With grown-up kids and a husband always on the road, Katharine Murray’s nest would be empty if it weren’t for her Aunt Lucy—until the elderly woman dies. Now Katharine’s saddled with her Aunt’s worldly belongings—mostly knickknacks destined for the dumpster. But there’s a priceless Celtic necklace among the dross—and a diary written in German, neither of which Katharine’s ever seen before.
Determined to find out where these objects came from, Katharine unwittingly discovers a branch of her family tree she never knew existed—namely Aunt Lucy’s brother Carter, murdered more than fifty years ago after a mysterious trip to Austria. And when Lucy’s artifacts are stolen, and the main suspect turns up dead, Katharine realizes she must solve a burglary and two unsolved homicides separated by a half-century . . . before more than her family secrets end up dead and buried.
- Author: Patricia Sprinkle
- Publisher: Harper Collins – October 2009
- Formats: Print – $6.29, Kindle – $5.98, NOOK – $6.99, iBooks – $5.99
Alexandra Campbell, a spunky young widow, partnered with Brighamina Poulson, an even spunkier, rifle-toting grandmother thinks that as they have begun a genealogy business (RootSearch, Inc.), it is high time she finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return.
It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once beloved father, she leaves with only a wallet-sized photograph of a woman she knows nothing about.
That night, Alex’s father is killed. Bewildered and grieved that her family can never be whole again, she soon finds out that she is the chief suspect in the murder. With the unflappable Briggie at her side, she uses all her new genealogical skills, and (with the help of Briggie’s deer rifle) discovers a secret so bizarre that she finally understands why her parents wanted her far away and safe.
Join Alex and Briggie in the first of their hair-raising adventures!
- Author: G. G. Vandagriff
- Publisher: Orson Whitney Press – September 2011
- Formats: Print – $7.99, Kindle – $2.99, NOOK – $2.99,
Katharine Murray’s elegant Atlanta home has been viciously vandalized! She’s prepared to devote all her time to getting it back in tip-top shape—until she meets Bara Weidenauer. Once a picture-perfect socialite, Bara has fallen on some hard times. Her husband, Foley, has hightailed it out of their marriage, and she’s convinced he’ll try to take her for every penny she’s got. While scouring her house for anything of value to hide from her greedy ex, Bara finds a box of military medals that once belonged to her father, a beloved war hero. Eager to know the story behind these precious trinkets, she enlists Katharine’s help.
But as Katharine digs deeper into Weidenauer family history, she discovers that everything Bara believed about her father may have been a lie. And when Foley is found shot to death, Bara’s world turns to complete chaos. It’s up to Katharine to expose this family’s secrets from the past and the present . . . or the future will be very grim indeed.
- Author: Patricia Sprinkle
- Publisher: Avon – September 2008
- Formats: Print – $6.99, Kindle – $6.99, NOOK – $6.99
It should have been a quiet weekend in London – a long overdue visit with the only true friend American genealogist Jefferson Tayte ever had. Now his friend lies bleeding in his arms and Tayte must follow his research to understand why, making him the target of a ruthless, politically motivated killer.
Working with historian Professor Jean Summer and New Scotland Yard on what becomes a matter of British national security, Tayte soon finds himself in a race to solve a three-hundred-year-old genealogical puzzle. It takes them all on a deadly, high stakes chase across London as Tayte tries to connect the pieces and work out the motive behind a series of killings that spans twenty years.
In what is Tayte’s most personal assignment to date, The Last Queen of England combines historic fact with fiction, challenging British history as we understand it. It uncovers a conspiracy that if proved could ultimately threaten an institution that has lasted more than a thousand years: the British monarchy.
Nullius in Verba: take no one’s word for it.
- Author: Steve Robinson
- Publisher: Steve Robinson – November 2012
- Formats: Kindle – $3.49
Note: This book is available as part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library program.
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Family history was never supposed to be like this… A dark secret locked in the past. A family historian trying against the odds to unlock it.
When American genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, accepted his latest assignment, he had no idea it might kill him. But while murder was never part of the curriculum, he is kidding himself if he thinks he can walk away from this one.
Driven by the all-consuming irony of being a genealogist who doesn’t know who his own parents are, Tayte soon finds that the assignment shares a stark similarity to his own struggle. Someone has gone to great lengths to erase an entire family bloodline from recorded history and he’s not going home until he’s found out why. After all, if he’s not good enough to find this family, how can he ever expect to be good enough to someday find his own?
Set in Cornwall, England, past and present, Tayte’s research centres around the tragic life of a young Cornish girl, a writing box, and the discovery of a dark family secret that he believes will lead him to the family he is looking for. Trouble is, someone else is looking for the same answers and they will stop at nothing to find them.
- Author: Steve Robinson
- Publisher: Feedaread.com – October 2011
- Formats: Print – $14.95, Kindle – $2.99, NOOK – $2.99
Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.
The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. Heavy with child, she carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.
If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter who has arrived in town will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie begins to discover a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.
- Author: Christine Nolfi
- Publisher: Christine Nolfi – April 2011
- Formats: Print – $12.95, Kindle – $2.99
Inspired by the author’s own family history…
To the Grave follows American genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, as he uncovers the disturbing consequences of a seemingly innocuous act in 1944 that was intended to keep a family together, but which ultimately tore it apart. His research exposes hidden pasts and the desperate measures some people will take to keep a secret.
Sitting in a hotel room at gunpoint, facing an impossible decision, Tayte is forced to wonder how his latest assignment had come to this. Five days earlier, after a child’s suitcase arrives unexpectedly at his client’s home in Washington DC, Tayte embarks upon a journey that takes him back to England as he tries to unravel the story of Mena Lasseter – a girl whose life has become a family mystery.
Hoping to reunite his client with the birth mother she never knew she had, having no idea that she’d been adopted, Tayte’s research draws him back to wartime Leicestershire and the arrival of the US 82nd Airborne, which irrevocably changes the course of Mena’s life. But as Tayte tries to find out what became of her and why she was separated from her suitcase all those years ago, he soon finds that he is not the only one looking for her. Someone else is determined to get to Mena first and it quickly becomes apparent that their motive is a secret worth killing for.