Now 2021 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge
Butterflies Are Pretty ... Gross! by Rosemary Mosco and Jacob Souva (Illustrations)
Cookies and Clairvoyance by Bailey Cates
Cut to the Corpse by Lucy Lawrence
Death Overdue by Allison Brook
Furbidden Fatality by Deborah Blake
Gideon Falls, Volume 4: The Pentoculus by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrator)
How to Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay and Matt Ottley (Illustrator)
I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
Indigo Dying by Susan Wittig Albert
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Volume 1 by Sumito Oowara
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Illustrator)
Murder by Page One by Olivia Matthews
Potions and Pastries by Bailey Cates
Red Bones by Ann Cleeves
Revenge of the Horned Bunnies by Ursula Vernon
The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja (Artist) Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater and Morgan Beem (illustrator)
This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel
Trouble in the Stars by Sarah Prineas
Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim
War Stories by Gordon Korman
The White Cat's Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King's Lap: Volume 1 by Kureha
Yokohama Station SF by Yuba Isukari

Miscellaneous
May 2021 Sources

May 2021 Summary

Thirty-four years of tracking my reading

Previous month



Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2021-2022

Beat the Backlist 2021



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


Indigo Dying: 06/12/21

Indigo Dying

Indigo Dying by Susan Wittig Albert is the eleventh book in the China Bayles mystery series. The series is now up to volume 28, Hemlock which releases in the fall. I hope to catch up to the series sooner rather than later but I've been slowly (glacially) reading this series since 2004. That means I've now caught up to where I was when I started.

The book opens with a violent death. A man opens a door and receives a face full of buckshot. An entire towns worth of people and some out of town media rush over to him. It's a great and memorable scene. Unfortunately it then takes the mystery until page 106 to get back to that spot in the narrative.

China Bayles the protagonist and first person narrator is a chatty character. Eleven books in and she still wants me to know where she lives, who her friends are, what her friends do for a living, and the news of her life for at least the last couple years. What this means for reading one of these mysteries: the first fifty page or so can honestly be skimmed (or sometimes even outright skipped) if you can remember the previous books.

The set up for this mystery is the backdrop of a failing town being encroached upon by a massive strip mining operation. In Texas mineral rights and land ownership are two separate and segregated things. You might own your land but someone else might own the crap in it and you might get pushed out when those rights are sold.

The man who dies violently owned all the mineral rights to the properties in Indigo. The upcoming Monday he had plans (which he'd loudly announced) to sign over the rights to the mining operation some two or so miles away. With him dead the town is saved. The big question is, who killed him?

I really wanted the solution to be something in the vein of The Trouble with Harry since so many people had a stake in wanting him dead. Sadly it's not. The whole mining operation thing is atmospheric but it's not the point of the book.

Tucked into one hundred and fifty pages of flashbacks, Texas mining information, red herrings, and lessons on natural dyes and the history of indigo vs woad as dyes, is about fifty pages of genuine mystery.

The twelfth book is A Dilly of a Death (2004).

Three stars

Comments (0)


Lab puppy
Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment:

Twitter Tumblr Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2021 Sarah Sammis