Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Last Chance Olive Ranch

The Last Chance Olive Ranch is Susan Wittig Albert's 25th China Bayles cozy mystery.  In this installment of the series there are two separate plots which are unrelated to each other.  China Bayles and her business partner Ruby Wilcox are scheduled to teach a workshop at the Last Chance Olive Ranch the next day. However, China's husband and ex-cop McQuaid gets a phone call advising that a killer he put on death row has escaped and has killed 2 people already.  He suspects that he is on the killer's list of people to exact revenge from.  China does not want to go to the workshop so that she can stay home and keep her husband safe.  However, she is talked into going and finds herself involved in a dangerous matter at the ranch where 2 characters battle for ownership of the ranch.

I have read the entire China Bayles series and this is the first time that China's activities and those of her husband were not related to the same plot.  I did not feel that it took anything away from the story though.  I know and love all of the characters in the series and they are strong enough to carry separate plots on their own.  Both plots were complex and interesting.

When you love a series you come to love the characters.  The sad part about finishing a book is that you have to wait another year before the author can write and publish the next book and separation anxiety sets in.  That just shows the strength of the series though.

The Last Chance Olive Ranch has alot of information on the almighty olive which was fun to read about.  There is also some suspense with the chapters alternating between China's story and McQuaid's story.  All in all, this was another great read from Susan Wittig Albert.

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