KISSING COUSINS by Gene Stratton


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Cheery, silly mystery with a cast of characters that extends to two pages, a genealogist hero, and a tendency to stop the action and Impart Knowledge (classic Greek lore, for instance). Novice police sergeant Priscilla Booth, an amateur genealogist herself, convinces the Bay City force to hire Mort Sinclair as a consultant when the bodies start falling on insular, inbred Fogge Island, a ferry ride away, where just about everybody is related to everybody else. Four victims are poisoned, one is bashed, one simply disappears, while Mort scours the historical-society's records for clues; Officer Booth looks ravishing and does her best; her superior harrumphs; the Senator connives; the librarian knows it all; and, under the spreading family tree, the murders prove to be genealogically and genetically motivated. Sweet, in its cozy, old-fashioned way, which despite illegitimacy, drink, birth defects, and a dread disease is really a testimonial to the written word--be it a deed, a birth certificate, a will. Quietly charming venue; tepid romance; and a prime example of the bygone, ever-so-civilized mystery.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1989
Publisher: Ancestry (P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110)