysteries, perfect for a weekend when you are exhausted from work and just need an escape. Then she threw one in that was overly sexual (I forget which) that left me cold. This one was decent until she started harping on capitalism and the horrors of the banking industry. I also can't figure out China; she's prissy about certain things but then turns around and lets a murderer die with a clean name. It's like she can't decide who she is. I'm thinking one more try at these and if it's not good, I'm on the lookout for a new guilty pleasure.

  • Susan
    2018-12-10 01:40

    All of the China Bayles series books are written with a conversational style, and endearing sincerity. The characters are both loveable and believable as are the places. Albert describes things well enough to give you a picture for your mind's eye without allowing the descriptions to overtake the storyline. If you've never lived in Central Texas trust me when I tell you that this is as close as you can get without moving here! These books are a comfortable, easy read - equally good for rainy days, and excuse to stay in the air conditioning, or by the fireplace.

  • Ellen Moore
    2018-12-03 02:35

    I didn't like this book quite as much as the previous ones in this series. The usual characters were barely mentioned or left out altogether. The persons who committed criminal acts did not appear to be in danger of facing any punishment. I didn't like China's renewed acquaintance with an old romantic relationship from Houston. I didn't like the fighting among the nuns in the convent. Apparently I don't like change! After I wrote my review, I read some of the other reviews and found that some other readers shared my disappointments!

  • Renee Wood
    2018-12-02 01:12

    This is one of my late to the party series. I just discovered these a few years ago and read the books (in order) whenever I have downtime from more time sensitive tasks. I am enjoying getting to know China and her adopted home, Pecan Springs, Texas, and all of the characters we typically find in a small town. This installment may be my favorite yet. China gets out of her small town and into a big mess. The people are interesting, and the story moves at a good pace. Based on things that occurred in this book, I'm really looking forward to the next one.

  • Chloe
    2018-12-12 21:40

    Not my favorite in the series. The plot and mystery was unimaginative to say the least. I found the setting to be boring, repetitive and poorly displayed. I missed Pecan Springs. The characters were very one dimensional and congruent, by the end of the book I couldn't remember who was who and who did what. I think the author wanted to shake things up with a new county and some new faces, but unfortunately it didn't work. I read these books for the cozy-comfort factor and I lost it in Rueful Death. Nonetheless I will continue to read the series. . .

  • Ed
    2018-11-29 20:20

    #5 in the China Bayles series. China Bayles, high powered Houston lawyer, relocates to Pecan Springs, TX to run an herb shop.China Bayles goes on retreat to St. Theresa's monastery with ex-nun friend Maggie. Mother Winifred at the monastery has her own agenda; she wants China to discover who is setting fires and sending malicious letters. The monastery has a reputation for growing garlic, but a faction wants to develop a conference center.

  • Megan Bodwell
    2018-12-08 18:16

    I do love this series. This one was definitely better than the last one, or perhaps my mindset is different. China Bayles is a great protagonist and I love Susan Wittig Albert's obvious attention to important details in the story, like making sure the herbal information is all correct or important background details are accurate, even if by definition, the cozy mystery strains credulity in some aspects. Like, a murder rate higher than NYC in a small town.

  • Nancy
    2018-12-02 21:35

    In #5 of the series, China goes to a retreat at a local monastery to mull over her priorities; her relationship with McQuade and Brian, her store and tea room. Of course, while she's there she is enlisted to help solve the mystery of strange fires, hurtful annonymous letters, and a couple of deaths. After a false start, an encounter with an old flame, and opposing sets of nuns, she manages to sort everything out.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-17 02:36

    After four books set in Pecan Springs, Texas, the author wisely moves China Bayles to another setting--a retreat where apparently some or all of the nuns are being targeted, and someone is up to no good, including arson and "poison pen" letters. The insights into the cloistered community are interesting and the plot is great, as are the characters. (Although this is no Gaudy Night.) Another good read in the China Bayles series.

  • Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman
    2018-11-25 22:35

    Another great China Bayles mystery. When China attempts a relaxing spiritual retreat to refocus of her shop, her relationship with McQuaid and her life in general, she finds herself drawn into a confusing web of danger. Arson, threating letters and death plague the nun's retreat. Meanwhile she stumbles on fraud, local politics and more death. China handles herself well even when an old flame shows up and wants to rekindle the proverbial flame.

  • Angie
    2018-12-15 21:16

    This time China finds herself in a monastery for some much needed r&r. But when she gets there she finds secrets and murders instead. Throw in some past love steam and some very cool information about rue (the herb of grace, look it up) and you've got another great cozy mystery in the China Bayles series. I am really enjoying these books and cannot wait to see what's next for those colorful characters of Pecan Springs.

  • Jane Brant
    2018-12-08 19:36

    Nuns in a convent involved in murderous, it can't be. Interesting set of characters showing pettiness, search for power, and deception all within those committed to a life of poverty, devotion, and selflessness. Add a backdrop of rural Texas small town life where history and relationships have long hidden that makes for a perfect mystery. I liked the story, the close attention to details, and of course, who could forget the "rue".

  • C.J. Prince
    2018-12-09 00:32

    I am really enjoying the China Bayles character. Bright, intelligent and much more articulate than I am. I like her in-your-face questions to those she interrogates (not the right word), her romantic caution, herbal knowledge and fallibility. Of course I identify with Ruby, her best friend.AND I just found a Mystery Book Club. Whoopee. I try to fit a couple in between the two other book club reads. Looking forward to "Silver Pigs", the next read.

  • Sheila
    2018-11-22 00:33

    China Bayles was a high powered lawyer that need an escape from the pressures so she moved to a small town and opened up an herb shop. Now after several years of running the shop she is feeling the need for a getaway and agrees to go on a retreat with friends to a cloistered monastery.The peace and quiet China is seeking is not to be found, as she finds an internal war being waged among the nuns and of course a murder.