Murder Once Removed (Genealogical Mystery, #1)

Murder Once RemovedMurder Once Removed
by S.C. Perkins
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 9781250189035
Series: Genealogy Investigations #1
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Pages: 319
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books

Lucy's client, Austin billionaire Gus Halloran, has announced on live television that Texas senator Caleb Applewhite might be responsible for the murder of Seth Halloran.

Of course, Lucy is a genealogist, so the murder in question took place back in 1849. And it's possible that another nineteenth-century Texas politician may, in fact, have wielded the death blow. Lucy is determined to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who the guilty man is, but when her curiosity lands her at the scene of another murder - this time, in the present-day - she realises that the branches of some family trees shouldn't be shaken.

This sat on my TBR for ages, and then I started reading it in April and it started off slowly enough that it languished bedside for almost 4 months.  Everything else I wanted to pick up yesterday qualified for Halloween Book Bingo, so I decided to just finish this one off. This book ended up being much better than I expected.

Lucy is a professional genealogist, researching the family tree of one of the more prominent Austin families when she stumbles upon evidence that a long ago ‘accidental’ death of one of her client’s ancestors was actually a murder, paid for by a man with the initials C.A.  As she tried to find out more about the people surrounding this 150+ year old crime she discovers that someone in the here and now is very much invested in what happened all those days ago.

The story starts off slow, and frankly a little bit immaturely, but about half way through the story got interesting as it became apparent how the author was going to make a 150 year old crime relevant enough for someone to kill over in the present.  The writing also got better; it’s standard cozy fare, but it’s better than average once you get past the frivolous party attitude prevalent at the start.

The solution was, perhaps, trying too hard to be clever and Lucy’s little justifications of genealogy a bit tedious, but overall it was a mystery that surprised me.  I had no intention of reading another one after the first 75 pages, but by the end I found myself willing to read the second one to see where it goes.

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