The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries feature herbalist China Bayles, who abandoned her career as a hot-shot Houston criminal attorney to buy an herb shop in a small town located half-way between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. China wants the things that many contemporary women seek: a quieter life, rewarding work, a close relationship, friends, and community. Each of her mysteries has a signature herb that is connected to a major theme, and each is liberally sprinkled with information on growing and using herbs. The China Bayles novels have been praised for their intelligent plots, quirky and appealing characters, interesting settings, and strong writing.
- Thyme of Death (1992) —China's first adventure. A friend dies—murder or suicide?
- Witches' Bane (1993) —China and Ruby discover that the supernatural isn't funny.
- Hangman's Root (1994) —Animal rights, academic politics, and murder—a potent mix.
- Rosemary Remembered (1995) —Who remembers the victims of crime?
- Rueful Death (1996) —Grace, forgiveness, and the mystery of community.
- Love Lies Bleeding (1997) —China learns a tough lesson in love.
- Chile Death (1998) —Hot stuff, folks! (Funny, too)
- Lavender Lies (1999) —Mystery, murder, and a wet 'n' wild wedding
- Mistletoe Man (2000) —What's Christmas without mistletoe? What's life without Ruby? Join China as she faces both of these difficult questions.
- Bloodroot (2001) —Bloodroot takes China on a difficult journey into her past, and into the bloody roots of her family's Southern history.
- Indigo Dying (2003) —Colors to Dye For, a deep-dyed mystery, and a true-blue China & Ruby collaboration!
- A Dilly of a Death (2004) —A dilly of a mystery, especially if you like pickles. And even if you don't, you're sure to smile (and maybe hiss) at China's pickle jokes.
- Dead Man's Bones (2005) —The bones in a cave have a story to tell, and hold a clue from the past that
could help China solve an urgent mystery in the present.
- Bleeding Hearts (April 2006) —The wrong kind of love leads to bleeding hearts, ruined lives, desperate fear—and murder.
- Spanish Dagger (April 2007)
- Nightshade (April 2008)
- Wormwood (April 2009)
- An Unthymely Death (2003) —These are the China Bayles short mysteries originally written for the Country Living Gardener web site, complete with recipes, crafts, herb lore, and other herbal goodies!
- Murder Most Crafty (2005) —Anthology of 15 new stories of criminal handiwork and the art of deduction, by 15 of your favorite mystery authors, featuring 14 popular sleuths PLUS a China Bayles short story, "The Collage to Kill For." Interesting crafts, crafty crimes.
- China Bayles' Book of Days (October 2006) —365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs. Featuring recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more, this special volume is your personal calendar to the legends and lore of herbs. It also features brand-new essays by Susan, clues from China’s mysteries, and some special contributions from the irrepressible members of the Myra Merryweather Herb Guild, Pecan Springs’s oldest civic organization. Celebrate each day of the year by discovering your own personal place in the green, growing world!
Herbal recipes and more about herbs on every book's web page!