Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Book Review – Where’s Merrill?

Title:  Where’s Merrill?

Author:  Gearoid O’Neary

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2013

Synopsis:  (partial, from Amazon)  Where’s Merrill? is a uniquely crafted mystery thriller based upon real life historical events. In fact, it is two inter-related stories in one novel set in different time-frames, namely the past and the present. An Irish genealogist called Jed is commissioned by Tim, an American client, who needs to understand more about his mysterious maternal ancestry. Fate had dictated that Tim never got the chance to meet his grandparents, and he didn’t even know the name of his mother’s father. She refused to tell Tim, even on her death bed. Why? That was a question which troubled Tim as he witnessed his mother’s melancholy throughout his adult life, and after her death he resolves to find some answers – and some peace of mind. A web of worrying deceit woven by Tim’s ancestors is gradually unraveled. Once hidden family secrets are exposed, Jed turns from genealogist into cold case detective as he comes to the conclusion that multiple criminal misdeeds have been covered up … but where is Merrill?

My Rating: 

Similar to other genealogical mysteries, including those by Steve Robinson and Nathan Dylan Goodwin, Where’s Merrill? has two storylines: one in the present and one in the past.  The difference however, is that this book’s past storyline bounces around the time continuum, sometimes making it hard to follow along.  I know it was deliberately presented this way, based on the actual progression of the research, but wonder if it would have read better if told in a linear manner.

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Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Series Continues With Another Great Book

Just finished reading the book The Lost Empress, the fourth in the series of Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries by British author Steven Robinson.  My love of this series, and the author, started in 2011 when I read the first book in the series, In the Blood.

The main character of the series, Jefferson Tayte, is a professional American genealogist, who always seems to have a genealogical case that involves mystery and mayhem.  Each book is set predominantly in England, but American readers love the series nonetheless.

Robinson writes great stories, that weave the present and the past together to tell a wonderful genealogical tale.  I love his style of writing, his storylines, and trying to solve the mysteries.

If you like a good mystery with a genealogy twist, I highly recommend this series.  There is an underlying storyline that starts in the first book, so you might want to read them in order, although it isn’t necessary at this time (I think the next book will start to unravel that storyline a lot more).

You can purchase all four books on Amazon, in either paperback or Kindle editions.

Book Review – Relatively Dead

Title:  Relatively Dead

Author:  Sheila Connolly

Format:  Kindle

Published:  2013

Synopsis: (from Amazon) 

Abby Kimball has just moved to New England with her boyfriend and is trying to settle in, but the experience is proving to be quite unsettling, to say the least. While on a tour of local historic homes, Abby witnesses a family scene that leaves her gasping for breath—because the family has been dead for nearly a century. Another haunting episode follows, and another, until it seems to Abby that everything she touches is drawing her in, calling to her from the past. Abby would doubt her sanity if it weren’t for Ned Newhall, the kind and knowledgeable guide on that disturbing house tour. Rather than telling her she’s hallucinating, Ned takes an interest in Abby’s strange encounters and encourages her to figure out what’s going on, starting with investigating the story of the family she saw . . . and exploring her own past. But as Abby begins to piece together a history that’s as moving as it is shocking and unravels a long-ago mystery that nearly tore her family apart, she also begins to suspect that Ned’s got secrets of his own, and that his interest may be driven as much by a taste for romance as a love for history.

My Rating: 

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Book Review – In The Territory of Lies

Title:  In The Territory of Lies

Author:  Lois Stickell and Peg Robarchek

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2012

Synopsis: (from Amazon)  Which matters most…money or family? Linda Haverty needs money – desperately. Shea Dillon wants to break a family curse and save her daughter’s life. Rumors of a sacred manuscript that was once at the heart of a family squabble send Linda to the internet in search of the long-vanished document, which is surely worth millions. Her search leads to Shea, a distant relative, and the centuries-old tug-of-war over the manuscript resumes. Can a holy manuscript curse a family for generations? If so, can the curse be broken? The answer lies with two women stranded in the territory of lies.

My Rating: 

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Book Review – The Genealogist’s Guests

Title:  The Genealogist’s Guests

Author:  Ann Simpson

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2013

Synopsis: (from Amazon)  An imaginative saga that will leave you riddled with suspense. An unforgettable story with a riveting account of one family’s buried secret. A story packed with twist and turns, family drama, loyalty and friendship. A bizarre setting in the afterlife where a demon preys on the Ward family. While its members strive for normalcy they must come to terms with their past and soon realize it all began with a curse. As the mystery unfolds, as they learn they’ve lived with someone most their lives and never truly knew them, Elizabeth Ward does the unthinkable. It was bound to happen. And it’s the beginning of the battle between good and evil, the joining of the living and the dead to end the curse of silence.

My Rating: 

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Book Review – Kindred Spirits: Family Ties

Title:  Kindred Spirits: Family Ties

Author:  Julie Wilson

Format:  Kindle

Published:  2014

Synopsis:  (from Amazon)  The first in the Kate Dean & Co genealogical mystery novella series – a tale of modern-day life, monosyllabic teenagers, lots of red wine and ghostly goings-on!  Having discovered she enjoys investigating family trees, Kate Dean decides to have a go at make a living out of it. T he Adlington case looks like all the rest – a straightforward tree to pass down the generations – but Kate isn’t expecting the extra ‘help’ she gets, or the things she finds out as a result … A light-hearted novella involving relationships, families and a not inconsiderate smattering of genealogical mystery, the first in the Kate Dean & Co Kindred Spirits series will, hopefully, leave you wanting more …

My Rating: 

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Book Review – It’s In the Genes

Title:  It’s In the Genes

Author:  Norma E. Rawlings

Format:  Kindle

Published:  2013

Synopsis:  (from Amazon)  Liz Carter is forensic scientist, the only daughter of Philip Carter, a linguist, and Alexandra, a nurse.  One day Liz’s parents are killed in a car crash and she finds herself alone in the world without any family.  As Liz searches for her dead parents birth certificates she un covers a mystery and to her amazement discovers that her mother had been married before to a scientist and had had two children.  What secrets were her parents taking to their graves?  Why had she never been told the truth?  I desperation she sets out to find her missing brother and sister.  An intriguing plot, with coincidences tumbling out of the enigma.  Will Liz ever find her real family?

My Rating: 

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Book Review – Benjamin’s Ghosts: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery

Title:  Benjamin’s Ghosts: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery

Author:  Sylvia A. Nash

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2014

Synopsis:  (from Amazon)  Benjamin Alexander dug into the past to uncover its secrets. His housekeeper guarded his secrets with her life.  Now Enid Gilchrist must draw on her years of experience as a genealogist to duplicate that search and protect those secrets while she unravels the clues to crimes whose consequences have crossed the years to spawn a new criminal and threaten those she loves.  Moreover, she must draw on her strength of will to prevent her feelings for Chief of Police Patrick Mulhaney from hindering their mutual efforts to solve the mystery, bring peace to the dead, and protect the living.  Benjamin’s Ghosts is a cozy genealogy murder mystery set in West Tennessee. The sleuth is a sixty-five-year-old widow woman with no intention of retiring in the foreseeable future.

My Rating: 

** I am able to loan this book out on Kindle. 
The first person to email me will be the lucky recipient of the 2-week loan. **

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