Death Come Quickly (China Bayles)
by Susan Wittig Albert
Cover Artist: Joe Burleson
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425255636
Date: 01 April 2014 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
One person's life can interact with many others. If that person is a teacher, the pool of people whose lives will be impacted by the actions or death of that person is even greater. In Death Come Quickly, the death of Karen Prior starts ripples that reverberate throughout the community of Pecan Springs, Texas.
Karen was supervising several students working on their film degree. Two of them were putting together a documentary on the death of Christine Morris, a cold case that occurred a decade previously. One of the students Karen supervised was the sister of China Bayles' stepson's girlfriend. Karen was also a friend of China and her husband. Karen's daughter was a neighbor of Ruby Wilcox, China's business partner and friend.
These connections are going to play out as China begins to think about the facts of Karen's death, the conversations with relatives and friends, and the way that things just don't add up. Of course, she doesn't intend to get involved in an open police investigation, but she is following a tangent that might connect -- maybe.
Once again, China finds herself following a tangential path just trying to make sense of the pieces that don't fit together. However, she's careful to stay out of the way of the police.
Death Comes Quickly has the usual denizens of Pecan Springs and the camaraderie and small town feel that readers have come to expect from such a large cast of continuing characters. It also has an absorbing mystery with plenty of twists and red herrings to keep readers interested -- even if you figure it out before the characters.
The book also includes recipes for some of the food mentioned as part of the story line, as well as chapter headings on herbal lore and history.