Susan Wittig Albert, China Bayles discovers here shop Thyme and Seasons was the home to the Duncan Family in the late 1880s. Without any advance warning, odd things begin to happen around the shop and China thinks she sees a ghost.
Usually it is her partner Ruby who is in touch with the spirits, but it seems this ghost wants China to discover something that might impact someone today. The bell over the door rings occasionally, photos appear on the bulletin board and China dreams about the woman.
Looking through old photos she found in the attic, China tries to piece together the relationship of the people in them. The house was called the Duncan Family home, and she learns a young woman named Annie Laura lived in the house with her husband. When her husband was killed in a train accident, Annie went into premature labor and lost her baby that same day.
The story goes back in time to tell Annie's tale, how she made lace and sold it to the fine dress shops in Austin, then branched out to San Antonio. She hired local women to help her with the work. Annie lives as a widow for three years when her next door neighbor Adam, himself a married man, seems to take an interest in her. His wife Delia is away frequently and he soon discovers she has been using Queen Anne's Lace seeds to prevent pregnancy.
A lovely book, beautifully written.