Susan Wittig Albert

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Susan Wittig Albert
Wittig Albert at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
Wittig Albert at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
BornVermilion County, Illinois, United States
Pen nameRobin Paige, Carolyn Keene
Notable worksChina Bayles Mysteries
SpouseBill Albert

Susan Wittig Albert, also known by the pen names Robin Paige and Carolyn Keene,[1] is an American mystery writer from Vermilion County, Illinois, United States.


Albert grew up in downstate Illinois, attending Danville High School before moving to the nearby community of Bismarck, where she graduated. She earned a degree from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She became a professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin and was a university administrator at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans and vice president for academic affairs at Southwest Texas State University.[1] She writes a column for Country Living Gardener magazine.

Her writing career has included the Nancy Drew mysteries under the pen name Carolyn Keene in the 1980s.[citation needed]

By the 1990s, Albert wrote Thyme of Death, her first China Bayles novel. The book was nominated for two national mystery awards, the 1992 Agatha and the 1993 Anthony in the "Best First Novel" category.[2][3]

The titles of all the China Bayles novels include the names of herbs and include herbal themes that invoke the title. Albert is a guest speaker at both herbal clubs and women's groups around the country. She describes her books as "cozy mysteries" because they do not contain much violence or gratuitous behavior.

Albert and her husband, Bill,[4] have also co-written The Robin Paige Victorian Mysteries, a series of a dozen mysteries set in the late Victorian era. Albert is also the author of The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, a series of mysteries featuring author Beatrix Potter.



The China Bayles mysteries[edit]

The China Bayles herbal mysteries center around the title character's deductive reasoning and knowledge as an herbalist and ex-lawyer, who solves murders with her best friend, Ruby Wilcox, owner of a New Age shop.[5]

  • Thyme of Death (1992)
  • Witches' Bane (1993)
  • Hangman's Root (1994)
  • Rosemary Remembered (1995)
  • Rueful Death (1996)
  • Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
  • Chile Death (1998)
  • Lavender Lies (1999)
  • Mistletoe Man (2000)
  • Bloodroot (2001)
  • Indigo Dying (2003)
  • An Unthymely Death (Short Story Collection) (2003)
  • A Dilly of a Death (2004)
  • Dead Man's Bones (2005)
  • Bleeding Hearts (2006)
  • The China Bayles Book of Days (365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs) (2006)
  • Spanish Dagger (2007)
  • Nightshade (2008)
  • Wormwood (2009)
  • Holly Blues (2010)
  • Mourning Gloria (2011)
  • Cat's Claw (2012)
  • Widow's Tears (2013)
  • Death Come Quickly (2014)
  • Bittersweet (2015)
  • Blood Orange (2016)
  • The Last Chance Olive Ranch (2017)
  • Queen Anne's Lace (2018)
  • A Plain Vanilla Murder (2019)

The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter[edit]

  • The Tale of Hill Top Farm (2004) ISBN 0-425-20101-5
  • The Tale of Holly How (2005) ISBN 0-425-20274-7
  • The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (2006)
  • The Tale of Hawthorn House (2007)
  • The Tale of Briar Bank (2008)
  • The Tale of Applebeck Orchard (2009)
  • The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (2010)
  • The Tale of Castle Cottage (2011)

The Robin Paige Victorian-Edwardian mysteries[edit]

These were co-written with her husband, Bill Albert under the name Robin Paige.

  • Death at Bishop's Keep (1994)
  • Death at Gallows Green (1995)
  • Death at Daisy's Folly (1997)
  • Death at Devil's Bridge (1998)
  • Death at Rottingdean (1999)
  • Death at Whitechapel (2000)
  • Death at Epsom Downs (2001)
  • Death at Dartmoor (2002)
  • Death at Glamis Castle (2003)
  • Death in Hyde Park (2004)
  • Death at Blenheim Palace (2005)
  • Death on the Lizard (2006)

The Darling Dahlias mysteries[edit]

Takes place in a fictitious town called Darling, Alabama during the 1930s. Centers on a group of amateur, mystery solving women in a garden club called the Darling Dahlias.

  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree (2010)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies (2011)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose (2012)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star (2013)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush (2014)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady (2015)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover (2018)
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle (2018)


  • Work of Her Own: A Woman's Guide to Success off the Career Track (1992) ISBN 0-87477-767-4
  • Writing From Life: Telling Your Soul's Story (1997) ISBN 0-87477-848-4
  • Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place (2007)
  • An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days (2009)


  1. ^ a b Lindsay, Elizabeth Blakesley (2007). Great Women Mystery Writers (2nd ed.). Greenwood Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-313-33428-5.
  2. ^ "Malice Domestic Convention - Bethesda, MD". August 23, 1988. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention: Anthony Awards Nominees". October 2, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Partners in Crime HQ (official site)
  5. ^ Swanson, Jean; James, Dean (1998). Killer Books: A Reader's Guide to Exploring the Popular World of Mystery and Suspense. New York: Berkley Prime Crime. ISBN 0425162184.

External links[edit]