She is the author of the China Bayles herbal mysteries, a popular and acclaimed series centering 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. "China Bayles ... is a former corporate lawyer who grew tired of the rat race and left it behind in Houston. She has moved to the Texas hill country ... Despite the slower pace of life in Pecan Springs, Texas, China still manages to run across her share of murders."
Albert grew up in downstate Illinois, attending Danville High School before moving to the nearby community of Bismarck, where she graduated. She became a college professor of English and university administrator and vice president. She writes a column for Country Living Gardener magazine.
Her writing career has included the Nancy Drew mysteries under the penname Carolyn Keene in the 1980s.
By the 1990s, Albert was ready to embark upon an independent career and wrote Thyme of Death, her first China Bayles novel. The book was warmly received, and was nominated for two national mystery awards, the Agatha and the Anthony.
All seventeen of the China Bayles novels include the names of herbs, and the subsequent mysteries invariably include detailed, meticulously reported herbal themes that invoke the title. She is a popular guest speaker at both herbal clubs and women's groups around the country. Albert has described her books as "cozy mysteries," because they do not describe much violence or gratuitous behavior.
She and her husband, Bill, have also co-written the 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.
She was a keynote speaker at the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave in 2005.