Genealogy Mysteries 2018 – What’s New?

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza


Nathan Dylan Goodwin is tentatively scheduled to release his latest Morton Farrier mystery, The Wicked Trade, on February 7, 2018. From the author:

“When Morton Farrier is presented with a case revolving around a mysterious letter written by disreputable criminal, Ann Fothergill in 1827, he quickly finds himself delving into a shadowy Georgian underworld of smuggling and murder on the Kent and Sussex border. Morton must use his skills as a forensic genealogist to untangle Ann’s association with the notorious Aldington Gang and also with the brutal killing of Quartermaster Richard Morgan. As his research continues, Morton suspects that his client’s family might have more troubling and dangerous expectations of his findings.

This is the seventh book in the Morton Farrier genealogical crime mystery series, although it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.”

Since initial posts on this topic over the years, I have been accumulating and reading new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre, which is really taking off. For those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, this is my comprehensive list of all genealogy mysteries that I have discovered to date and contains any new books I have discovered since I published my last post in March 2017.

The Latest Discoveries and Other New Releases

We may see the 7th Jefferson Tayte mystery from author Steve Robinson later this year. More on this later.

Two new additions, The American Candidate and The Vanished Child, to the series starring genealogical investigator Jayne Sinclair by M J Lee takes us into the family history of a potential presidential candidate and into a missing child investigation. The Vanishing Child is scheduled for release February 23, 2108. See below for other books in this series.

M. K. Jones’ supernatural genealogy detective, Maggie Gilbert, is appearing again in Line of Descent. This second Maze Investigations story finds Maggie and Zelah feuding, pursuing their own separate quests. Will the agency survive? See below for other books in this series.

Drawing on the Past is Cynthia Raleigh’s third Perri Seamore mystery. In her current position as a home health nurse, Perri becomes interested in a double murder of the owners of a historic house. See below for other books in this series.

The second book, Blood Atonement, in the Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell is now available in Kindle format. See below for other books in this series.

The initial book in Lorine Schulze’s new Janie Riley series, Death Finds a Way, is set in Salt Lake City, Utah. Researching at the Family History Library, Janie stumbles onto murder and a dark secret that may place her in danger.

The recently discovered series written by Gerelyn Hollingsworth, features Janet Burney, a retired private investigator and amateur genealogist. The first two novellas are Death of a Headmistress and Separated at Birth. In the first, Janet and a friend solve the death of a headmistress; in the second, she reminisces about a twins’ adoption case that she worked on in the past for a recently deceased friend.

In case you missed any, following is the complete list of all genealogy mysteries that I’ve found to-date.

Series Family History Mysteries

The Nick Herald series by Jimmy Fox features a professional genealogist in New Orleans, Louisiana

• Deadly Pedigree (2001) – Kindle
• Lineages and Lies (2002) – Kindle
• Jackpot Blood (2014) – Kindle

The Danny O’Flaherty series by Jonathan Harrington stars an American teacher researching his family’s roots in Ireland and New York City.

• The Death of Cousin Rose (1996) – Paperback
• The Second Sorrowful Mystery (1999) – Paperback
• A Great Day for Dying (2001) – Paperback

The Lottie Albright series by Charlotte Hinger features a historian and editor for the county historical society in a small town in Western Kansas.

• Deadly Descent (2009) – Kindle
• Lethal Lineage (2011) – Kindle
• Hidden Heritage (2013) – Kindle

The Demary Jones series by E. L. Larkin (deceased) is set in Seattle, Washington, with Demary as the owner of Confidential Research, specializing in genealogy and historical research.

• Hear My Cry (1997) – Hardcover
• Hear Me Die (1998) – Hardcover
• Die and Die (1998) – Paperback
• Dead Men Die (1999) – Hardcover
• The Swallow Murders (1999) – Hardcover
• Die in Texas (2002) – Hardcover

Victory (Torie) O’Shea, a genealogist in New Kassel, Missouri, is ably portrayed in a series by Rett MacPherson. Now all available in Kindle editions.

• Family Skeletons (2014) – Kindle
• A Veiled Antiquity (2013) – Kindle
• A Comedy of Heirs (2014) – Kindle
• A Misty Mourning (2000) – Kindle
• Killing Cousins (2002) – Kindle
• Blood Relations (2014) – Kindle
• In Sheep’s Clothing (2014) – Kindle
• Thicker Than Water (2005) – Kindle
• Dead Man Running (2006) – Kindle
• Died in the Wool (2014) – Kindle
• The Blood Ballad (2014) – Kindle

Natasha Blake, a genealogist in the Cotswolds in England appears in the series by Fiona Mountain.

• Pale as the Dead (2004) – Kindle
• Bloodline (2015) – Kindle

Fay Sampson is the author of the Suzie Fewings books a series about a genealogist discovering interesting secrets in her family history in England.

• In the Blood (2009) – Paperback
• A Malignant House (2010) – Paperback
• Those in Peril (2010) – Paperback
• Father Unknown (2011) – Kindle
• The Overlooker (2012) – Kindle
• Beneath the Soil (2014) – Kindle

The Family Tree mysteries by Patricia Sprinkle feature Katherine Murray as an amateur genealogist who finds strange events in the past.

• Death on the Family Tree (2007) – Kindle
• Sins of the Fathers (2007) – Paperback
• Daughter of Deceit (2008) – Kindle

Mort Sinclair, a respected genealogist and lawyer on Fogge Island off the New England coast, stars in a series by Gene Stratton. Gene Stratton, a much-traveled former CIA case officer, is a well-known genealogist who has had two prior books published: Plymouth Colony and Applied Genealogy.

• Killing Cousins (1999) – Hardcover
• Cornish Conundrum (2000) – Kindle

The Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell concerns a professional genealogist who assists the police, mainly Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster in London, England. These books have now been released in the Kindle format.

• The Blood Detective (2017) – Kindle
• Blood Atonement (2017) – Kindle

Patrick Day’s series starring Anna Fitzgerald, a career detective with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, who becomes entangled with genealogy to trace old coins in this first book of the series.

• Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County (2012) – Kindle

Simon Shaw, professor of history and “forensic historian” in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a series by Sarah R. Shaber, uses his expertise in historical and genealogical research to help solve murders that have their roots in the past.

• Simon Said (1997) – Kindle
• Snipe Hunt (2000) – Kindle
• The Fugitive King (2002) – Kindle
• The Bug Funeral (2004) – Kindle
• Shell Game (2007) – Kindle

The Alex & Briggie mysteries by G. G. Vandagriff, team up a spunky young widow and her rifle-toting grandmother, who run a genealogy research business called RootSearch, Inc. that seems to specialize in solving murders.

• Cankered Roots (2011) – Kindle
• Of Deadly Descent (2011) – Kindle
• Tangled Roots (2011) – Kindle
• Poisoned Pedigree (2012) – Kindle
• The Hidden Branch (2011) – Kindle

The Jefferson Tayte mysteries by Steve Robinson feature a professional genealogist who ferrets out family secrets and old mysteries using genealogy research primarily in the UK. Highly recommended.

• In the Blood (2011) – Kindle
• To the Grave (2012) – Kindle
• The Last Queen of England (2012) – Kindle
• The Lost Empress (2014) – Kindle
• Kindred (2016) – Kindle
• Dying Games (May 4, 2017) – Kindle

In the Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, we discover a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past. Highly recommended.

• Hiding the Past (2013) – Kindle
• The Lost Ancestor (2014) – Kindle
• The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014) – Kindle
• The America Ground (2015) – Kindle
• The Spyglass File (2016) – Kindle
• The Missing Man: A Morton Farrier novella (2017) – Kindle
• The Suffragette’s Secret: A Morton Farrier short story (2017) – Kindle
• The Wicked Trade (February 7, 2018) – Kindle

These books by John Nixon star family historian, Madeleine Porter. While not mysteries as we think of them, they both take us through the experiences of our amateur “detectives” unraveling the “mysteries” that surround them.

• Family Shadows (2014) – Kindle
• The Cuckoo Clock (2014) – Kindle
• Stolen Futures (2014) – Kindle
• Another Summer (2014) – Kindle
• The Cost of Silence (2015) – Kindle
• Unearthed (2017) – Kindle

The Museum Mysteries by Sheila Connolly star Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society (think Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) who spends much of her time solving murders through research in their collections. These books are fascinating for their mysteries, their history, and our glimpses into the lives of the archivists. Highly recommended.

• Fundraising the Dead (2010) – Kindle
• Let’s Play Dead (2011) – Kindle
• Fire Engine Dead (2012) – Kindle
• Monument to the Dead (2013) – Kindle
• Razing the Dead (2014) – Kindle
• Privy to the Dead (2015) – Kindle
• Dead End Street (2016) – Kindle

In the Family History Mysteries by Brynn Bonner, genealogist Sophreena McClure is an expert at unearthing other people’s secrets. Using old documents and photographs, Soph and her business partner, Esme Sabatier—also a gifted medium—trace family histories and create heritage scrapbooks.

• Paging the Dead (2013) – Kindle
• Death in Reel Time (2014) – Kindle
• Picture Them Dead (2015) – Kindle
• Dead in a Flash (2016) – Kindle

Geraldine Wall writes about probate researcher Anna Ames in this trilogy. These are mystery thrillers and we are drawn in to Anna’s family, life and work.

• File Under Fear (2014) – Kindle
• File Under Family (2014) – Kindle
• File Under Fidelity (2015) – Kindle

This is a supernatural genealogy detective series called Maze Investigations by M.K. Jones featuring Maggie Gilbert. Set in Newport, South Wales, the books draw on real historical details.

• Three Times Removed (2015) – Kindle
• Line of Descent (2017) – Kindle

If you like your genealogy mysteries with a little humor, see the series starring Ben Bones, Genealogical Consultant and self-described Articulator of Family Skeletons written by Michael Havelin.

• Ben Bones and The Galleon of Gold (2013) – Kindle
• Ben Bones and the Search for Paneta’s Crown (2012) – Kindle
• Ben Bones and the Deadly Descendants (2013) – Kindle
• Ben Bones and the Conventional Murders (2015) – Kindle

Esme Quentin solves mysteries using genealogy in the West Midlands and in Devon in the books by Wendy Percival.

• Blood-Tied (2013) – Kindle
• The Indelible Stain (2014) – Kindle
• Death of a Cuckoo: An Esme Quentin Short Read – Kindle

In the series by Cynthia Raleigh, we follow travel nurse and amateur genealogist, Perri Seamore, as she researches her family and solves murders.

• Poison Branches (2016) – Kindle
• Buried Roots (2016) – Kindle
• Drawing on the Past (2017) – Kindle

The Jayne Sinclair series by M J Lee, starring former police detective now genealogical investigator. This interesting series takes us first through the Easter Uprising of 2016 and Ireland’s War of Independence, followed by the trenches of World War I in the Battle of the Somme and other historical events.

• The Irish Inheritance (2016) – Kindle
• The Somme Legacy (2017) – Kindle
• The American Candidate (2017) – Kindle
• The Vanished Child (February 23, 2018) – Kindle

Another series by Karin Kaufman features a family tree full of witches, some ghosts, and the occult, with Anna Denning, a professional genealogist determined to find the truth.

• The Witch Tree (2011) – Kindle
• Sparrow House (2012) – Kindle
• The Sacrifice (2014) – Kindle
• The Club (2015) – Kindle

A new entry in the genealogy mysteries sub-genre is a new series featuring Janie Riley, written by Lorine Schulze. Prior to entering the fiction world, Lorine authored many non-fiction genealogy books designed for improving your genealogy skills.

• Death Finds a Way (2016) – Kindle

This series is written by Gerelyn Hollingsworth and features Janet Burney, a retired private investigator and amateur genealogist. The books are novellas and can also be read for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

• Death of a Headmistress (2012) – Kindle
• Separated at Birth (2012) – Kindle

Another recent find stars historian Rob Tyler in the Wynderbury Mysteries series authored by Victoria Prescott.

• The Plantagenet Mystery (2014) – Kindle
• The Hawthorne Villa Secret (2016) – Kindle

Non-Series Family History Mysteries

Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers, in their first genealogy mystery, Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012), introduce Cathy Macpherson, who uncovers her own and her husband’s past. Hope this becomes a series. Kindle edition.

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molineux (2013) stars Peter Sefton, amateur family historian. Not quite a mystery but certainly a detective story. Kindle edition.

In Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets by Diana Church (2014) some German immigration history with new finds from a research trip helps Ellen O’Donnell solve a long-standing family mystery. Kindle edition.

In Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman (2014), an old diary leads Lizzie Clydell down a dusty road of lies, hidden family secrets, and a lynching that nearly destroyed her family. I loved the quote “It’s just a little family history. What could go wrong?” Kindle edition.

Where’s Merrill? a genealogical thriller by Gearoid O’Neary (2013) is based upon real life historical events. The story unravels as Irish genealogist, Jed, researches his client’s mysterious maternal ancestry. Kindle edition.

Benjamin’s Ghosts: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery by Sylvia A. Nash (2014) is a cozy genealogy murder mystery set in West Tennessee. This is the start of a promising series. I hope we hear more from this author. Kindle edition.

In the Tainted Tree by Jacquelynn Luben (2013), Addie Russell inherits a house in Surrey and begins researching her English family Her research takes her back three generations to the First World War.

A century-old key may unlock the ancestral secrets of four families in The Fourth Descendant by Allison Maruska (2015).

While not a series, these genealogical mysteries by Norma Elizabeth Rawlings focus on how researching their ancestors became a life changing experience for each central character.

• Sleeping Dogs (2012) – Kindle
• Sleeping Dogs II (2013) – Kindle
• Malvern Murders (2013) – Kindle
• In the Genes (2013) – Kindle

Package from The Past by Jacqueline Opresnik is a search for a missing heir and family fortune set against the historical events of the Boer War and World War II.

Of course, for non-fiction fans there is Only A Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John Philip Colletta. This is an outstanding read.

All the books mentioned here are available in the editions specified and can be found at Amazon. Many of the Kindle editions are also available in paperback and/or hardcover.

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, please let me know in the comments. I am trying to make this list as complete as possible.

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5 Responses to Genealogy Mysteries 2018 – What’s New?

  1. Bruce Boyd says:

    This is a great list. I use it to update my personal reading list so that I can look for new titles. I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, so I am especially interested in the titles that are available that way.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Eileen! There is a third full length Esme Quentin out now, called THE MALICE OF ANGELS, also set in Devon.
    Now… off to check out those other genealogy mystery authors on your list who I haven’t yet read. Thank you! ☺️

  3. DiLovesBooks says:

    Thanks again, wonderful site. 🙂

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