Monday, November 3, 2014

An Excellent Mystery Series Where the Novels 'Stand Alone.'

If you know anything about me, you realize that I am very much interested in researching my family history. It’s an exciting and rewarding hobby and one that often provides an author with some great ideas for historical fiction novels. My own books are based on the few facts I have discovered about my Huguenot ancestors and their lives after fleeing France and settling in England.

Steve Robinson is an author who is also using genealogy as the basis for his books. He has come up with a great protagonist by the name of Jefferson Tayte who does genealogical research for a living. In each book, there is a mystery attached to his historical findings and he goes in search of the answers. Usually it’s where no man has dared to tread before and some of what he digs up puts the genealogist in grave danger. 

“The Lost Empress”  is the fourth genealogical mystery I've read by Steve Robinson. I love the technique he uses in writing these books. There is usually Jefferson‘s own story as he tries to unravel mysteries of the past; and then there are the actual stories of those who came before. The author manages to do an excellent job of interspersing the two. 

Although this book is part of a series, it stands alone just fine. One of Tayte's clients thinks that her recently deceased grandmother may have actually been a woman who supposedly drowned when "The Empress of Ireland" floundered and sank in the St. Lawrence River in 1914. Taking what pictures the granddaughter has given him and what info he can dig up on the internet, Jefferson is off to England once more to speak to the descendants of the lady who drowned. When he is met by definite hostility, he is convinced that the family has a shameful secret they do not want unearthed.

You can't help loving the somewhat overweight and uncoordinated Jefferson with his love of chocolate bars and his timidity of aggressive women. Enjoyed this read and look forward to the next Tayte book.


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