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Fatal Family Ties

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S.C. Perkins's Fatal Family Ties is the captivating third mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present. Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco's, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former--and least-favorite--co-worker. Camilla Bra S.C. Perkins's Fatal Family Ties is the captivating third mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present. Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco's, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former--and least-favorite--co-worker. Camilla Braithwaite hasn't gotten much friendlier since the last time Lucy saw her, but that doesn't stop her from asking a favor. In her hand is a newspaper feature on an ancestor, a civil war corporal--and a liar, according to the article. Charles Braithwaite is depicted as a phony and a deserter, and Camilla wants Lucy's help clearing his name. Lucy would prefer to spend her free time with her new beau, special agent Ben Turner, but takes the case, making no promises that Camilla will like the outcome of her investigation. Camilla leads Lucy to the Texas History Museum, where their first clue is a triptych painting, passed down in the Braithwaite family for generations, one panel of which has disappeared. But before Lucy can get much further, a member of the Braithwaite family is murdered in his own bed, and another panel of the painting found missing. There are no shortage of suspects among the Braithwaite clan--including Camilla herself. This case will take Lucy to Houston and back again as she works to find the truth, and catch an elusive killer.


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S.C. Perkins's Fatal Family Ties is the captivating third mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present. Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco's, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former--and least-favorite--co-worker. Camilla Bra S.C. Perkins's Fatal Family Ties is the captivating third mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present. Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco's, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former--and least-favorite--co-worker. Camilla Braithwaite hasn't gotten much friendlier since the last time Lucy saw her, but that doesn't stop her from asking a favor. In her hand is a newspaper feature on an ancestor, a civil war corporal--and a liar, according to the article. Charles Braithwaite is depicted as a phony and a deserter, and Camilla wants Lucy's help clearing his name. Lucy would prefer to spend her free time with her new beau, special agent Ben Turner, but takes the case, making no promises that Camilla will like the outcome of her investigation. Camilla leads Lucy to the Texas History Museum, where their first clue is a triptych painting, passed down in the Braithwaite family for generations, one panel of which has disappeared. But before Lucy can get much further, a member of the Braithwaite family is murdered in his own bed, and another panel of the painting found missing. There are no shortage of suspects among the Braithwaite clan--including Camilla herself. This case will take Lucy to Houston and back again as she works to find the truth, and catch an elusive killer.

30 review for Fatal Family Ties

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Fatal Family Ties is the third book the Ancestry Detective Mysteries written by S.C. Perkins. I've previously read and enjoyed the first two books; when this one became available via NetGalley, I immediately downloaded it. Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned murder mystery where one's genealogy is the key to solving the crime? Camilla, Lucy's former colleague and a semi-Mean Girl, begs for help when a journal publishes an article citing mostly negative aspects about her ancestor's Civil War cla Fatal Family Ties is the third book the Ancestry Detective Mysteries written by S.C. Perkins. I've previously read and enjoyed the first two books; when this one became available via NetGalley, I immediately downloaded it. Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned murder mystery where one's genealogy is the key to solving the crime? Camilla, Lucy's former colleague and a semi-Mean Girl, begs for help when a journal publishes an article citing mostly negative aspects about her ancestor's Civil War claims. Lucy's too kind to refuse to conduct any research, and once she begins digging into the man's history, she's almost murdered over a curious secret painting. Combining her skills in the realms of art, landscaping, military history, and amateur sleuthing, Lucy discovers some of the missing relatives who might be involved in this caper... except it ends up with at least one person dead and a few other murder attempts, including on Lucy herself. Reads exquisitely fast. Before I knew it, a few hours passed and I'd devoured all the pages. Besides its charming southern setting, the book just captivates your attention as you learn clues and discover relationships. As a genealogy buff, this is a wonderful way to combine my interests, and Perkins is careful to explain in detail what Lucy does to find records without getting into the minutia that could bore those without an avid interest in this type of research. Adding in a layer of art history and painting techniques evokes a sense of nostalgia and creativity, providing a lighter sense of potential options for the culprit. When it all comes together, it's a bit surprising in a good way, and it really makes you wonder how greedy someone can truly be. Although there are supporting characters, like Lucy's two besties and her pseudo-dad Flaco, it's her boyfriend that always stands out. He's kinda perfect and supports her in every way possible. In some series, the secondary cast help flesh out the big picture. In this collection, it's the genealogy backdrop that keeps me intrigued with the possibilities for the future of the stories. I enjoy all the characters, but that determined angst to find a missing relative is what will keep driving me back to these books. Perkins knows exactly how to tie the story back to someone's emotional desire to find their past. Definitely recommended for those looking to start a new mystery series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeri

    Loved this addition to the series! It was a perfect read for my own trip to Houston as well. Lucy is digging into more family histories to unravel mysteries of the past. This time it's dealing with the civil war and a valuable painting that's been hidden for many years. I was completely surprised by the reveal in the end. Love when that happens! I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley. Loved this addition to the series! It was a perfect read for my own trip to Houston as well. Lucy is digging into more family histories to unravel mysteries of the past. This time it's dealing with the civil war and a valuable painting that's been hidden for many years. I was completely surprised by the reveal in the end. Love when that happens! I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    Fatal Family Ties is the third book in the Ancestry Detective series and continues what has been for me an entertaining series. What continues to draw me to this series is that the protagonist is a professional genealogist. I've worked on my own family genealogy for over 35 years, so I find the subject to be very interesting and it draws me right into the story. I enjoy the main character Lucy and her two best friends, Serena and Josephine. Her relationship with Ben Turner is progressing nicely Fatal Family Ties is the third book in the Ancestry Detective series and continues what has been for me an entertaining series. What continues to draw me to this series is that the protagonist is a professional genealogist. I've worked on my own family genealogy for over 35 years, so I find the subject to be very interesting and it draws me right into the story. I enjoy the main character Lucy and her two best friends, Serena and Josephine. Her relationship with Ben Turner is progressing nicely and I like that he is not condescending and treats her input as valuable. The secondary cast of characters does tend to change somewhat based upon whatever project Lucy is tied to at the time of the story, but I think that helps keeps the series fresh. This time around, Lucy is hired by a former co-worker to help disprove an article that negatively portrays her civil war ancestor. Unfortunately, Lucy ends of involved in murder and intrigue surrounding painting owned by the same civil war ancestor and passed down through the various lines of the family. The mystery was well done and I loved how the story is rich in history while bringing it to the present to show how it is relevant in the current case. I find it interesting to read about the research techniques and resources that Lucy uses to uncover hidden clues in the family that lead to the identity of the killer. I find this to be a very entertaining series, with an interesting subject matter and highly likable characters. Lucy is no slouch when investigating, but she isn't irrational either. I look forward to more books in this series and more genealogical mysteries for Lucy to solve. I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy of this book provided to me by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen (BaronessBookTrove)

    I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fatal Family Ties by SC Perkins is another fantastic book that made it so hard to put down. Can Lucy prove a Civil War soldier didn't desert his infantry? Lucy Lancaster Lucy Lancaster is our sleuth and who we follow throughout the story. I love Lucy as a character. In all three installments so far, she has definitely grown on me and reminds me of me. We are I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fatal Family Ties by SC Perkins is another fantastic book that made it so hard to put down. Can Lucy prove a Civil War soldier didn't desert his infantry? Lucy Lancaster Lucy Lancaster is our sleuth and who we follow throughout the story. I love Lucy as a character. In all three installments so far, she has definitely grown on me and reminds me of me. We are both nice and try to give people a lot of second chances. Lucy has a way of bringing history to life when she's researching the different eras for the families that ask her to look into their ancestry. The Mystery The mystery in this one is for the ancestry detective side of seeing if the Braithwaite's great great great great great grandfather actually did desert his infantry. Or if he didn't. Lucy is on the case for that. She's also on the case to figure out who would kill Charlie Braithwaite and why did they steal a painting that looks ghastly. Well, all of these things are answered in this book. It was fascinating to read all of this about the Civil War and how a big family, like the Braithwaites', didn't keep in touch with all of its lines, so they don't know all the different stories about their family. I might have fallen for one of them, but it wasn't making sense. Four Stars Fatal Family Ties by SC Perkins is a lovely book that I liked a lot. Ms. Perkins has done a brilliant job of creating this character that I love so much. Everything about the story is great. Lucy is a great character and detective in both ancestries and current live cases. I love this series as well. I am giving this book four stars and recommending it to anyone that enjoys's a good mystery. An Ancestry Detective Mystery Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Fatal Family Ties by S. C. Perkins. Until the next time, Happy Reading! Victim/Toe Tag: Charlie Braithwaite (C) Beachcomber Weapons: pillow Beachcomber Crime Scene: bedroom Detectives: Lucy Lancaster (L) This review was originally posted on Baroness' Book Trove

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is one of the most fascinating cozy mystery series I have ever read! I was hooked from book #1 and cannot wait for book #4! I love the chemistry between Ben and Lucy. Their sarcastic, witty, friendly banter is such fun to read! They truly work together as a team. The only aspect of the story that I felt was a little over done was the references to how "hot" Lucy thought Ben was. Almost every time she mentions Ben it is in some reference to them being intimate, kissing...etc. That dialogue w This is one of the most fascinating cozy mystery series I have ever read! I was hooked from book #1 and cannot wait for book #4! I love the chemistry between Ben and Lucy. Their sarcastic, witty, friendly banter is such fun to read! They truly work together as a team. The only aspect of the story that I felt was a little over done was the references to how "hot" Lucy thought Ben was. Almost every time she mentions Ben it is in some reference to them being intimate, kissing...etc. That dialogue was just a little too repetitive for my taste. And I loved the reappearance of Grandpa in this book, as he is one of my favorite characters. Good ending. Looking forward to Book 4.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    3.5 / 4.0 Stars This was an interesting tale featuring genealogist, Lucy Lancaster and her charming FBI agent boyfriend, Ben Turner. Lucy's former prickly colleague, Camilla Braithwaite has sought out Lucy's assistance to delve into the history of Camilla's fourth great-grandfather, Charles Braithwaite, who has been labeled a Confederate Civil War deserter in a recently published periodical. Heretofore, Charles had been celebrated as the sole survivor of his regiment, an upstanding defender of th 3.5 / 4.0 Stars This was an interesting tale featuring genealogist, Lucy Lancaster and her charming FBI agent boyfriend, Ben Turner. Lucy's former prickly colleague, Camilla Braithwaite has sought out Lucy's assistance to delve into the history of Camilla's fourth great-grandfather, Charles Braithwaite, who has been labeled a Confederate Civil War deserter in a recently published periodical. Heretofore, Charles had been celebrated as the sole survivor of his regiment, an upstanding defender of the rights of the poor and a genuine good guy. Family honor depends on the refuting of the periodical's claims. No sooner does Lucy get started on her assignment, when one of Charles' descendants meets his maker in a nefarious fashion and a prized family relic is now missing. As Lucy digs into Charles' history, it wasn't much of a stretch for her to work on unraveling the crimes too. After all, research is research. Ben just happens to be in town and is able to protect his dear Lucy on her quest. Admittedly, I couldn't imagine an FBI agent having the opportunity to spend so much of his time canoodling and traipsing around Texas with Lucy. Yet, it is a cozy mystery after all, where the willing suspension of disbelief is fully engaged. Putting the disbelief aside, this is a fun, informative and entertaining story. Perkins' writing style is smooth, engaging and propels the reader to a well-fraught climax from which the reader is gently brought back down. I was encouraged to read that Perkins continues to engage a professional genealogist to proof the references to their profession contained in this third book. If you enjoy well thought out, circuitous stories with a touch of history and family tales, then this may well be a book for you. I am grateful to author S.C. Perkins and Minotaur Books for having provided an uncorrected digital galley of this book through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Lucy Lancaster is a genealogist. When she is approached by a disliked former co-worker, she's reluctant to take the job that is offered to her. She's rather spend time with her new FBI Agent boyfriend. But she is intrigued about finding the truth about Camilla Braithwaite's Confederate soldier many times great-grandfather. There has been an article in a history magazine that paints him as a deserter rather than a hero. Cpl. Charles Braithwaite had a successful life after his service. He was a bus Lucy Lancaster is a genealogist. When she is approached by a disliked former co-worker, she's reluctant to take the job that is offered to her. She's rather spend time with her new FBI Agent boyfriend. But she is intrigued about finding the truth about Camilla Braithwaite's Confederate soldier many times great-grandfather. There has been an article in a history magazine that paints him as a deserter rather than a hero. Cpl. Charles Braithwaite had a successful life after his service. He was a business owner who hired people of many colors, He favored more rights for women. He's had schools and parks named for him. He was also an artist and a triptych he painted has become a focus of the investigation. One piece went missing in 1988, another is stolen from a great-uncle of Camilla's who is also murdered, and attempts are made to get Camilla's piece too. Lucy gets involved in the murder investigation and in searching for the lost parts of the painting when it is discovered that the really, really ugly painting actually covers a well-executed and potentially very valuable painting of a lesser Civil War battle. There are quite a few suspects - all members of the extended Braithwaite family - including Lucy's client Camilla. The story was fast-paced and entertaining. It is also the third in the series but stands alone quite well. I liked Lucy who is both smart and nice and look forward to catching up on her earlier investigations. Who knew genealogy could be so dangerous?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    2.5 stars Fatal Family Ties begins promisingly by taking on current sociopolitical issues with bravery and tact. It addresses Juneteenth along with civil war artifacts and soldiers and challenges the trend of demonizing those of past generations. In addition, the scenes where relationships are highlighted (romance, family, friendships) are sensitive and engaging. Unfortunately, this characteristic of containing more substance than a typical cozy becomes the downfall of the book. Details and even 2.5 stars Fatal Family Ties begins promisingly by taking on current sociopolitical issues with bravery and tact. It addresses Juneteenth along with civil war artifacts and soldiers and challenges the trend of demonizing those of past generations. In addition, the scenes where relationships are highlighted (romance, family, friendships) are sensitive and engaging. Unfortunately, this characteristic of containing more substance than a typical cozy becomes the downfall of the book. Details and even single sentences are consistently over complicated and over stated. This causes the narrative to drag, even stalling and losing my interest. Of course, some of the details are quite interesting, but they get lost in the onslaught. There is a serious need for some editing to keep the story moving. After book 2 of this series was so successful for me, I had high hopes for this one. I sure was disappointed. Thank you to S.C. Perkins, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    A mixture of romance and mystery. Lucy Lancaster is a free-lance genealogist hired to trace the questionable reputation of a Civil War soldier/deserter from Texas. During her investigation, a relative of her client is murdered and a painting stolen. This was a free review copy through Goodreads.com.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I'm always intrigued about genealogy, and Fatal Family Ties is exactly the type of story that I love to lose myself in. Lucy Lancaster is an excellent protagonist, she's funny, down to earth, and quite likeable. Her relationship with her boyfriend Ben is going quite well, and I really like the fact that they aren't glued to each other throughout the story. When a previous co-worker of Lucy's needs her help, she is intrigued, but hesitant to work with Camille. To be honest, I really became fond of I'm always intrigued about genealogy, and Fatal Family Ties is exactly the type of story that I love to lose myself in. Lucy Lancaster is an excellent protagonist, she's funny, down to earth, and quite likeable. Her relationship with her boyfriend Ben is going quite well, and I really like the fact that they aren't glued to each other throughout the story. When a previous co-worker of Lucy's needs her help, she is intrigued, but hesitant to work with Camille. To be honest, I really became fond of her, and I think the author really created a unique bond for them. The story takes a twist when murder takes place, and the more Lucy investigates, the more she puts herself in harms way. This story is fast paced, and kept me entertained from beginning to end. I'm looking forward to see what happens next with these great characters. #FatalFamilyTies #NetGalley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I was very reluctant to read this and the bestie talked me into it [reminding me that I always give a new-to-me author a second chance, and in this case, a third], even though my memory of the 2nd book was not favorable [and some of that may be because I knew who the killer was AND the why by chapter 3. That really sets the tone for the rest of the book]. Then, the bestie read this and DID. NOT. LIKE. IT., and I was really not enthused and was actually reluctant to read it. Finally, my schedule I was very reluctant to read this and the bestie talked me into it [reminding me that I always give a new-to-me author a second chance, and in this case, a third], even though my memory of the 2nd book was not favorable [and some of that may be because I knew who the killer was AND the why by chapter 3. That really sets the tone for the rest of the book]. Then, the bestie read this and DID. NOT. LIKE. IT., and I was really not enthused and was actually reluctant to read it. Finally, my schedule cleared up [nothing like a mid-month nonfiction book being sent to you by a publisher to mess up your whole reading schedule - it was a great book, but still LOL] and I was ready to dive in - and then I was pleasantly surprised. Very surprised. This was [for me - apparently this book was Book 2 to my bestie, but as she points out, that is just how we do things! LOL] a really good read. To be honest, I didn't really know what this was about, but as soon as the Civil War started being talked about, I knew I was going to be in 100% as I enjoy Civil War history [of any kind - the author did her research though and the things you learn in this book are actually things that could have happened and I appreciate that. Not all cozy authors are quite so dedicated in that area] and this was a rather unique story-line involving art, history and the genealogy of one family, with parts of them going VERY VERY astray. I liked the story very much and I really enjoyed how Lucy and Ben got to be together for this whole thing - it was fun to watch them grow in their relationship and trust of each other and I loved Ben having to meet Lucy's parents. You also get to know more about Lucy's past work experience [and weren't THEY a joy to have to deal with on a day-to-day basis] and that goes a long way to further explain why Lucy is the way she is. You also get a fantastic lesson in BEING KIND even when you don't want to be - that was a huge lesson over and over in this book and that really stuck out to me - Lucy absolutely has no reason to be nice to, or even do work for Camilla, but chooses to be kind, put differences behind her [several times over the course of the book actually], and in the end, the final result makes it all worth it. That doesn't mean that you will always have a positive outcome when you are kind to someone who has been a "mean girl", but it WILL make you the better person, make you feel better, and no matter the outcome, you will have made an impression that the mean people will not soon forget. Unfortunately, there are a couple of things that I was not a fan of [though way less than the last two books so I look at this as a plus]: 1. I do NOT need as much info on Lucy and Ben's "private" life. The way she ogles him and plain out ogles him [IN PUBLIC] is uncomfortable and there were moments that kind of skeeved me out [I am not a prude and this still bothered me as there was just SO much of it mentioned]. 2. There was no need to continually go over what was happening. I felt like the author felt we had to have a synopsis every couple of chapters and it was just needlessly repetitive and annoying. We the readers are not children and I believe that most of us are capable of remembering what the story-line is and where we are in it. 3. I knew who the bad guy was right away. That is the biggest negative for me in these books. I am able to get the who and the what really early one. What saved this book for me was the whole Civil War story and the genealogy behind it; if it had not been for that, I would have had another book 2 on my hands and this review would have been scathing rather than complimentary. Overall, this was a good read for me, I was entertained and I learned quite a bit more about a soldier's life in the Civil War, and even though I knew who the killer was, I was really carried along with the story and I wasn't so annoyed by the knowledge I had. I will absolutely be reading the next one [and I never thought I'd say that!]. Thank you to NetGalley, S.C. Perkins, and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    If you follow S.C. Perkins’ Ancestry Detective series, I’m sure you’ve noticed the clever way the publisher chooses to illustrate the reference area for genealogist Lucy Lancaster. It’s obvious that Fatal Family Ties deals with the American Civil War. Lancaster, a genealogist based in Austin, Texas, has a fascinating story to uncover. Lucy once worked at Howland University Library where three librarians looked down their noses at the genealogist. So, she’s shocked when Camilla Braithwaite, one of If you follow S.C. Perkins’ Ancestry Detective series, I’m sure you’ve noticed the clever way the publisher chooses to illustrate the reference area for genealogist Lucy Lancaster. It’s obvious that Fatal Family Ties deals with the American Civil War. Lancaster, a genealogist based in Austin, Texas, has a fascinating story to uncover. Lucy once worked at Howland University Library where three librarians looked down their noses at the genealogist. So, she’s shocked when Camilla Braithwaite, one of those librarians, wants to hire her to look into a family story. The large Braithwaite family has thrived on the stories about Corporal Charles Braithwaite, the longest-lived soldier who fought in the Civil War. Now, though, a prestigious magazine, Chronology, features a story that says Charlie lied about his past. He never rose to corporal, and, worst of all, he was a deserter after the Second Battle of Bull Run. The family has always been proud of Charles’ reputation as an artist, and, even more so, of his reputation for supporting the Black population of Houston, and women’s suffrage. Now, Camilla wants Lucy to find the truth. Camilla does have an unusual piece of art as part of Charles’ story. She owns one third of a triptych, a painting on three panels, of a Civil War battle. Descendants of Charles’ three children each own one part. Camilla has a relative who owns one piece. But, he believes there’s a hidden painting, a masterpiece, underneath the cartoonish piece that has been handed down in the family. Before Lucy can send the painting to an art restorer, one of the Braithwaite family is murdered, and a panel is stolen. Once again, Lucy teams up with FBI Special Agent Ben Turner. He’s interested because a murder was committed just as he and Lucy were arriving at the house. Lucy wants to help right the wrongs of murder and theft, and she’s proud to use her genealogical skills to do that. I’ll admit Fatal Family Ties started a little slow for me. It didn’t help that I didn’t like Camilla, and I did like the murder victim. But, the book took off as Lucy delved into Charles Braithwaite’s story. This time, the most engrossing part of the book wasn’t the murder mystery, but the genealogical search, and the Civil War stories. I’d recommend that readers come for the murder mystery, but stay for the history and characters. While I might not have been fond of Lucy’s client, her friends and family are charming. And, the Civil War aspects of the story are fascinating. S.C. Perkins is to be commended for her use of genealogy in this intriguing, well-developed series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Ritter

    Fatal Family Ties is the third book in S. C. Perkins’ Ancestry Detective Mystery series. Professional genealogist Lucy Lancaster is approached by her former coworker, and third least favorite person from her time at Howland University, Camilla Braithwaite. She has come to talk to Lucy and request her help in proving the allegations made in Chronology magazine by writer Savannah Lundstrom are not true. In the article about Camilla’s ancestor Charles Braithwaite, Savannah asserts that this person Fatal Family Ties is the third book in S. C. Perkins’ Ancestry Detective Mystery series. Professional genealogist Lucy Lancaster is approached by her former coworker, and third least favorite person from her time at Howland University, Camilla Braithwaite. She has come to talk to Lucy and request her help in proving the allegations made in Chronology magazine by writer Savannah Lundstrom are not true. In the article about Camilla’s ancestor Charles Braithwaite, Savannah asserts that this person remembered as a civil war hero and champion for the rights of all after the war was indeed a deserter and charlatan. Also in question is the very ugly triptych purportedly done by Charles. Each of his three children was given a section more than 100 years ago. However, based on the magnificent drawings seen in Charles’ journal it is hard to believe he could have done this triptych. Camilla now has the piece from her family tree branch and her Uncle Charlie, actually a different branch but a close relative of the heart, has a second section. The whereabouts of the third piece is unknown. Uncle Charles has been unwell, but when he mysteriously dies under Camilla’s careful watch, it is determined that murder is the cause. And along with the murder there was a robbery including paperwork and his section of the triptych. A few days later attempts are made to also steal Camilla’s panel of the triptych. In a twisty turny tale of miswritten history and unsuspected relatives with very devious plans, S. C. Perkins has produced yet another wonderful page turning mystery. I very much enjoyed this novel and definitely recommend it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    This was my first "cozy" mystery and all I can say is that I wasn't super impressed. The book is 466 pages long and it felt just that, long. The amount of time the protagonist spends with her FBI agent boyfriend felt unreal, but it's supposed to be a cozy mystery I guess. But the biggest problem I had with the book was Camilla's character! She is DESPERATE! for Lucy to take on the case an prove her ancestor wasn't a charlatan to save her family pride and money, yet she couldn't even go through h This was my first "cozy" mystery and all I can say is that I wasn't super impressed. The book is 466 pages long and it felt just that, long. The amount of time the protagonist spends with her FBI agent boyfriend felt unreal, but it's supposed to be a cozy mystery I guess. But the biggest problem I had with the book was Camilla's character! She is DESPERATE! for Lucy to take on the case an prove her ancestor wasn't a charlatan to save her family pride and money, yet she couldn't even go through his CMSR records herself -- something Lucy herself claimed to be easy peasy? And then when they go to the museum to see her ancestor Charles' things in an attempt to find further evidence, Camilla can't be bothered to stay and look through things with Lucy? Nope, she just ups and leaves to look at other exhibits rather than try to claim her ancestor's words as true. I found this very unbelievable. If Camilla were this passionate about proving her ancestor right, then she would be waaaaay more involved in discovering the truth -- not to mention she has basically the same job as the protagonist so why wouldn't she have already gone through all this and presented Lucy with her own findings!?!?! I just found the premise to be sloppy. For people who love the author's books I'm sure you'll possibly like this one too, I guess it's just not for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    This is the 3rd book in the Ancestry Detective series where Lucy Lancaster, genealogist, uses her research talents to solve more than just who is related to whom. As in two other cases, Lucy barely gets started researching the voracity of an article that has been published, trashing a well known ancestor and the rest of the family related to Camilla, one of Lucy's former co-workers. Before she can get started in depth, Camilla's Uncle Charlie is murdered, leaving both of them questioning who, an This is the 3rd book in the Ancestry Detective series where Lucy Lancaster, genealogist, uses her research talents to solve more than just who is related to whom. As in two other cases, Lucy barely gets started researching the voracity of an article that has been published, trashing a well known ancestor and the rest of the family related to Camilla, one of Lucy's former co-workers. Before she can get started in depth, Camilla's Uncle Charlie is murdered, leaving both of them questioning who, and why? Is it related to the article or to the art work Uncle Charlie inherited from his ancestor? Is the murderer a new neighbor of Charlie's who seems to have taken an overwhelming interest in Charlie and assumed responsibility for much of his care and daily routine. As Lucy delves further into the mystery, she discovers the possibility of an extremely valuable piece of art along with having to confront some co-workers who were less than kind to her in her former workplace. Also, her FBI boyfriend, Ben, is in town and they are trying to find out what the future holds for them. Put it all together and you have a great cozy for taking on vacation to the beach, the lake, or mountains, wherever you are bound. There's something for everyone, a nice cozy murder, a little romance, a little history, and just a dash of civil war history, including civil war art.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Fantastic series and this book lives up to the previous two. As a respectful genealogist, Lucy Lancaster has the quick mind and investigative skills that most amateur sleuths would love to have. Combined with her FBI boyfriend and his access into official casework, she can make connections that break open the case. She's a likeable protagonist who even prides herself on being "nice." After an article in an history magazine borders on an expose of one of her former co-workers ancestors, Lucy is h Fantastic series and this book lives up to the previous two. As a respectful genealogist, Lucy Lancaster has the quick mind and investigative skills that most amateur sleuths would love to have. Combined with her FBI boyfriend and his access into official casework, she can make connections that break open the case. She's a likeable protagonist who even prides herself on being "nice." After an article in an history magazine borders on an expose of one of her former co-workers ancestors, Lucy is hired to prove or disprove the allegations that he was a Civil War deserter. Soon murder strikes and the plot barrels through both present day and finding the historical truth. Many red herrings and plot twists will keep you guessing. Highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Lucy Lancaster's been asked to help a former coworker (and mean girl!!!) prove that her ancestor was not the Civil War deserter he's been portrayed as in a recent news article, but it doesn't take her long to realize that there's more to the story when Camilla's great-uncle is murdered in his bed and a valuable piece of art is stolen! There's a lot going on in this gripping 3rd installment in S.C. Perkins' Ancestry Detective Mystery, and I really enjoyed it - I always learn several fascinating h Lucy Lancaster's been asked to help a former coworker (and mean girl!!!) prove that her ancestor was not the Civil War deserter he's been portrayed as in a recent news article, but it doesn't take her long to realize that there's more to the story when Camilla's great-uncle is murdered in his bed and a valuable piece of art is stolen! There's a lot going on in this gripping 3rd installment in S.C. Perkins' Ancestry Detective Mystery, and I really enjoyed it - I always learn several fascinating historical and genealogical tidbits from Lucy, and Fatal Family Ties was no exception. Highly recommended! A+

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    This series just keeps getting better! I love the camaraderie of Lucy and her besties, her great relationship with her own parents, the way she keeps in touch with Grandpa George via FaceTime, and last but definitely not least, her growing relationship with Ben Turner. I was drawn in and could hardly put the book down when the action fired up. I had my susupicions about whodunit but not the twist. There was an interesting side story that appeared to be connected to the murder, so it was fun to w This series just keeps getting better! I love the camaraderie of Lucy and her besties, her great relationship with her own parents, the way she keeps in touch with Grandpa George via FaceTime, and last but definitely not least, her growing relationship with Ben Turner. I was drawn in and could hardly put the book down when the action fired up. I had my susupicions about whodunit but not the twist. There was an interesting side story that appeared to be connected to the murder, so it was fun to watch that play out as well. The showdown was pretty epic, and Lucy's friend Helen got to play a part in it. Camilla was very surprising at the end too! I liked the theme of various people getting second chances even regarding the historical end of it. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book that publishes tomorrow, July 20, 2021, and my opinions are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Pena

    Goodreads giveaway. I actually really enjoyed this book. I’m so used to reading murder mysteries with forensic psychologists and detectives this take on a mystery solver was quite unique. The main character was a genealogist and historian she solves the crimes using family histories. It was great! This was the third in the series and I’m highly considering finding the first to and adding them to my reading g list. Definitely recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    3.75 stars rounded up Lucy is excited to spend some time with her FBI agent boyfriend Ben now he finally has some time off. Her schedule is jam packed with clients but that's all right because Ben does have meetings to attend. Then Lucy receives a surprise visit from her third least-favorite former co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite, who demands Lucy's time. A reporter has written a scurrilous article on Camilla's Civil War ancestor, Charles Braithwaite and Camilla wants Lucy to prove the reporter wr 3.75 stars rounded up Lucy is excited to spend some time with her FBI agent boyfriend Ben now he finally has some time off. Her schedule is jam packed with clients but that's all right because Ben does have meetings to attend. Then Lucy receives a surprise visit from her third least-favorite former co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite, who demands Lucy's time. A reporter has written a scurrilous article on Camilla's Civil War ancestor, Charles Braithwaite and Camilla wants Lucy to prove the reporter wrong. Lucy can't promise anything but Camilla is willing to pay a rush fee and Lucy has to make a living somehow. Camilla introduces Lucy to her great-uncle Charlie, a direct descendant of the first Charles and owner of one third of a Civil War battle scene painting. Camilla owns another piece while the third has been lost over time. Lucy likes Uncle Charlie right away and is intrigued by a surprising find. Then Uncle Charlie is murdered and his third of the painting stolen and Camilla is fearful for her own piece of the painting. She pushes Lucy deeper into the investigation and even Inspector Dupart needs Lucy's help to figure this one out. With some help from Ben and her family, Lucy comes up with a lot of clues that may or may not be coincidental. Can she help solve the mystery before the full triptych goes missing and someone else is killed? Was Charles really the war hero his family believes he is? This story is very timely. It deals with the legacy of Civil War veterans from the South and how to reconcile that. The characters in the story are very progressive, right down to old Charles Braithwaite himself. After the war he became a champion for civil rights for Blacks, women and education reforms. He sounds very, very progressive for a Texan especially a Texan post-Civil War. I don't know enough about Texas to say if he's based on any one veteran in particular although I know the last living veterans were children during the Civil War serving as drummer boy and bugle boys. The modern day Braithwaites are proud of their ancestor and believe there is a time and place to study his Civil War service in context and that it shouldn't be glorified. They recognize the need to remove his name from a school and park even though his legacy certainly is admirable in those respects. People hear the name and associate him ONLY with his Civil War service. I happen to agree with the characters and feel sad that people can't recognize all that this man accomplished for the community. I liked how the story doesn't glorify war. While Charles made a living off his Civil War service in later years, he did not relish his wartime experiences. The story makes it clear war is hell. The plot starts off a little slow. It's heavy on the romance at first. It's obvious Lucy and Ben are having sexy times and it shows on her face but it's not shown on page. Just as I should have put the book down, it picked up at the end of Chapter 12. I read to Chapter 17 unable to put it down and vowed to shut off my light but of course I ended up reading a few more chapters before I got too tired to keep my eyes open! I woke up early the next day to finish. The suspects all seemed too obvious and I was kind of surprised but not surprised at whodunit. It wasn't really who I expected at all. I found some of the clues a little too coincidental for me but it's a novel so I guess it's OK. There's are a couple of subplots that seem connected but turn out not to be so the coincidences turn out to be just that. I liked the Austin setting and the story makes the city sound charming. There's also jaunts to Houston which has an amazing research library. I wish there was a little more genealogy research in this book. Lucy mentions a lot of sites in one paragraph and then she goes off after suspects and then at the end there's a lot of info dump. I wish the author would include a list of resources and places Lucy visits with links to the real life counterparts. Lucy is a genuinely nice person. She's good at what she does because she truly wants to help people. Someone points out that her best quality is her willingness to give people second chances. However, like her former co-workers, I find that irritating at times. She lets lose on someone at the end and I was happy to see that side of her. It's a good thing she gave Ben a second chance. They're very good together. While she enjoys objectifying him, he doesn't mind because he knows his body isn't the sole attraction. They enjoy bantering, sleuthing, slow walks, eating sweets and lot of other things together. (Things she has yet to inform her besties about). I like seeing them sleuth together instead of being at odds the way they usually are. Ben is attracted to Lucy's intelligence and kindness. He's good for her and vice versa. Ben steps back and lets Lucy do her thing when necessary and doesn't need to remind her over and over to be careful. She recognizes when he's the better person for a job. The villain that targeted Lucy had to be incredibly STUPID or unaware of Ben. If anything bad happened to Lucy, he would hunt that person down to the end of his life and make them pay. The secondary characters are quirky and fun but underutilized here. I love Flaco and how he sees Lucy as his bonus daughter. He's very protective of her and I think even Ben would not be a match for Flaco if Ben breaks Lucy's heart/doesn't treat her right! We get to know Lucy's parents a bit better. They're fun and dorky as parents of a nerdy girl should be. They seem a little older than they are though. Of course they love Ben, he saved her life after all, but now he is getting to know them, he seems to like them as well. Lucy's beloved grandfather appears by video chat late in the book. He's as charming as ever and assists Lucy in figuring out how to make her next move. Camilla Braithwaite is a former co-worker of Lucy's at Howland University. One of three research librarians, Camilla worked closely with Lucy but they weren't friends. Camilla has an abrasive personality. She's demanding, tough and there's nothing warm and fuzzy about her. She was too close to the other two mean girls, Patrice and Roxy. Yet when we get to know Camilla more and see her with her Uncle Charlie and hear what she has to say about her family, she's not so bad. I think she's just very, very smart and lacks patience for those who can't keep up. She doesn't understand people who don't share her tough personality. I actually like her and can relate a lot to her. Camilla is very sweet with Uncle Charlie and I believe she truly cares about him and is motivated to prove her ancestor was not a liar and charlatan mainly for Uncle Charlie's sake. While Lucy begins to suspect Camilla is a villain, I'm not so sure. Uncle Charlie was a bon vivant. He was a photographer in Europe in his younger days and later ran a winery. He was perceptive and a good judge of character. Uncle Charlie once helped Lucy out of a tough spot and was kind to her. She will be forever grateful. He's still kind and charming when we meet him. It's heartbreaking to see the once vibrant man suffering from illness and old age. He values his family history and sees a kindred spirit in Camilla. Their relationship is very nice and therefore, it's heartbreaking when he dies. I couldn't believe it! Who is the dastardly villain who killed Uncle Charlie and stole his painting? Chief among suspects is Neil Gaynor, a Ph.D. student at Howland University who claims Camilla's ancestor ruined his family 100 years ago. That's silly. His ancestor made the choice to have Camilla's ancestor to dinner and to spend a fortune doing so in order to increase his own social standing. There's no one to blame but Neil's great-great grandfather. Plus, hasn't he heard of the Great Depression? A lot of people lost everything only a few short years later. What happened to the family after that ? It's been almost 100 years since this fateful dinner party disaster. Why are they trying to sue now? What's his connection to the writer, Savannah Lundstrom? Neil is just a kid in his 20s. He's being dumb and I wouldn't worry about it if I were Camilla- UNLESS he murdered Uncle Charlie! There's also a mystery woman from city council who is adamant that Braithwaite Park and school be renamed. She doesn't know the family is quietly working on it and making a big stink. Perhaps she has a vendetta against descendants of Confederate veterans? Who was the young private, Powers, who Charles Braithwaite wrote about in his journal? Did he exist? Did Charles steal someone else's identity and was actually Powers and vice versa? Is someone from the family out to cover up their ancestor's secret? (all these questions and Lucy doesn't even ask them all!) Another top suspect is Uncle Charlie's neighbor Elaine. She's rude to Camilla, possessive of Uncle Charlie and always over his house. I think she's a gold digger and eager to marry Charlie before he dies. She may even be poisoning him to death! She's been in his house and probably knows the security code or can guess it- it's a pretty lame code. She runs his errands and gives him his medicine. DEFINATELY suspect! Lucy's friend Helen Kim, art restoration specialist, is like Camilla with an abrasive side but she's also fun when she's with Lucy. Helen is eager to see Charles Braithwaite's painting and discover what secrets it holds but becomes a suspect when she was at the scene of the crime! I don't think Lucy would be friends with a murderer and why bother when Uncle Charlie was willing to hire her? She doesn't make sense as a suspect to me but perhaps Lucy should dig into Helen's genealogy. I also suspect Camilla's brother, Charles Braithwaite XIV aka Tor. He's an idiot or good at acting the fool. He's stupid, lazy and womanizing. He claims he has an alibi but what if he wasn't working alone? His alibi seems kind of thin to me. Camilla's ex-husband seems like another Tor without the womanizing. He doesn't seem too bright but he's a good dad and a decent ex. His phone trick is absolutely absurd. Just memorize numbers moron, especially your ex-wife's and your kids. Another possible suspect in wrong-doing is Mrs. Jensen Hocknell, Lucy's mom's bridge partner. I don't think she is capable of murder because she's elderly but she's connected somehow. She isn't a very kind old lady and was always mean to Lucy and her sister when they were children. Her personality hasn't improved much. Trent Marins, the new genealogist at Howland University, is also a suspect under the possible wrongdoing category. He seems a little too confident and overly charming. I don't trust him and neither does Lucy. He seems tight with Roxie, one of the mean girl types who went out of their way to make Lucy's time at Howland not so pleasant. Roxie is still pretty awful and unfriendly. She's the queen bee and suspicious of Lucy which makes me suspicious of her. I also don't trust her for being tight with Trent. Patrice is more of a wannabe and follows the queen bee. She's worried about something but when it comes to ratting out her longtime friend, she won't do it. What does she really know and is it related to the Braithwaite case? If she were friendlier and more willing to share, it would make Lucy's life easier. There's one other suspect Lucy doesn't pick up on right away and when she remembers, she doesn't know who this person is. This case is very complicated and if Lucy can come up with a family tree, she may be able to crack the case! I like this series but it could use a bit more in the research department. I'm interested to see if Lucy and Ben can investigate together again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eden

    2021 bk 262. Rarely is a third book of a series as good or better than the first two, but in this case, Fatal Family Tree is my favorite of Perkins series. I felt that the plot had better flow, the characters were more three dimensional, and the descriptions of place were more complete and 'seeable' in my mind. Excellent details and research work without boring the the non-genealogical reader. Well done, S. C. Perkins! 2021 bk 262. Rarely is a third book of a series as good or better than the first two, but in this case, Fatal Family Tree is my favorite of Perkins series. I felt that the plot had better flow, the characters were more three dimensional, and the descriptions of place were more complete and 'seeable' in my mind. Excellent details and research work without boring the the non-genealogical reader. Well done, S. C. Perkins!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Loved this book! Love this series, it's one of my new favorites! Any time I can read a fun book and learn something, it's always a good read. This was a fun story, combining the past with the present. So much fun to read! Loved this book! Love this series, it's one of my new favorites! Any time I can read a fun book and learn something, it's always a good read. This was a fun story, combining the past with the present. So much fun to read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    This is the third book in the Ancestry Detective Series. Our starring lady is Genealogist, Lucy Lancaster, who can do your family tree and catch a killer or two! Just as Lucy is sitting at her favorite place, Big Flaco’s, she gets an uninvited dinner companion. A former and not well-liked co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite. Camilla hasn’t softened up much since Lucy last saw her either. But this time Camilla needs Lucy’s help. Being an old family, there is a lot of history to unpack and Camilla’s ance This is the third book in the Ancestry Detective Series. Our starring lady is Genealogist, Lucy Lancaster, who can do your family tree and catch a killer or two! Just as Lucy is sitting at her favorite place, Big Flaco’s, she gets an uninvited dinner companion. A former and not well-liked co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite. Camilla hasn’t softened up much since Lucy last saw her either. But this time Camilla needs Lucy’s help. Being an old family, there is a lot of history to unpack and Camilla’s ancestor is the subject of a rather unflattering magazine article. Camilla needs Lucy to prove her ancestor was not a deserter from the Civil War and to help her prove this woman is a liar. There is also a lot of interest in some badly painted artwork that has been in the family for years but is now being aggressively sought after. But why? It’s ugly as sin. Leave it to Lucy and her friends to dig into the whys and hows, now they need to figure out the who before they become another victim. Right now even Camilla is looking guilty! I love this series. It’s like a history lesson and a great mystery! NetGalley/ July 20th, 2021 by Minotaur Books

  24. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    FATAL FAMILY TIES by S.C. Perkins is another tantalizing addition to the Ancestry Detective Mystery series. From the very first page, the author weaves a fascinating tale containing a current day murder, a hunt for missing historical art, a civil war deserter, and a descendant intent on saving her family’s reputation. At the center is the delightful protagonist and expert genealogist, Lucy Lancaster. With southern charm, witty repartee, and a strong determination for finding the truth, Lucy draw FATAL FAMILY TIES by S.C. Perkins is another tantalizing addition to the Ancestry Detective Mystery series. From the very first page, the author weaves a fascinating tale containing a current day murder, a hunt for missing historical art, a civil war deserter, and a descendant intent on saving her family’s reputation. At the center is the delightful protagonist and expert genealogist, Lucy Lancaster. With southern charm, witty repartee, and a strong determination for finding the truth, Lucy draws the reader in and holds their attention with each passing page. Ms. Perkins descriptive voice brings the setting of Austin and Houston to life, along with the aspects of tracing genealogy and historical art restoration. I appreciate that there are enough details woven into the story which makes it obvious the author has done extensive research, yet those details are written in an effective manner without slowing the pace down. I loved that her new boyfriend, special agent Ben Turner, is featured alongside Lucy this time. They make a great team and even though this is Lucy’s story to tell, Ben is there to provide assistance while he admires and respects her investigation skills. Not only is she talented in discovering minute details that have been buried in historical documents and family lore, but she’s quite adept at hunting down clues to unveil a killer. There were enough suspects to keep me guessing and several misdirects that I fell for, so when the big reveal came, I was left speechless… in a good way. The story wrapped up in a highly satisfying conclusion and left me waiting on pins and needles for the next installment in this intriguing series! I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was quite long (469 pgs) for a typical cozy. I thought the premise to be somewhat unbelievable and the main character spent more time making out with her new boyfriend than actually solving the case. It seemed to go on and on.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    With each new book I enjoy this series even more. Over the last year I've become more immersed in my own family history so reading a series based on Lucy, a professional genealogist is great. I loved all the Civil War history in this one. I loved the family history and all,the archives Lucy sleuthed to sift for clues. It had every component to satisfy me: history, mystery, murder, and a hot FBI guy who looks like Harrison Ford. More please! Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the early co With each new book I enjoy this series even more. Over the last year I've become more immersed in my own family history so reading a series based on Lucy, a professional genealogist is great. I loved all the Civil War history in this one. I loved the family history and all,the archives Lucy sleuthed to sift for clues. It had every component to satisfy me: history, mystery, murder, and a hot FBI guy who looks like Harrison Ford. More please! Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the early copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves three things: her family, history, and Big Flaco’s Tacos. The Austin restaurant is a second home for Lucy, and that’s where her former coworker Camilla Braithwaite finds her. Even though they weren’t great friends when they worked together at Howland University’s library, now Camilla needs help. A writer for Chronology magazine has published an article about her ancestor, Charles Braithwaite. To Camilla’s family, Charles was a war hero. He fought in the Civil War Genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves three things: her family, history, and Big Flaco’s Tacos. The Austin restaurant is a second home for Lucy, and that’s where her former coworker Camilla Braithwaite finds her. Even though they weren’t great friends when they worked together at Howland University’s library, now Camilla needs help. A writer for Chronology magazine has published an article about her ancestor, Charles Braithwaite. To Camilla’s family, Charles was a war hero. He fought in the Civil War, he was promoted to Colonel, and after the war he came home to work hard, raise his family, and help others whenever he could. He was also an artist known for his ability to capture detailed emotion in a person’s face. His journals and drawings are in a museum in Austin. He’d even painted a triptych of the war and divided it up between his three children. But this writer claims that Braithwaite had never gotten promoted as a soldier, and in fact deserted from the war. While Lucy was surprised that a magazine like Chronology would take a stand like that, Camilla was distraught that her family name was being dragged through the mud like that. While they had already been talking to the town about removing the Braithwaite name from the public park and elementary school that had been named for him, Camilla drew the line at having him called a deserter. She was certain that the proper records would help clear up that misconception, so she wants to hire Lucy to dig through the war records to find out the truth of Charles’s past. Lucy agrees to help Camilla, but as she gets started with her research, one of Camilla’s relatives is killed. Charlie, who Camilla felt was like an uncle to her, was one of the family members with one of the paintings from the triptych. Whoever killed him took the painting as well, along with some other treasures from his travels. Camilla is heartbroken, but she’s also concerned. Another painting is at her house, and she’s worried it may be in danger. Lucy and her FBI agent boyfriend Ben volunteer to get it from her house in Houston while Camilla stays in Austin for the investigation. The more Lucy learns about the Braithwaite family and bout who might have found out about the paintings, the more the suspects pile up. But will Lucy and Ben figure out who the killer is before more bodies pile up? S.C. Perkins is back with another Ancestry Detective book, Fatal Family Ties. This latest addition to the series is filled with lots of drama and danger but also history and art, humor and tacos, romance and warm chocolate chip cookies. I will admit that I wasn’t sure how a writer could craft a story, much less an entire series, about a crime-solving genealogist, but these cozies are actually fantastic. In addition to just a well written, enjoyable mystery, Fatal Family Ties brings in a contemporary story line that blends history with present day, that brings the issues we struggle with today in the perspective of the country’s history. I was so impressed with the balance of entertainment and education, of sensitivity to current culture and dedication to telling the stories of our past. Fatal Family Ties is an expertly crafted mystery with strong characters and a very good plot. Egalleys for Fatal Family Ties were provided by Minotaur Books through NetGalley, with many thanks.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Sousa

    Fatal Family Ties, the third book in S.C. Perkins’s Ancestry Detective series is the perfect combination of history and mystery. With a tightly woven plot and a complex and layered mystery, this a novel that does not disappoint. When a highly inflammatory article is published about a former colleague’s familial Civil War claims, genealogist Lucy Lancaster reluctantly becomes involved. In short order, a stolen painting and a mysterious death up the ante, and Lucy finds herself embroiled in a myste Fatal Family Ties, the third book in S.C. Perkins’s Ancestry Detective series is the perfect combination of history and mystery. With a tightly woven plot and a complex and layered mystery, this a novel that does not disappoint. When a highly inflammatory article is published about a former colleague’s familial Civil War claims, genealogist Lucy Lancaster reluctantly becomes involved. In short order, a stolen painting and a mysterious death up the ante, and Lucy finds herself embroiled in a mystery that has consequences over the generations. With suspects galore, both present and past, Lucy must use all of her resources to uncover the truth and unmask a killer. There is so much to like about this book. The history is fascinating, as are the details about the triptych painting. And the mystery is intricate, wrapped up in the historical questions concerning whether or not Corporal Braithwaite was a Civil War deserter, the legacy of the triptych, and in the present-day murder. The writing, too, is crisp and clean, propelling the story forward to an exciting and dynamic conclusion. The characters, too, are compelling. Lucy is the quintessential ancestry detective, combining archival skills with modern-day technology. Yet above all, she is a good person, a solid sleuth, and a logical thinker. And Ben Turner, her FBI agent boyfriend takes on a much bigger role. His presence brings a sweet balance to the story (although I can’t imagine that an FBI agent has that much free time). Even Lucy’s friends, Josephine and Serena, add to the storyline. Once again, S.C. Perkins has crafted a fascinating and mesmerizing novel that blends the best of historical detail and modern-day intrigue. Fatal Family Ties is a sure-fire winner. I am looking forward to the fourth book in this fantastic series. Note: I received an ARC of Fatal Family Ties from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. The above is my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Fatal Family Ties is the third book in the outstanding Ancestry Detective series by S.C. Perkins. This book quickly draws the reader into yet another of Lucy Lancaster's genealogy projects. Lucy is tasked by a former co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite, with disproving a recently published article that accuses Camilla's Civil War era relative of desertion and being a liar. In addition, Camilla's family heirloom, painted by the supposed deserter Cpl. Charles Braithwaite, is a triptych which has been s Fatal Family Ties is the third book in the outstanding Ancestry Detective series by S.C. Perkins. This book quickly draws the reader into yet another of Lucy Lancaster's genealogy projects. Lucy is tasked by a former co-worker, Camilla Braithwaite, with disproving a recently published article that accuses Camilla's Civil War era relative of desertion and being a liar. In addition, Camilla's family heirloom, painted by the supposed deserter Cpl. Charles Braithwaite, is a triptych which has been separated into its three panels with three different 'arms' of the family each receiving one of the panels. Camilla and her Uncle Charlie have made an interesting discovery about the panels they each own. The third panel is believed to have been lost, but in reality is very much at the heart of the mystery. Lucy is joined in her 'mission' by her new boyfriend Ben, who we met in book one, her Grandpa, who was introduced in book 2, her friends and officemates, landlord, and the ever present NPH (you need to read the first book to learn more about this lovable character!). The story lines in this series are always intriguing and very different from those of other cozy mysteries. The novelty of the work Lucy is contracted for, the murder/theft/crime committed, and the facts that only make the story more real, combine into a very unique and thoroughly enjoyable read. In addition to the murder/mystery, which keeps you guessing to the end, Fatal Family Ties provides Civil War history, facts on genealogy research and other information pertinent to the story, in this case, art conservation/preservation. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first two in the series, I can honestly say the third does not disappoint. I cannot recommend this series highly enough and will very much look forward to book four (and hopefully many more!)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Whenever I need a change from the grittier mysteries and thrillers that I read, there are a few cozy series that I enjoy, and S.C. Perkins' Ancestry Detective mysteries are right at the top of my list. Fatal Family Ties is the excellent third entry in a series that doesn't show any signs of slowing down. The mystery is a good one. The bad guys are rather easy to pick out of a lineup, but why they're working together and how is what really fuels the mystery. The other thing that puts the zing int Whenever I need a change from the grittier mysteries and thrillers that I read, there are a few cozy series that I enjoy, and S.C. Perkins' Ancestry Detective mysteries are right at the top of my list. Fatal Family Ties is the excellent third entry in a series that doesn't show any signs of slowing down. The mystery is a good one. The bad guys are rather easy to pick out of a lineup, but why they're working together and how is what really fuels the mystery. The other thing that puts the zing into sleuthing is the historical tidbits that Perkins adds-- how tricky it can be to decipher Civil War military records, for example, or the burial practices involving soldiers. (Now, that last one may seem morbid to some, but it is important to the plot, and I found it interesting because one of my ancestors died in battle in Tennessee and his body had to be transported to southern Illinois.) There's also a bit of art restoration in Fatal Family Ties, which I always find fascinating. But of course, when you talk cozies, you've got to talk character because the characters are what bind everything together. I really like Lucy Lancaster, her friendly, open disposition, her willingness to help others, her passion and talent for her work. She listens to and works with the police-- not against them-- and she never intentionally does anything dangerous or stupid. It doesn't hurt that her boyfriend, Ben Turner, is an FBI agent, and it also doesn't hurt that Ben realizes she has a talent for rooting out important clues. Besides a smart, handsome boyfriend, Lucy also has two great friends, a supportive family, and a grandfather who was a spy and has a penchant for terrific neckties. If you're in the mood for a mystery that involves some history and a little art theft, a mystery that's full of good people doing the right thing for the right reasons, a mystery that can make you smile and just plain feel good, pick up Fatal Family Ties. It can be read as a standalone, but don't be surprised if you find yourself looking for the other two, Murder Once Removed and Lineage Most Lethal. (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

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