Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner

First Line: "Now you've gone and done it!" my business partner, Esme Sabatier, said, lifting a cucumber slice off one eye to glare at me.

Genealogists Sophreena McClure and Esme Sabatier have been hired to create scrapbook tributes for a former North Carolina senator's familiy heritage and his political career. The two learn that his baby brother died in a suspicious house fire, and the senator asks them to put a rumor to rest, once and for all: that the fire was actually cover for a kidnapping.

Sophreena and Esme set to work, but a present-day murder gives them new candidates for the crime-- and some of those suspects are in the senator's inner circle. Are these two intrepid genealogists going to be able to put that rumor to rest before a killer catches up with them?

This Family History series is one I've enjoyed from the very beginning (Paging the Dead). Sophreena and Esme are wonderful characters who really give a good idea of what genealogy is all about. In this fourth installment, they get to experience a bit of the high life by working for wealthy clients, but those "extra duties as assigned" dig up a lot of worms. If you don't think family history can contain deep, dark secrets, think again. All you have to do is watch an episode or two of Finding Your Roots on PBS (or read the books in this series) to learn differently.

The mystery is a good one. I did manage to deduce part of it, but the identity of the main villain eluded me. I like that when it happens. I also like how the past can still affect the future even though many decades-- or even centuries-- have passed.

Dead in a Flash has some life changes in store for the two main characters, and I hope to see how things turn out for them. There wasn't a fifth book in the series this year, so I don't know if it's going to continue or not. So many cozy series have been cancelled in the last year or so that it's difficult to keep track. At least if the series does not continue, Sophreena and Esme are left in a good place. I shall think of them as busy and happy and willing to share their lives with me should we meet again.

Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner
ISBN: 9781476776828
Pocket Books © 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

Cozy Mystery, #4 Family History mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. Oh, I'd forgotten about this series, Cathy! Thank you for the reminder. I like the idea of genealogy as a context for a series, and this one sounds interesting.

    1. It really is, Margot. I think you'd enjoy it.


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