Review: Murder Once Removed (Ancestry Detective #1) by S.C. Perkins

I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries and I love discovering new series that might end up being a long time favorite. The trick seems always be finding something new and different.

This book is the first in a new series featuring Lucy, a genealogist. I had to pause and reread this particular part. I was very intrigued by the genealogist part and was curious to see how that played out in the mystery.

My mom is really into genealogy and I have to say that it’s not the most exciting filed of study in my opinion, but I do love history and uncovering unique characters in family lineages is always fun and exciting. In this case, Lucy discover a murder in a family tree, but I was curious to see how that was going to be relevant in the modern story.


According to her friends, Lucy Lancaster, Austin, Texas genealogist, has never been drunk. Tipsy, sure, but drunk? No way. So when she arrives back at her office from a three-martini lunch three sheets to the wind, it’s a momentous occassion. Even more momentous is what she’s announced on live television while blotto: Texas senator Caleb Applewhite might be responsible for the murder of Seth Halloran.

Of course, Lucy is a genealogist, so the murder in question would have taken place in 1849. But the descendents of the two families, Daniel Applewhite and Pearce Halloran are, are in the midst of a competitive race for the US Senate, and this news does nothing to calm tensions. Lucy is determined to either prove or disprove Caleb Applewhite as the murderer, but when her curiosity puts her at the scene of another murder—this time, in the present-day—she realizes that the branches of some family trees are too gnarled and twisted to unwind (summary from Goodreads).


I thought the genealogy bit was an interesting approach to not just a historical murder, but a modern day one as well. I loved trying to see how the two were linked and unravel a unique mystery. I didn’t realize a professional genealogist was actually a thing anymore with all the modern technology and DNA tests, but I thought it was a unique profession and offered an interesting perspective for Lucy’s character.

This was a super quick read for me. I don’t know that it was a huge page turner for me, but it was well written and had a quick pace. I was able to read it in about two sittings and found it enjoyable and different. There was a lot of history about Texas which I wasn’t really into and I didn’t really see the need for in this book, but it wasn’t a huge distraction over all.

While I thought Lucy showed promise as a detective and for future books, I felt that she was a little too immature at times. Her and her friends gushed about guys a little too much and were a little too into partying and for me it just felt out of place and unnecessary in this book. I will be excited to see the direction Lucy goes in future books.

Overall I went with a 3 star rating. It’s a great introduction but at times I felt like it lacked some polish and maturity in some of the characters.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Free review copy provided by publisher, Minotaur Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: cozy mystery


One thought on “Review: Murder Once Removed (Ancestry Detective #1) by S.C. Perkins

  1. Interesting review! As I’m also into genealogy and writing thrillers, though I haven’t yet connected the two, I was attracted to your review of this book.

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