I'm so happy to be a stop on the blog tour for
MURDER ONCE REMOVED
Book 1 in the Ancestry Detective Mysteries
by S.C. Perkins
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.
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MURDER ONCE REMOVED
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Transcript: Lucy Lancaster’s Best Friends Tell All
SERENA VOGEL: You’d like the real scoop on Lucy Lancaster? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re happy to dish the dirt on our bestie. But maybe we should formally introduce ourselves first. After all, this transcript will need to be read in two accents: one a lovely light Texas drawl and the other a beautiful clipped English that’s very Lady Mary Crawley.
JOSEPHINE HAROLDSON: Clipped? My accent is not clipped, darling. It’s a London accent, for any of my fellow Brits reading. Maybe a bit more RP than others, though, I will admit.
SERENA: It’s clipped to anyone on this side of the pond, darlin’. But it’s gorgeous, as mentioned. Lucy and I could listen to you read the privacy notice on our software updates, and that’s one heck of a compliment.
JOSEPHINE: I shall take it as such, then. To our lovely readers, my name is Josephine Haroldson and I run my own translation business. Since Lucy is a professional genealogist and would be rather cross with me if I didn’t give you my own ancestral rundown, I’m one-half Namibian, three-eighths English, and one-eighth French.
SERENA: Hi, everyone. I’m Serena Vogel and I have my own fashion and beauty blog called “Shopping with Serena.” I agree that Lucy would have my hide if I didn’t explain who my people are, which is a mixture of Polish and German Jewish. I was born and raised in Texas, though. So, like everyone from the Lone Star State, I consider Texan as part of my heritage, too.
JOSEPHINE: And I got here as fast as I could, as the Texas saying goes. Specifically, “here” is Austin, which is the capital of Texas. I met Serena and Lucy a bit over three years ago, and we’ve been best mates and officemates ever since.
SERENA: Now, let’s talk turkey about our Lucy. She and I grew up together, so I’ve seen all her personality quirks for half my life, like how excited she gets about genealogy. She gives herself high-fives when she’s uncovered something interesting, and you should see the goofy dance she does in her chair when she’s finally found a client’s long-lost relative.
JOSEPHINE: If you Google “The Carlton Dance” and imagine a sitting version of it, it’s about ten percent sillier.
SERENA: More like twenty percent. Anyway, Lucy is sweet and kind as all get out. However—and we say this with the utmost appreciation of it—our BFF is also stubborn as a mule.
JOSEPHINE: Too true, love. Loads more stubborn than you’d expect from looking at her. It must be that fiery Spanish and Irish backgrounds mixed in with her British roots.
SERENA: And if anyone who’s knows me thinks I’m sassy, you should try telling Lucy not to do something. Our girl can shoot her mouth off faster than small-town gossip.
JOSEPHINE: A certain FBI agent would agree with that charming Southern phrase, I should think. However, even Agent Ben Turner is discovering it doesn’t do to get between Lucy and something important to her. For instance, she’s going to find out who murdered Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather back in 1849, and she’ll do it with or without Agent Turner’s help.
SERENA: Though we’re kind of hoping it’s with Agent Turner’s help. Behind that FBI badge, he’s a big ol’ history geek, just like Luce. And he’s pretty dang cute to boot. We happen to think they’d make a good team in more ways than one, if you know what I mean.
JOSEPHINE: Maybe once Lucy stops calling Agent Turner “insufferable,” she’ll start seeing him in a different light. They’re both keen to butt heads at present, though, because Lucy is also determined to find out who committed the ghastly murder of her former boss and mentor, Winnie Dell, and Agent Turner is doing his best to get her to stay out of it.
SERENA: I wish him good luck with that, because it’s not likely to happen. If someone hurts one of Lucy’s friends like this murderer did—especially since she’s convinced there’s a connection between Winnie’s murder and the murder from 1849—there’s no way she’s going to stay out of it.
JOSEPHINE: It’s true. Lucy will do what she does best, which is use her genealogy skills to find out what or whom is linking the past and the present, and then she plans to use that knowledge to help the authorities find the person responsible. We have no doubt she’ll do it, too.
SERENA: And we’ll be keeping an eye on her as best we can in the meantime. We’re as fiercely protective of her as she is of us, aren’t we, Jo?
JOSEPHINE: Maybe even more so, darling. Before we sign off, what was the quote on that adorbs t-shirt you gave Lucy for her birthday?
SERENA: It was Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.
JOSEPHINE: I think it’s a fitting description of Lucy’s unfailing enthusiasm for her job—and the last bit sums up her tenacious desire to do anything she can to help solve two murders as well.
About the Author
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.
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