S.C. Perkins's Fatal Family Ties is the captivating second mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present.
Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco's, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former--and least-favorite--co-worker. Camilla Braithwaite hasn't gotten much friendlier since the last time Lucy saw her, but that doesn't stop her from asking a favor. In her hand is a newspaper feature on an ancestor, a civil war corporal--and a liar, according to the article. Charles Braithwaite is depicted as a phony and a deserter, and Camilla wants Lucy's help clearing his name.
Lucy would prefer to spend her free time with her new beau, special agent Ben Turner, but takes the case, making no promises that Camilla will like the outcome of her investigation. Camilla leads Lucy to the Texas History Museum, where their first clue is a triptych painting, passed down in the Braithwaite family for generations, one panel of which has disappeared. But before Lucy can get much further, a member of the Braithwaite family is murdered in his own bed, and another panel of the painting found missing.
There are no shortage of suspects among the Braithwaite clan--including Camilla herself. This case will take Lucy to Houston and back again as she works to find the truth, and catch an elusive killer.
In Lineage Most Lethal, the captivating second mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster grapples with a mystery rooted in World War II and espionage.
It's the week before New Year's Eve and genealogist Lucy Lancaster is ready to mix work and play at the beautiful Hotel Sutton, enjoying herself while finalizing the presentation for her latest client, hotel heiress Pippa Sutton.
Freshly arrived at the hotel—and determined not to think about Special Agent Ben Turner, who went radio silent on her after one date—Lucy is stopped in her tracks when a strange man comes staggering toward her. She barely has time to notice his weak, sweaty appearance before he presses a classic Montblanc pen onto her hand, gasps, “Keep them safe,” and collapses at her feet, dead.
When Lucy shows the fountain pen to her grandfather, an avid collector and World War II veteran, she’s in for another shock. Not only does Grandpa recognize the Montblanc, he also reveals a secret: he was an Allied spy during the war and the pen is both a message regarding one of his wartime missions and the key to reading a microdot left by the dead man.
On the microdot is a series of ciphers, some decrypted to form names. Could they be the descendants of Grandpa’s fellow spies? When two from the list end up murdered—including the chef at the Hotel Sutton—and Grandpa’s life is put in jeopardy, Lucy’s sure she’s right. And with Lucy’s and Pippa’s names possibly on the list, too, she’s got to uncover the past to protect those in the present.
With a secret Allied mission, old grievances, and traitors hiding behind every corner, Lucy must use her research skills to trace the list’s World War II ancestors and connect the dots to find a killer in their midst—a killer who’s determined to make sure some lineages end once and for all.
Praise for Lineage Most Lethal
"In Perkins’s appealing sequel to 2019’s Murder Once Removed, hotel owner Pippa Sutton hires Austin, Tex., genealogist Lucy Lancaster to trace her family tree and produce a video featuring oral histories from her relatives. Already smarting from a lack of communication by her FBI boyfriend, Lucy encounters hostility from Pippa’s glamorous and erratic mother, Roselyn, as well as drunken behavior from Pippa’s cousin Dave, who previously was accused of theft and suspended from dealing in antiques. When a stranger stumbles up to Lucy, gives her a fountain pen, mutters an enigmatic message, and dies, she’s mystified, but her grandfather, George Lancaster, sees something more in the episode. He reveals a tale of WWII derring-do that involves a cipher based on John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps. Then the hotel’s chef is murdered and attempts are made on the lives of George and Lucy, leading Lucy to realize that the past is far from buried. Perkins neatly intertwines history, mystery, espionage, and revenge. Cozy fans will be well satisfied."--Publishers Weekly
Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal that prove Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death.
Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.
“[A] fun debut. Lucy's officemates and other quirky friends add spice to this delightful cozy. Readers will look forward to Lucy's further adventures.”―Publishers Weekly
“A delightful debut spiced with a tempestuous romance and certain to appeal to fans of genealogical research and history.”―Kirkus Reviews
“For mystery lovers of any generation, S.C. Perkins has penned a captivating new series that is equal parts dangerous and delightful, witty and well-plotted. Murder Once Removed has it all: a plucky heroine, effortless prose, and a healthy dose of Southern Charm, along with fascinating genealogical details, wonderful characters, and a multi-generational crime to solve. This is cozy crime fiction at its finest.”―New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle
“Take an original cold case, a savvy “ancestry” detective, and a compelling new voice in cozy mysteries, and you have a home run from the talented pen of S.C. Perkins. From the first heart stopping line to the final conclusion, MURDER ONCE REMOVED is a clever page-turner. Tracing family lines can certainly be deadly―and oh, so much fun!”―Carolyn Haines, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series
"S.C. Perkins' Murder Once Removed is sure to be the belle of the ball. Perkins expertly weaves the past and present together as ancestry detective Lucy Lancaster traces an old bloodline that leads her into the heart of danger in the lone star state. Perfect porch reading. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and cozy up with this Texas gem that is sure to leave you hankering for more."―Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mysteries
"An impressive Texas-sized dose of feisty heroine, smart whodunit, and entertaining debut, Murder Once Removed will have readers clamoring for the next Ancestry Detective Mystery."―Kay Finch, Author of the National Bestselling Bad Luck Cat Mysteries
"This debut mystery from S.C. Perkins is a delight! Chock full of Texas charm and tidbits about genealogy, it sparkles with humor, well-executed plot twists, and enduring friendships."―Kathy Krevat, nationally bestselling author
"Several elements blend together to make a very entertaining and complex read overall – lots of local color and history around Austin, Texas, the field of genealogy, a cold case, and a strong lead character in Lucy Lancaster."
~The Power of Words
"I'm turning the pages and unable to put it down!"
~My Reading Journeys
"Intertwining mysteries in both the past and present keep the twists coming, the tension high, and the pages turning . . . This was such a remarkable debut to what sounds like a promising series!"
~That’s What She’s Reading
"Who knew that Genealogy could be so deadly dangerous, I am not sure if this makes me want to track down my family history or not!"
~A Wytch's Book Review Blog
". . .it was a thrilling ride. I love this type of stuff and truly connected with the characters and the investigation."
~This Is My Truth Now
"The characters are quirky and well-rounded. The plot is excellent and the genealogy angle adds a nice unique touch to it."
"Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins was a great novel that kept me entertained until the last page."
~Baroness' Book Trove
"I started reading the book and fell in love with the story. I enjoyed the way the author mixed genealogy, history, mystery and a little humor all in one story."
~A. Holland Reads
"Murder Once Removed is a clever whodunnit mystery that left me guessing until the next-to-the-last chapter. Wow! Who would’ve thunk it was THAT person!"
~Here’s How It Happened
"The mystery is multi-layered with a list of suspects and twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Not only did I enjoy the mystery itself, but I loved the genealogy as well."
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews
"The historical mystery that affects the present is well-plotted and an intriguing premise all the way around."
~Reading is My SuperPower
"Murder Once Removed is unique for cozy mysteries . . . an enticing new cozy mystery that will appeal to the history and genealogy enthusiasts."
~The Avid Reader
"When I saw Murder Once Removed come up for review, I jumped at the chance to dive into this book. And let me tell you, the water is f.i.n.e. The dialog is witty, the characters are solid and the genealogy tips are on the money."