Genealogical Mysteries

Barnard, Robert. The Graveyard Position. Scribner, 2005. Winner of the prestigious Cartier Diamond Dagger and Nero Wolfe awards, as well as the Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity awards, the eight-time Edgar nominee is a member of Britain's distinguished Detection Club. A traditional English whodunit with Police Sergeant Charlie Peace dealing with inheritance and a dysfunctional family. 

Burke, Jan. Bloodlines: an Irene Kelly novel. Simon & Schuster, c2005.  Jan Burke lives in Southern CA. Bloodlines follows a fascinating labyrinth of lives, loves, sins, and secrets -- with the irrepressible newspaper reporter Irene Kelly at its core.  

Erickson, K. J. The Dead Survivors. St. Martin's Minotaur, c2002. A flag captured on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg has deadly consequences generations later. Someone is targeting descendants of a famed Minnesota Civil War regiment, and dozens of volunteer genealogists work furiously to track them down. 

Fraser, Anthea. Person or Persons Unknown. Severn House, 2005. This series features biographer and freelance journalist, Rona Parish. The brutal murder of a mother shadows English biographer Rona Parish’s search for a father’s identity.

Grimes, Martha. The Horse You Came In On. Alfred A. Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 1993. American author Grimes is best known for her series of novels featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Richard Jury, and his friend Melrose Plant, a British aristocrat who has given up his titles. The plot involves the murder of a homeless man in a Baltimore alley, what might be a lost Poe short story, and the ambitions of descendants of an old Baltimore family.

Harrison, Janis. Murder Sets Seed.  St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000. Janis Harrison owns and operates a greenhouse with her husband in Windsor, Missouri. Not surprisingly, the main character in her series is a Missouri florist, Bretta Solomon, who concludes that the solution to the murder lies in the past.

Hess, Joan. Death by the Light of the Moon. St. Martin's Press, 1992. Hess writes Southern “cozy” mysteries. This one features bookstore owner/sleuth Claire Malloy investigating death at a crazy family reunion. 

Holt, Hazel. Mrs. Malory and a Death in the Family. Signet, c2005. Holt is an English novelist best known for her "Sheila Malory" series. Sheila Malory is less than thrilled when her loathsome cousin comes to Taviscombe looking for information to complete his family tree.

Joyce, Brenda. The Third Heiress. St. Martin's/Griffin, 1999. A native New Yorker, Joyce now lives in southern Arizona writing love stories and competing with her horses at regional and national levels. This genealogical thriller is a page turner that should please her fans.

Landrum, Graham. The Famous DAR Murder Mystery. St. Martin's Press, 1992. Landrum(1922-1995) wrote mystery novels in Tennessee. A delightful first novel relating the experiences of some members of the Old Orchard Fort (Virginia) chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in solving a murder.  

Lowell, Elizabeth. Always Time to Die. William Morrow, c2005. In 1982, Ann Maxwell began publishing romances as Elizabeth Lowell. Under that name she has received numerous professional awards in the romance field. This plot requires DNA testing to resolve identities and murders.

MacPherson, Rett. The Blood Ballad. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008. Rett MacPherson was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, as Lauretta Allen. The main character of her mystery series is Torie O'Shea.who hunts through musical and genealogical clues for the murderer.

Massey, Sujata. Shimura Trouble. Severn House Paperbacks, 2008. Agatha-winner Massey's engaging 10th mystery to feature antiques dealer and part-time spy Rei Shimura. Rei and her father travel to Hawaii for a family celebration with previously unknown Shimura relatives. The story gets steadily more complicated, as a mysterious fire, a dead body, a troubled teen, and the Hawaiian mafia all play roles in what turns out to be a story of hidden secrets and deadly consequences. 

McInerny, Ralph M. Blood Ties: a Father Dowling mystery. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2005. Father Dowling, the parish priest who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time solving crimes, returns in this intricate tale of murder and family history. Ralph McInerny has received the Achievement Award for his work from Boucheron of America. He is a distinguished professor at Notre Dame. Father Dowling was made into a TV series that aired between 1987 and 1991.

Mountain, Fiona. Bloodline. Thomas Dunne Books, 2006. Bloodline combines history with mystery and features 'ancestor detective', Natasha Blake. Bloodline is a winner of the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award.

Sampson, Fay. In the Blood. Severn House, 2009. Suzie Fewings is a keen family history researcher. She's delighted when she discovers an ancestor with the same name as her teenage son. But what she finds out about the seventeenth-century Thomas casts a darker shadow than she expected. When her own Tom's girlfriend is found dead in mysterious circumstances, Suzie finds it hard to suppress her growing fears that Tom has inherited more than a name from his predecessor.   

Sayers, Dorothy L. Unnatural Death: (The Dawson Pedigree). HarperPaperbacks, [1995], c1927. Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) is a renowned British author best known for her mysteries featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. This is a “cozy” genealogical mystery.

Taylor, Sarah Stewart. Mansions of the Dead. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2004. Art historian Professor Sweeney St.George explores the secrets of Victorian Boston and the troubled history of a family.

Tey, Josephine. Brat Farrar in Three by Tey: Miss Pym Disposes; The Franchise Affair and Brat Farrar. Macmillan, 1954. Josephine Tey was one of many pseudonyms used by Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896–1952), a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels. It was eight years since Patrick had vanished leaving a pitiful note. But if Patrick really had committed suicide, who was this mysterious young man claiming to be him? 

Waddell, Dan. The Blood Detective. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008. An English writer, Waddell’s interest in genealogy and the dark side of our family history, combined with his passion for crime novels, led to the creation of The Blood Detective.

Wright, Eric. Death on the Rocks. St. Martin's Press, 1999. Canadian sleuth, Lucy Trimble Brenner is hired to fill in the gaps in a client’s family history.

Wright, Laurali. Mother Love: a Karl Alberg mystery with Cassandra Mitchell
. Scribner, c1995. Maria Buscombe deserts her family when she discovers the history of her natural parents. Canadian Mountie Karl Alberg investigates.