Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

S. C Perkins won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition for Murder Once Removed, and deservedly so. The first Ancestry Detective mystery is a fascinating debut, with likable characters. If you're interested in genealogy, or like cold cases, it's even more intriguing.

Lucy Lancaster won't let go when she's on a hunt for ancestry. She endangers herself and others who have clues to a death that took place in 1849 in Texas. Gus Halloran, patriarch of one of Texas' most powerful families, hires Lucy to trace his family lineage. While doing research, she finds a photograph of Seth Halloran's body, and the photographer's confession that he lied to hide the murder on behalf o another powerful family. While Lucy narrows the killer down to one of two families, Gus announces at a press conference that an ancestor of a Texas senator killed Seth.

For once in her life, Lucy had drank a little too much at the luncheon celebrating the successful search for lineage. She wasn't able to prevent Halloran's announcement. Now, she finds she also can't prevent the break-ins that resulted when someone didn't like Lucy's discoveries. Lucy feels guilty about the break-ins, but it's the murder of her mentor, and the dismissive attitude of an FBI agent that cause her to turn amateur sleuth.

Lucy Lancaster is an appealing intelligent amateur sleuth, who bases her conclusions on her research. Her office mates, long-time friends, are also strong, supportive women. There's an excellent supporting cast, a little sexual tension, a combination of a cold case and a current one, along with some Texas history in the book. The intricately plotted story is a strong, enjoyable mystery debut.

S.C. Perkins' website is www.SCPerkins.com

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins. Minotaur Books, 2019. ISBN 9781250189035 (hardcover), 336p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Kay said...

I'm seeing this book all over the place lately. It seems to be saying 'read me, read me'. I better listen. Ha! Actually, the genealogy aspect is very interesting, plus the cold case part...and you add in Texas history and you've got me. ;-)

Gram said...

It sounds good to me so I put it on my library list. Thanks.

Lesa said...

Kay & Gram, You'll both have to tell me what you think when you finish it.

Sandie Herron said...

I was just given this book by a friend, and it intrigued me right away. I'm delighted to learn more about it.

Lesa said...

Sandie, I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it!

Gloria Drake said...

I read this based on your review and interview with the author. It really did find a unique and interesting angle for a mystery and I am not particularly a fan of genealogy. Very fun read with the potential for lots of sequels. Thanks for highlighting it. -Gloria Drake, Librarian

Lesa said...

Thank you, Gloria! What a nice compliment that you tried it based on my review and the interview. I'm glad you enjoyed it. But, I'm even happier you were willing to try it. Love to hear a fellow librarian say that!