Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and Updated

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza


In 2012, I published my first post titled Genealogy Mysteries.  This post can be found at Genealogy Mysteries. It provided a summary of the genealogy mysteries I discovered at that time.  In 2014, I published my expanded update, which can be found at Genealogy Mysteries Expanded.

Since then, I have updated the list to add new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre.

The Lost AncestorSo far, I’ve read all of these books.  All were enjoyable.   A new series starring Morton Farrier are page turners, illuminating for us the world of the forensic genealogist.  Vying with the Morton Farrier series is Jefferson Tayte, also one of the newer series by British author, Steve Robinson.  This series features an American professional genealogist, who seems to do most of his work in the UK.  To me, this series most closely emulates many of our real life dilemmas in the field of genealogy.  I am anxiously awaiting the fifth book, which I believe we can expect sometime this year.

So for those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, I would like to share these books and including my most recent discoveries:

The Nick Herald series by Jimmy Fox features a professional genealogist in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Nick Herald series is excellent. I wish there were more.

  • 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 (dec’d) 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) – Paperback
  • Die and Die (1998) – Paperback
  • Dead Men Die (1999) – Paperback
  • 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.

  • Family Skeletons (1997) – Kindle
  • A Veiled Antiquity (1998) – Kindle
  • A Comedy of Heirs (1999) – Kindle
  • A Misty Mourning (2000) – Kindle
  • Killing Cousins (2002) – Kindle
  • Blood Relations (2003) – Kindle
  • In Sheep’s Clothing (2004) – Kindle
  • Thicker Than Water (2005) – Kindle
  • Dead Man Running (2006) – Kindle
  • Died in the Wool (2007) – Kindle
  • The Blood Ballad (2008) – Kindle

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

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

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 (2011) – Paperback
  • Those in Peril (2011) – Paperback
  • A Malignant House (2012) – Paperback
  • Father Unknown (2012) – Kindle
  • The Overlooker (2013) – 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 (2006) – Kindle
  • Sins of the Fathers (2007) – Paperback (Kindle version not available in US)
  • Daughter of Deceit (2009) – 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 three prior books published: Plymouth Colony, Applied Genealogy, and Killing Cousins, the first Mort Sinclair mystery.

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

The Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell concerns a professional genealogist who assists the police, mainly Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster in London, England.

  • The Blood Detective (2008) – Kindle
  • Blood Atonement (2009) – 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.  This series is a page-turner and keeps getting better and better. Can’t wait for the next one later this year.

  • In the Blood (2011) – Kindle
  • To the Grave (2012) – Kindle
  • The Last Queen of England (2012) – Kindle
  • The Lost Empress (Oct 2014) – Kindle

Patrick Day’s new 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 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 instead of genealogy secrets or maybe both.

  • Cankered Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Of Deadly Descent (2011) – Kindle
  • Tangled Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Poisoned Pedigree (2012) – Kindle
  • The Hidden Branch (2011) – 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.  Great start of a new series.  I am anxiously awaiting the next Morton Farrier.

  • Hiding the Past (2013) – Kindle
  • The Lost Ancestor (2014) – Kindle
  • The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014) – Kindle

Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers in their first genealogy mystery introduce Cathy Macpherson, who uncovers her own and her husband’s past.  Hope this becomes a series.

  • Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012) – Kindle

The books by John Nixon star family historian, Madeleine Porter.  While not mysteries as we think of them, they take us through the experiences of our amateur “detective” unraveling the “mysteries” that surround them. I hope we’ll see more from this author.

  • Family Shadows (2014) – Kindle
  • The Cuckoo Clock (2014) – Kindle
  • Stolen Futures (2014) – Kindle
  • Another Summer (2014) – Kindle

This book by Stephen Molineux stars Peter Sefton, amateur family historian. Not quite a mystery but certainly a detective story.

  • The Marriage Certificate (2013) – Kindle

All of the books mentioned here can be found at

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8 Responses to Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and Updated

  1. Great book list and succinct reviews. Wonderful idea!

  2. Janet Taylor says:

    Thank you for this really excellent & comprehensive list.
    I would also add The Gaelic Letters by R Thomas For. A one off but a really good read.

  3. DiLovesBooks says:

    Thank you so much. Here I am wishing there were such a thing as a list of genealogy mysteries and here it is! Will add to my list where I can keep track. Again, Thank You. 🙂

  4. DiLovesBooks says:

    While checking out the above authors to be added to my To Be Read list, I noticed there are two more books to add to John Nixon’s A Madeleine Porter Mystery series: The Cost of Silence 2015 and Unearthed 2017. Did I say THANK YOU? 🙂

    • Yes, these were included in my February post. Please see the reply to your first comment. I think I will be updating it again around July since we anticipate a new Steve Robinson (Jefferson Tayte) book in August. I have also found some new additions to the lists. Please watch for this update. I really enjoy this sub-genre. Read them all.

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