Murder Once Removed

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I enjoyed this new entry into the cozy mystery field.  The premise of a professional genealogist solving murder mysteries--both past and current--is a new twist, and Lucy is an engaging protagonist.  I look forward to following  Lucy's further adventures.
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This is a story about roots, not the beets or carrot kind and not the kind that show when our hair color starts growing out but rather the “gene” kind. Who did we descend from? Where did they come from? How does it affect our lives? But wait, I just made this cute easily read mystery sound dry and it most certainly is not. This is a page turner. It has a little teeny bit of “love interest” but then you can’t have an amateur detective story without a handsome cop. Name me one that doesn’t? 

A few days ago, I wrote that authors who write cozies or other mysteries sometimes seem to have trouble explaining why the amateur detective keeps getting involved in dangerous situations, but you know, this just all seemed to fall together. I think part of it is that utilizing genealogy as a plot each time allows you to build upon a different setting and/or plot; completely individual characters other than the main ones of course. 
Which is why the minute I finished I went to her page to see what other books there were in the series.
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While researching her client’s genealogy, Lucy discovered that his ancestor had been murdered and through diligent searches, finds the long ago killer. When her client accuses a senator, someone wants to keep that history in the past and now murder is afoot in present day along with mischief. 

Fast-paced drama set the tone in how well this story was going to be told. The mystery was well-written with the right amount of intrigue to keep me grinded in all that was happening on the page with clues dispatched here and there. There was sufficient number of suspects and I had a good time watching this drama play out as one by one, the suspect pool lessened until the possibility became clear as to the killer’s identity. The witty repartee between Lucy and her friends provided some comical interlude. All the key players were nicely vetted giving enough of their background to understand how they fit in our heroine’s circle, villain included. A good plot, solid story line, great narration and secondary cast help rounds out this likable story. This is a delightfully engaging romp blending genealogy, murder and mayhem and I look forward to the second book in the series.
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I liked the concept of this new series. I liked the setting and really liked the cover. Lucy is a professional genealogist who tracks down the truth about a murder of a clients ancestor. It was a little difficult to keep track of all the characters. I loved the historical aspects of the plot and story and all the neat research.
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Lucy Lancaster, a professional genealogist, researches the family of Gus Halloran, uncovering a mystery surrounding the mid-19th century death of Seth Halloran. A photographer's journal states he was murdered by C.A. and then the scene was tampered to make it look as though he were trampled by horses. Lucy finds two candidates for C.A., but since enmity runs deep between the Applewhite and Halloran families, Gus focuses on that solution when he tells his family's story in a press conference. A page, possibly revealing the identity of C.A., was missing from the journal. As Lucy investigates, she runs into an FBI agent moonlighting as a history professor and into danger. I enjoyed the historic mystery; however, several things bothered me about the book. Lucy discusses research several times in very vague terms, making me wonder how familiar the author was with genealogical research. At one point Lucy tells another character about her flat rate package for researching "first family" Texas ancestry. Very few professional genealogists offer flat rate packages these days because it is nearly impossible to predict how long it will take to make a genealogically sound connection to a qualifying individual. Those who do offer such a package generally work for a larger firm rather than for themselves. Most charge an hourly rate plus expenses with a retainer collected up front. The balance is usually due before the final report is sent. The biggest error concerned census research. Lucy found results in the 1890 census. That census was mostly destroyed by fire. For the state in question, fragments of three enumeration districts in two counties exist as well as the Union Veterans schedule, which was small in a Confederate state. In the extent schedules, six families appear in one county; in the other county, four families appear in one enumeration district fragment and ninety-two families in the other district. Nowhere did Lucy mention the county to which the family moved and nowhere did she mention luck at finding the family. In fact the two counties were unlikely places for the family to reside based on comments about the family's life in the state. While widows of Union veterans were sometimes heads of household in these schedules, the information supposedly gleaned from the census makes it impossible the veterans schedule was what she consulted. While the mystery held great potential, the author's unfamiliarity with genealogical research hampered its effectiveness. If the series continues, I hope the author gets a professional genealogist to read the book to find errors in record availability and in practice. The other irritating flaw in the book was the author's unprofessional conduct in several instances. No instance's activity served to advance the plot in a way that could not be achieved through ethical means. The author needs to read Genealogy Standards by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the Association of Professional Genealogist's Code of Ethics before writing additional installments. This review reflects the text appearing in an advance electronic copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this book. It had lots of suspense, The characters were well written, I cared about them and what happens to them. And it was about genealogy which I am interested in. I have not read any books by this author, I will be looking for more books by S, C. Perkins.
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Murder Once Removed was a fun cozy mystery read. I loved the main character, Lucy, and her ancestry business was fascinating. It’s so nice to see an intelligent, self-sufficient, strong female main character! The setting of Austin was vividly described and added a lot to the book. I did feel that the only character who was not realistically written was Gus, and the plot of the mystery itself became a little cumbersome at times. Overall though this is a great start to a fun new cozy mystery series, and the genealogy aspect of the mystery was genius! Will definitely be reading more.
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Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC in return for my honest review. 

What a story! Luce Lancaster, interested in genealogy and history, has started a business, Ancestry Investigations. Gus Halloran, wealthy Texan with strong family roots in the state, hires Lucy to build his genealogical tree. She stumbles upon his great-great- grandfather death and uncovers that it was a murder instead of an accident. Lucy’s adventures begin... 

Overall, well written and characters are nicely developed. The mystery gripped me until I finished. Most of all I liked the idea of investigating the past which had consequences in the present. I appreciated the explanation of different relations of immediate family and other family members, especially those once/twice removed. Lucy’s thoughts about how our ancestors influence present generation are valid too. I enjoyed reading the story very much. 

I couldn’t really connect to the main character Lucy, and grew to somewhat dislike her. She seems smart but I question some of her decisions. 

It is also a very delicious story with tempting Mexican cuisine. The description of menu items from Flaco’s Taco left me salivating and craving tacos along with some marguerite.
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While explanations of once removed, twice removed and all that genealogy jazz aren't really my thing, this book sure is! I had a great time reading this first book in the new Ancestry Detective cozy mystery series. Genealogist Lucy Lancaster is hired to look into the family tree of Angus "Gus" Halloran. She discovers that his great-great-grandfather was murdered in 1849 with an old daguerreotype photograph and journals from a witness to prove it. Only problem is....the guilty party could be one of two culprits with the initials C.A. After Gus points a finger at a descendant of one of the C.A.-suspects, Lucy finds herself in trouble. The FBI shows up at her door. There's a robbery...someone tries to hack her office computer...and the woman restoring the photographic proof is murdered. Someone really wants information on this 160-year old murder to go away!

I really enjoyed this book. I like the mix of genealogy, humor and murder mystery. The characters are all fun and likable. My hands-down favorite is Neil Patrick Housecat, of course. What a name! I like Lucy as a main character. She's quirky, feisty when required, intelligent and very talented at research. The side characters help the investigation along as well as making the story fun to read. 

The mystery moved along at a nice pace, with plenty of sleuthing and possible suspects. The story kept my attention from beginning to end. The ending wasn't overly predictable or old hat. Nicely done!

This is the first cozy I've read with a genealogy background theme. I found it creative and different! The front cover is colorful and fun....Neil Patrick Housecat is perched right in the middle with great cattitude. :) Cozies always have the best covers!

All in all, a fun read! I will definitely be reading more of this series.

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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While this book was a little harder than the cozy mystery I'm used to, it was very enjoyable. I loved the ancestry aspect of it and learning things I didn't know about that. The story was extremely well written and very exciting. Ending was fantastic. I hope a second book comes out in this series soon!
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I haven't read a cozy mystery with a genealogic  twist in quite sometime.  I was pleasantly pleased with this story and was thrilled to find new characters to get to know.
I will be looking for the next book in this series.
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Cold case, cozy mystery, and history are combined in this new series. 

Austin Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster has a knack for uncovering long hidden details.  When her latest client, a successful businessman, hires her to trace his family tree, Lucy discovered that is ancestor was murdered and likely by a family that is still prominent today.  

As Lucy tries to dig deeper, a good friend is murdered trying to protect the family’s historic pictures and Lucy is determined to solve the case on both fronts to serve justice all around.  But will Lucy become another dead branch in her family tree before she can figure out the truth?

I say this is more a 3.5 as I had to get about halfway through the book before I became engrossed.  Perhaps it was adapting to a new author’s writing style.  Perhaps it was just a tad too much genealogical data for me to wrap my head around when I read to relax, and perhaps it was just the writing.  But after that halfway mark I was invested and the pace picked up.

Will be keeping an eye out for the second book in the series.
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I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. It was a quick read. I would read more by this author.
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I really enjoyed this book, the first one I have read by this author. This is the first book in a new series. The characters were interesting. I loved that the main character was a genealogist. The story kept moving  with a mystery in the past and one in the present needing to be solved as well.

I thank the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC I received in exchange for my honest review.
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I thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advance digital copy of this novel. 

I found it thoroughly charming. The genealogy background and analysis gave real depth to the plot that moved across different centuries. 

I’d classify this as a combination of intelligent chick lit and cozy mystery, with Texas flavors. All in all, “Murder Once Removed” is a deft introduction of a new series. I look forward to enjoying learning more about Lucy Lancaster’s adventures.
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I would highly recommend this book.  It is an interesting premise using research into a family tree as the basis of a murder.  I am not sure I have ever read a mystery involving a researcher of someone’s ancestors.
The characters in the book were believable and interesting. I liked the setting which is in Austin, Texas and the University of Texas.  Since I have research my own family tree, I can see where someone could be angry over an incident in their family’s past.  
I hope this will be a series of books, because the writing is good, the story line is well developed, and it was informative about researching ancestors.
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Murder Once Removed is a cozy mystery, but the story is a bit heavier than the typical cozy. Lucy is investigating crimes in the present and past. It's a thriller in some ways while still maintaining the cozy for the most part. The plot is engaging with twists and turns to keep you reading. The characters are clever and intriguing. Overall, it's a good fun read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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SC Perkins’s series starter is a fun little cozy featuring a thirty-something genealogist named Lucy Lancaster, whose made a tremendous historic discovery that’s had the effect of kicking a hornet’s nest in the present among the descendants of the 19th Century families she’s been researching—who are still political rivals in the present. Perkins introduces a large cast—Lucy’s officemates, A handsome FBI agent, and a protective restaurateur with connections who will all likely figure into future books. And the historical research is interesting though she makes the one mistake that makes me a little nuts with genealogy fiction by mentioning checking the 1890 Census—which mostly burned in 1921. Regardless, it was a fun story with an engaging set of genealogical mysteries.
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3 stars

Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster makes a startling and fulfilling discovery about one of her clients’ great-great grandfather’s murder. The man for whom she is working is a very rich businessman in the world of Texas finance. He is thrilled with her discovery. What he doesn’t tell her – or at least she doesn’t remember him telling her – is that he had her filmed and is having a press conference. Lucy is both horrified and embarrassed at seeing herself on television.

She is startled to find and FBI Agent named Benton “Ben” Ronten at her door one morning. He asks her several questions but never says why. He figures large in this book. 

Lucy goes about her business. When showing up for a meeting with an old friend and museum curator she finds her dead with her client kneeling beside the body holding what is apparently the murder weapon. He says he just showed up and didn’t see who killed Lucy’s friend. 

Lucy gets way too involved in the subsequent investigation. 

This is a well written little cozy mystery. I did not like it as much as I like the Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries. This book didn’t have the same pizazz. I didn’t like Lucy as much as I do Jeff. She and her friends and office-mates are too into “hot guys” and partying. (Boring!) The characters seemed more than a little stereotyped. However, this book is a very good first effort. My hope is that Lucy will grow up a little although I have to hand it to her, she is very intelligent and she is very dedicated to her work. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll read another of S.C. Perkins’ books. 

I want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for forwarding to me a copy of this debut book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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This is the first book in a new series by S.C. Perkins and the first book I have read by this author.  I was initially draw to the book because of the profession of the protagonist and it sound like an interesting premise.  Genealogy has been a hobby of mine since I was in eight grade so the subject matter was right up my alley so to speak.

This was a fun, easy read.  It has a good pace and the mystery flows nicely through the story.  For those who don't know much about genealogy, there are some parts that might be a bit more technical that they would like but I didn't think that it detracted from the story.  Lucy Lancaster is a good protagonist.  She is likable, independent, has spirit and uses her intelligence.  She is surrounded by a cast of secondary characters that include her best friends and office mates, the owner of a restaurant that sounds like it makes amazing food, and one protective cat known as Neil Patrick House-cat (NPH) for short.  These are characters that I want to read more about.

I liked that there were two mysteries that were very much intertwined.  One is the murder of the ancestor of one of Lucy's clients and it connects with the current murder mystery of Lucy's friend, who played a role in helping her with the historical mystery.  Lucy feels guilty  about her friends murder so she tries to solve the historical murder in hopes it will lead to the identity of her friends killer.  Lucy was a bit impulsive which caused her to get her self into more trouble that probably necessary.  Both mysteries were well done and I liked how the genealogy research led to the identity of the murderer in the past as well as the present.  There wasn't a large pool of suspects for the historical mystery but because the clues were shrouded in mystery it allowed the author to create doubt about the identity of the present day killer.

I really enjoyed this book and find that I am looking forward to reading more in this series.  It was a nice change of pace for a cozy mystery in terms of the theme which I very much enjoyed.
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