BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins (Cozy Mystery)

An Ancestry Detective Mystery 
S.C. Perkins

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Date of Publication: March 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 336 

Scroll down for the giveaway!

S.C. Perkins’ Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present. Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal proving Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death. Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

This is such a fantastic and fascinating start to a refreshing new series in the cozy world! I haven’t come across many cozies focusing on genealogy, but given the historical research and preservation aspects, which feature heavily in the librarian world as well, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to read this one. Plus, it takes place in Austin, Texas – a stone’s throw from where I reside. Having also spent a lot of time working in the downtown area, it was so much fun envisioning the different places Lucy mentioned throughout the story. As if Austin isn’t already a colorful and exciting place to be, the author’s vivid and descriptive voice brings the town even more to life and welcomes readers to a setting that is definitely one of a kind! 

With the popularity of companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com, it’s easy to see how important discovering our past has become! Lucy traces family lineage to fill in all the information for her clients, producing scrapbooks, websites, and artistic renderings of family trees. This background creates a compelling way to introduce an amateur sleuth, as much of her work is similar to a detective or investigator. She combs through records looking for clues and interviews family members/suspects for more information to validate or disprove the puzzle she is attempting to piece together. Lucy may go above and beyond at times, but she’s spirited, independent, and impulsive, the perfect combination of traits to butt heads with law enforcement.  The charming tone and informative descriptions craft a captivating story that makes the process of genealogy better to understand, while also showcasing just how important it is to our sense of identity. 

Intertwining mysteries in both the past and present keep the twists coming, the tension high, and the pages turning. The spectacular cast of secondary characters is definitely worthy of reading more of! From the fiercely loyal female friendships and a father figure taco restaurant owner named Big Flaco to the laugh out loud love triangle between neighboring felines, the stories could write themselves. Everything’s bigger in Texas and these personalities are often too big for the page!

While this isn’t a culinary cozy by any means, you’ll definitely want some snacks at hand to keep your mouth from watering and your stomach from grumbling. Tacos, kolaches, whoopie pies, the list goes on! Recipes should have been included for easy reference, especially the Bat Guano, which I will proudly serve at my next Halloween party!

This was such a remarkable debut to what sounds like a promising series! A solid and thoroughly entertaining read that is highly recommended!

S.C. Perkins is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up hearing fascinating stories of her ancestry and eating lots of great Tex-Mex, both of which inspired the plot of her debut mystery novel. Murder Once Removed was the winner of the 2017 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery competition. She resides in Houston and, when she’s not writing or working at her day job, she’s likely outside in the sun, on the beach, or riding horses.


a Rafflecopter giveaway Best of luck! 
Many thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and S.C. Perkins! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

March 5 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY 
March 5 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
March 11 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 12 – This is my truth now – REVIEW
March 13 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 14 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
March 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 15 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW 
March 15 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

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