Wormwood by Susan Wittig Albert.
In the seventh of the series, China has been persuaded to get away from things, and goes to visit a friend in a Kentucky Shaker village to help out with a workshop. But her friend has ulterior motives: she's hoping China will investigate some unusual occurrences that cannot just be ascribed to Shaker ghosts.
This is the only one of the China Bayles books that is not completely written from China's point of view. There are several chapters that are supposed to be the journal entries of various early Shakers, which are very well written and impart a lot of historical information about the Shakers. I've heard from some of Wittig Alberts fans that they dislike this historical intrusion, and would just prefer a straight mystery, but I really enjoyed it.
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris.
I expected to wait a lot longer to read the ninth in the Sookie Stackhouse series, but Katy ordered a copy from Amazon, and I was able to read it as soon as she finished (which was very quickly!). I, too, read it quickly, but I have to admit to some disappointment.
Now that vampires have been "out" for some time, the were community has decided to go public, too. Unfortunately, this does not go well for Sookie and those close to her. Her employer Sam's mother comes out to her husband, who shoots her. Sam rushes to her bedside and leaves Sookie in charge of Merlotte's. Sookie throws herself into the job, wanting to do the best she can for Sam, but her life becomes even more complicated when one of the local weres is found murdered behind the bar.
As much as I enjoy Ms. Harris' writing, I have to say that I think there's just too much going on in this book. Problems with vampires and weres are par for the course in Sookie's life, but when her otherworldly relatives start involving her in their problems it just seems to me to be too much for one narrative.
Despite those misgivings, I really did enjoy the tale, and am looking forward to the next installment in the series.