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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Cozy Mystery Featuring a Genealogist Uncovering Long-Buried Secrets? Count Me In!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Lucy Lancaster loves her job as a professional genealogist.  Not only does digging into people's family histories keep her research skills sharp, but it also keeps her in tacos.  Especially when she's working for wealthy people like her newest client, Gus Holloran.  The Austin billionaire wants to know the real cause of his great-great grandfather's untimely death back in 1849.  He offers Lucy a large sum to solve the mystery.  Which she does.  Kind of.  She knows Great-Great Grandpa Halloran was murdered by someone with the initials "C.A."; however, she's got two suspects who could fit the bill.  When Lucy accidentally announces the identity of the murderer without having absolute proof, she sets more dastardly deeds in motion.  Soon, she's running from a killer who will do anything to keep the secrets of the past hidden away forever.  

Although I managed to keep the plot summary of Murder Once Removed—a debut novel and the first in the Ancestry Investigations mystery series by S.C. Perkins—to one paragraph, the story actually gets fairly complicated and confusing.  I found myself lost on more than one occasion just trying to keep track of who was who and what was what.  It's a wordy, overwritten tome as well, which drove me a little nuts, truth be told.  That being said, though, I enjoyed the book's fun Southern setting, quirky cast, and genealogy theme.  Although I saw a few of the tale's twists coming, I didn't guess the killer until the very end.  Overall, then, I enjoyed Murder Once Removed and will give the next installment a try.  I'm banking on the series getting better as it goes along.

(Readalikes:  Um, nothing's coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Murder Once Removed from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. Combining genealogy and a mystery sounds like fun, too bad it's not a great book.

  2. I already have this one here to read soon. As you might expect, the location of Austin was a real draw for me. I look forward to seeing what 'real' Austin stuff is included. :-)

  3. I pretty much felt the exact same way as you. There was definitely a bit of a convoluted feel at times but I feel like there's enough potential that I'm definitely looking forward to the 2nd book.


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