From Susan Wittig Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of A Plain Vanilla Murder, comes a tightly crafted novel that juxtaposes the disappearance of a rare, remarkably illustrated 18th-century herbal with the true and all-too-human story of its gifted creator, Elizabeth Blackwell.
Herbalist China Bayles’ latest adventure takes her to the mountains of North Carolina, where her friend Dorothea Harper serves as the director and curator of the Hemlock House Library, a priceless collection of rare gardening books housed in a haunted mountainside mansion that once belonged to Sunny Carswell, a reclusive heiress. But the most valuable book—A Curious Herbal, created by Elizabeth Blackwell in the 1730s—is missing and Dorothea is under suspicion.
China’s search for the thief takes on a new urgency when she discovers Miss Carswell’s bookseller, the victim of an attempted murder. Is his shooting connected with the theft? And there are other urgent questions: What is the Hemlock Guild? Who owns Socrates.com? Did Sunny Carswell really kill herself, or does her ghost have a different story to tell? And what is the real truth behind the many tantalizing mysteries of A Curious Herbal?
Hemlock is a compelling mix of mystery and herb lore, past secrets and present sins, and characters who are as real as your friends and neighbors—in an absorbing novel that only Susan Wittig Albert could create.