Apr 5, 2016

Book Review: Blood Orange by Susan Wittig Albert

Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter, First Paragraph every Tuesday. Share the first paragraph(s) of your current read or book interest, with information for readers
Blood Orange by Susan Wittig Albert, published April 5, 2016 by Berklely
In the newest China Bayles Mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, China comes to the aid of a nurse who ends up in the hospital... (publisher)

First chapter, first paragraph
Today's commercial beers are almost exclusively brewed with hops, the female flowers of the hop plant (Humulus Iupulus).The result is a uniform, easily controlled flavor... 
Every chapter in this novel, in fact in all of the China Bayles mysteries if I remember correctly, begins with a brief treatise or description of plants and plants in the garden or used for food or drink. And all of the books include recipes, an added bonus.
First paragraph of the novel itself:
"Excuse me." I put down my teacup. I don't think I heard that right, Ruby. "I thought you said that Ramona has bought a brewery."
"That's exactly what I said," Ruby sank into the chair opposite mine at her kitchen table and ran her fingers through her frizzy red hair.... 
China tries to find the person who forced a hospice nurse, Kelley, off the road in a car accident, critically injuring her. Things slowly come to light that someone wants to keep his/her other crimes a secret, and the mystery plot gets on the way......
What I like most about the series is the setting - the Hill Country in south Texas, which the author describes in such excellent detail, as well as the interesting main characters, and the detailed information on plants in every book. Not to mention delicious and unusual recipes.

Here are the ingredients for my favorite recipe in Blood Orange, one I am bound to try:

Blood Orange Liqueur
4 blood oranges
1 lemon
Fresh ginger, about 2" long, peeled and sliced
2 cups vodka
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In brief, add the ginger and vodka to the de-pitted oranges and orange and lemon peel in a quart jar. Add the simple water and sugar syrup and store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least a month. (The complete detailed recipe is on pages 308-309 of the book). 

It sounds absolutely delicious to me! 
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book for their book tour of Blood Orange. 


  1. I've seen and heard of Blood Oranges on Martha Stewart's show. I saw them a long time ago. I can't believe you almost or have finished this series. I like this one too. Haven't read one in a long time.

  2. That does sound delicious! I'll have to check out this series.

  3. This is an author I've wanted to try. I once purchased blood oranges without realizing what they were - not bad.

  4. Sounds very interesting! I love blood oranges too.

    Here's my Teaser/Intro: http://justasecondblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/teaser-tuesdayfirst-chapter-first.html

  5. This is a great series -- I read a few years ago -- I need to get caught up.

  6. Wow, I am impressed by the blood oranges...and the way you describe the writing. Something I want to read. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “FRICTION”

  7. I haven't read this author or series before, but I would like to. It sounds good!

  8. Seems like a read a book by this author long ago and enjoyed it. The Texas Hill Country setting definitely appeals to me, and so does the recipe you posted. I'll read this one for sure.
    My Tuesday post features a mystery thriller: THE SHADOW CARTEL.

  9. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Harvee! This book sounds like an appealing mystery.

  10. The drink sounds amazing! I read the series early on but haven't in a years. This one sounds great! It's definitely a series I need to revisit.

  11. The recipe sounds delicious, but I don't see blood oranges very often. The opening paragraphs are intriguing. I don't think I've read this these books before but it does ring a bell. I'll have to check it out.


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