cover image Fatal Family Ties

Fatal Family Ties

S.C. Perkins. Minotaur, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-78964-8

In Perkins’s engrossing third Ancestry Detective mystery (after 2020’s Lineage Most Lethal), Camilla Braithwaite hires Austin, Tex., genealogist Lucy Lancaster to research the military record of her Confederate soldier ancestor, Charles Braithwaite, and, she hopes, clear his name. A recent article in a history magazine claims Charles deserted his Texas regiment after the Second Battle of Bull Run and spent the rest of the Civil War hiding in a small Louisiana town. Soon after Lucy starts her research, an elderly relative of Camilla’s is murdered, and someone tries to steal a hideously ugly but prized-by-the-family heirloom painting. Could the timing of the article have any connection to the murder and attempted theft? Lucy’s careful investigation into Charles and his descendants uncovers forgotten family secrets and unlikely connections among branches of the family, the painting, and the murder. Perkins offers the perfect mix of mystery, family drama, art history, and romance to keep cozy readers eagerly turning pages. Anyone who has ever looked into their own family history will be fascinated by the intriguing details of Lucy’s genealogical research. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)