Berkley, Jan 2003, 22.95, 320 pp.
Pecan Springs is the home of China Bayles, proprietor of the Thyme and Seasons Herb Shop and the co-owner of Thyme For Tea. She also rents out the small cabin behind her store to Ellen Holt, a beautiful reporter from Ohio doing a story on small town Texas. China and her best friend Ruby travel to nearby Indigo for the weekend to give a workshop and participate in the art and crafts festival.
They will be staying at the cabin of China's college friend Allison Selby, who along with the other thirty-six residents of Indigo are trying to revitalize the town. Allison's Uncle Casey Ford owns most of Indigo and intends to sell the mineral rights to Alcoa, who want to strip mine a seam that goes through the town's center. When Casey is murdered it is presumed that one of the townsfolk did it to preserve the town but Ruby and China, acting on a hunch, decide to investigate. Their search leads them right back to Pecan Springs and China's Midwest tenant.
In the latest China Bayles mystery, the author, for the most part, has taken her heroine out of her adopted hometown and placed her in various localities as a way of keeping the character fresh and the story line original. It works. Readers will find INDIGO DYING a very complex yet satisfying novel with a support cast second to none. Readers will enjoy observing China happy in her professional and personal lives and will eagerly await her next misadventure.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner