Tuesday, April 28, 2020
61. Murder Once Removed
First sentence: The knife had pierced Seth Halloran’s heart, exactly at the spot that would stop it cold. Poor guy would’ve dropped right where he stood. I hit speed dial and tucked the phone between my ear and shoulder. “Got a report for me yet, Lancaster?” Gus asked. “Our witness,” I said, not taking my eyes off the body. “The portrait photographer. He heard yelling and ran to investigate.” “Tell me something I don’t know,” Gus said. “I’ll do you two better,” I replied. “One, the witness finally has an ID. His name’s Jeb Inscore.” “Inscore, huh? Not a name you hear often.” I agreed. “Secondly, Jeb hid in a nearby alley, where he saw two unknown men standing over the victim. One of them was holding a knife. Jeb saw blood on it.” “That’s not what said he said the first time.” “Nope,” I said. “At least not on the official record. Gus, this wasn’t an accidental death. Seth Halloran was murdered.” Gus snorted, though I knew he was intrigued. Murder had certainly been the rumor. “How do you figure that?”
Premise/plot: Lucy Lancaster, our heroine, is a professional genealogist and an amateur detective. Solving mysteries--particularly murder mysteries--isn't part of her day to day routine. In fact, this may be her first temptation to be an amateur detective. But the crime, well, it was committed in 1849...and she discovered it while researching for a client. She was just wanting to find out MORE about Gus Halloran's ancestors...but what she discovered was a dead body and a crime that might carry over into the present.
It soon becomes clear that SOMEONE is out there and posing a very real danger to those closest to the case. Even the FBI is involved...Lucy doesn't want to follow any modern, contemporary clues...but how can she stop researching the past, the families involved?!
My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I can't say that I loved, loved, loved it. I didn't quite. I loved the Texas setting. I really liked Lucy. I really liked Ben. There was good tension throughout the book. I enjoyed the genealogical aspects of this one. Though it really TRULY annoyed me when she referred to finding people in the 1890 census!!! (There is NO 1890 census. Leaving many mysteries behind for family researchers to this day.)
I can't say that the characterization was especially deep and amazing. But it was light and though not beyond the surface, it wasn't unpleasant.
© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews