Happy publication Day!!!!!!!
If you’re looking for a well-plotted, intriguing cozy murder mystery, stop right here.
In S. C. Perkins’s 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.
Available on Amazon.
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250750075
- Publisher: Minotaur Books (July 21, 2020)
- Publication Date: July 21, 2020
- Sold by: Macmillan
The mystery to solve is who killed Hugo Markham and two others. Lucy doesn’t expect to end up all entangled in a war era high espionage mission but that’s just what happens once she starts investigating. In terms of figuring out the main culprit I did zero in on the right one as there weren’t too many suspects to choose from. At first, I didn’t really think I’d be right but little clues kept leading me that way, but why? There seemed to be no good reason why this person would be guilty. For the why, we need to travel back to WWII and find out more about some key players and their descendants. Then everything becomes much clearer in time for the grand finale, which was wonderfully dramatic.
The historical elements are really well-worked in. There is need for the author to explain certain settings, events and procedures. These explanations are seamlessly delivered as part of the narrative or dialogue and never felt heavy or lecture-y. Sometimes, more towards the beginning, there were some too long descriptions of buildings or decor but that doesn’t occur often enough to become annoying.
I did struggle a little through the first 10 percent or so as I tried to get a sense of the characters and setting. However, by the time Lucy’s grandpa appears and the beginnings of intrigue show their talons, I found myself hooked into the tale and excited to find out more.
Lucy is a great protagonist. She’s smart, caring, doesn’t take herself too seriously and tries to curb any judgmental tendencies… although I’d say judge away when it came to assessments of certain people! As lovely as Lucy is, its her grandpa, George, who steals the book and my heart. Such a spry and cheeky 90 year old! I hope my mind can be half that sharp at that age. The scene in the police department where he tries to pass himself off as going senile is possibly my favourite of the novel!
Overall, this story checked several of my cozy boxes: intriguing mystery, lovable characters, fun setting and a sweet romance. I’m definitely continuing with this series.
I give Lineage Most Lethal 4.5/5 espresso shots.