Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson

First Lines: Three months ago. Julian Davenport owned a penthouse apartment in Bermondsey, overlooking Tower Bridge.

When Jefferson Tayte's old friend is attacked and dies in his arms outside a London restaurant, he feels it has something to do with the secret Marcus Brown never really got a chance to tell him. Fortunately he has just the person to help him find out what that secret was. Professor Jean Summer is an historian specializing in all things royal and London, and she's the woman marcus was trying to set Tayte up with. Now instead of romance, they have to focus on a conspiracy that began in 1708 and has everything to do with Queen Anne-- the last Queen of England-- because there are people who will do everything to carry out their plan, and they will let no one stand in their way.

If you love a little history with your mystery, you're going to love Steve Robinson's Genealogical Crime series. If you're also interested in family history, well that's just the icing on the cake. Robinson knows how to spin generations of begats into an edge of your seat experience.

Jefferson Tayte is a genealogist who often finds himself in the UK researching his clients' family history, and you can learn a lot about the process from reading these books. (Don't grimace, it's far from being dull!) Tayte is much more forthright in his business life than he is in his personal life, and much of the reason for that stems from the fact that-- although he can seem to find all his clients' ancestors-- he's never been able to find his own parents. He can make waves when it comes to the people for whom he works, but he hangs back in his personal life. No wonder Marcus felt the need to set him up with Jean-- who turns out to be just the sort of partner he needs for this hair-raising investigation.

Robinson creates the perfect genealogical puzzle with Queen Anne and her inability to produce a living heir who would continue the Stuart line on the throne of England. It's just as much fun to watch Tayte and Jean work to solve it as it is thrilling to watch them dodge bullets and traps. Who knew Queen Anne still had the power to make some people so bloodthirsty?

This series continues to get better with each book. Robinson is becoming adept at blending history, characterization, and thriller-type action into an immensely enjoyable read. I'm certainly looking forward to reading book #4!

The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson
Thomas and Mercer © 2012
eBook, 324 pages

Amateur Sleuth, #3 Genealogical Crime mystery
Rating: A-
Source: Purchased from Amazon. 


  1. Cathy - I'm glad you enjoyed this. I've read another Jefferson Tayte mystery, but not (yet) this one. I think Robinson does a solid job of sharing history without overburdening the novel with it.

    1. I remember reading the very first Jefferson Tayte mystery and thinking that the poor man got thunked on the head too much-- but I liked the way Robinson told his story and added his elements of genealogy and history. It's really been a treat to see the steady advancement of this series over time.


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