Genealogy of Murder

Lee Martin, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-13975-9
Family trees are gnarled and twisted, and many of the roots are hidden in the 12th outing (after Bird in a Cage) for Deb Ralston, a middle-aged Mormon police investigator in Fort Worth, Tex. Deb's son- in-law, a medical intern studying how human corpses decompose, finds he has an extra, unaccounted-for cadaver on his hands. Although the cause of death is determined to be a heart attack, there are still the questions of who the portly older man was and why someone has hidden his body. Nicknaming the corpse Uncle George, Deb quickly makes a connection between George and a missing genealogist. When their fingerprints don't match, she's perplexed. Then she learns that a San Francisco mortuary is missing a corpse that was shipped to Texas. What does any of this have to do with the Daughters of the American Flag, a genealogy-obsessed DAR-like group to which two of Deb's aunts belong? The question becomes more urgent when a friend of hers is kidnapped. Personable Deb uses her wits, and the help (sometimes grudgingly given) of her far-flung family to catch a truly scary villain in a clever, intricately wrought puzzle. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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