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Death on the Family Tree by Patricia…
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Death on the Family Tree

by Patricia Sprinkle

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I like the thought of combining genealogy (one of my favorite hobbies) with mysteries (one of my favorite genres). I could also apreciate the Atlanta setting, since I was born there and have visited the city a number of times since.

That being said, I wish this story had utilized more genealogical sleuthing. The protagonist just gets introduced to genealogy in this book, and she doesn't do much of it. The research she does do is primarily for a family that's not her own, but that of an "adopted" aunt.

Since this is the first of three (so far) books in Sprinkle's "A Family Tree Mystery" series, I can see how this book could serve as the protagonist's introduction to genealogy. I liked this book enough to pick up the next two in the series and see how the genealogy line plays out. ( )
1 vote dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Enjoyable book. I liked Katherine and enjoyed her evolving sense of self and strength. Her choices and progress through the book made sense. I wasn't crazy about her relationship with her former boyfriend, especially given his current behavior. I am curious to see how that evolves in the future. There was one character totally left hanging - why was he even there? While there was some red herrings, I found the primary protagonist behind the problems likely early on as well as the reasons behind other events that took place. However, the book held my interest. ( )
  jour149 | Nov 22, 2012 |
I enjoyed this book but there were also some things that I didn't like about it. I thought that Katherine, the main character, was portrayed very realistically, which allowed me to identify with her. On the other hand, I think there were many things that had gone on in her life to which she was oblivious, and things that she might have figured out sooner if she had just thought about them.

The book centers around Katherine's find of a diary and necklace which were in her Aunt Lucy's possessions when she passed away. The diary was written in German, of which Katherine knows a little from her college days. However, I think that if the diary had not been written in German, this book would not have had so much of a mystery. I'm not sure that I liked that about the book - does that really qualify it as a mystery? Once the diary was translated, the majority of the "mystery" was solved.

I also was not sure where the author was going with bringing Katherine's high school boyfriend back into her life. Katherine's husband works out of town and they only see each other on the weekends. There is a sense sometimes that the marriage is happy, but on the other hand, it's hard to say.

These were only minor issues to me, as I did enjoy the book and will likely read more from this author. ( )
  rretzler | Oct 11, 2011 |
I’ve been looking for a good genealogy mystery and think Patricia Houck Sprinkle’s Family Tree Mysteries might be what I’ve been seeking. The plot was primarily based in family history and while genealogy wasn’t extensive, what was there was pretty solid. The main character, Katharine, is introduced and set up nicely. She doesn’t start the book as a genealogist, but develops an interest over the course of the book that one can envision being expanded in the future. Katharine misses a few obvious plot connections, but I’m hoping that’s particular to this book and not a character trait. My main criticism is that there were a lot of characters to keep track of, both living and dead, and I came close to drawing diagrams at one point to keep people and relationships straight. ( )
  greenleaf | Feb 24, 2010 |
A good story, a weak mystery. I like the setting and the descriptions, but I hate it when the answer is obvious, but the protag bumbles around. A decent read, though. ( )
  krsball | May 21, 2007 |
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Epigraph
Gaul, as a whole, is divided into three parts, of which one the Belgians inhabit, another the Aquitanians, the third those who in their own language are caled Celts, in ours, Gauls. Julius Caesar
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To Jim Huang, who asked the inciting question
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Katharine Murray woke on her forty-sixth birthday and realized that nobody needed her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060819685, Mass Market Paperback)

With grown-up kids and a husband always on the road, Katharine Murray's nest would be empty if it weren't for her Aunt Lucy—until the elderly woman dies. Now Katharine's saddled with her Aunt's worldly belongings—mostly knickknacks destined for the dumpster. But there's a priceless Celtic necklace among the dross—and a diary written in German, neither of which Katharine's ever seen before.

Determined to find out where these objects came from, Katharine unwittingly discovers a branch of her family tree she never knew existed—namely Aunt Lucy's brother Carter, murdered more than fifty years ago after a mysterious trip to Austria. And when Lucy's artifacts are stolen, and the main suspect turns up dead, Katharine realizes she must solve a burglary and two unsolved homicides separated by a half-century . . . before more than her family secrets end up dead and buried.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:14 -0400)

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