Reading About Other People’s Families
I love researching my family history. I treasure each “colorful” ancestor I find and find it rewarding to unearth little tidbits about their lives. But as much as I enjoy researching my own family, I also enjoy reading about other people’s families, real or fictional. October is Family History Month, and in honor of this, I want to share with you some fiction and mystery books about genealogy and family history that I’ve read and liked.
There are relatively (pun intended!) few mystery series featuring a genealogist as the main character. One of them is the Torie O’Shea mystery series by Rett MacPherson. Set in the historic German town of New Kassel, Missouri, Torie is the resident authority on local history and genealogy, and uses her genealogy skills to solve mysteries. Family Skeletons is the first book in the series.
Brynn Bonner’s Family History mystery series features genealogist Sophie McClure and her business partner, Esme Sabatier, a gifted medium. Their genealogical services company traces family histories, and ends up solving murders along the way. Start with the first book in the series, Paging the Dead.
The Orchard mystery series by Sheila Connolly features Meg Corey, who inherits her family’s colonial house and land in rural Massachusetts. Although this is not strictly a genealogy series, Meg, of course, ends up solving mysteries and uses local history and family history information in the process. One Bad Apple is the first book in the series.
For fiction books, check out Chris Larsgaard’s The Heir Hunter. Nick Merchant is a San Francisco private investigator who specializes in finding long-lost heirs to unsettled estates. In this detective thriller, he searches for the heirs to an unclaimed estate worth $22 million.
Black Rose by Nora Roberts is the second book in her In the Garden trilogy. Roz Harper’s ancestral home, Harper House, has a resident ghost known as the Harper Bride. When the ghost begins terrorizing people, Roz hires genealogist Dr. Mitchell Carnegie to research the Harper family history, find out who the ghost is, and hopefully stop the attacks.
I hope you enjoy these books. If they have inspired you to research your own family’s history, check out “Explore Your Family History,” filled with tips and resources to get you started.
∼Vicky, Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library