Thursday, March 22, 2012

In the Blood by Steve Robinson

Title: In the Blood, a Genealogical Crime Mystery
Author: Steve Robinson
ISBN: 9781908603944
Publisher: Feedaread, 2011
Paperback, 316 pages
Genre: Amateur Sleuth
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased as an eBook through Barnes and Noble.

First Line:  Mawgan Hendry was dying.

Professional genealogist Jefferson Tayte has a rich client who insists on having the research on the family tree completed in time to give as a gift. The trouble is, the trail's gone cold in America and the only thing left to do is to fly to England to see if he can find the missing pieces. Although he hates to fly, Tayte boards a plane and soon finds himself in Cornwall, where it becomes obvious that someone has gone to great lengths to erase an entire family from recorded history. Determined to get the answers to his questions, Tayte doesn't realize that someone else is just as determined to ensure that this is one puzzle that is never solved.

I enjoyed this mystery even more than I thought I would. Jefferson Tayte is an engaging character who has more lives than a cat. When the villain isn't trying to conk him in the head or throw him out to drown in a lake, Tayte works at solving the mystery the way a genealogist should: through lots of research poring over old records and documents. (And that's nowhere near as boring as it sounds.)

The mystery surrounding the Fairborne family was excellent. By book's end I hadn't figured it out, although with my knowledge of Cornish history and of genealogy, I should have. The scenes dealing with the 18th and 19th century Fairborne family members that Tayte was trying to trace gave a rich texture to Robinson's story. The fast-paced, engrossing plot and the winning character of Tayte more than made up for any momentary hiccups in writing style. This is the first book by Steve Robinson, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more!


  1. Cathy - I'm hooked already! A family that's disappeared from history? A genealogist on the case? Sign me up. I'm glad you enjoyed this. It's so good to hear that a debut novel was a good one.

    1. I'm hoping Robinson can make a go of his writing career because he certainly hooked me with his first book!

  2. With a setting like Cornwall, the book had to be good.

  3. Genealogy is a hobby of mine that I don't have enough time for, but I try. This is an intriguing plot that I'm sure I would enjoy.


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