A Texas genealogist’s search for the truth of an old murder precipitates a present-day killing.
Austin-based Lucy Lancaster is doing research for Texas legend Gus Halloran, who’s convinced that his great-great grandfather Seth was murdered despite the 1849 newspaper stories that say he was trampled by a horse. The sole witness was photographer Jeb Inscore, and Lucy hits the jackpot when she visits his great-granddaughter Betty-Anne Inscore-Cooper, whose boxes of daguerreotypes include one that depicts Seth lying dead in a bloodstained shirt. Inscore’s journals reveal that someone with the initials C.A. paid to have Seth murdered; the multiple hoof marks on his body were intended to hide a knife wound. The most likely candidates are Cantwell Ayers and Caleb Applewhite, whose descendant is running for the Senate against Halloran’s son. Soon after a tipsy Lucy tells reporters at a news conference how she found the evidence of the old murder, she’s visited by FBI Special Agent Ben Turner, who has a lot of annoying questions about her work for Halloran and her amateur investigation, as boxes of daguerreotypes have been stolen from Betty-Anne. Fortunately, Lucy’s turned over the other daguerreotypes and journals to her friend Winnie Dell, the curator for a history center at the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, Winnie is murdered and the daguerreotype of Seth stolen. Lucy’s officemates, Serena and Josephine, are constantly trying to get their gal pal back in the dating game after a bad breakup. They consider Ben a good bet even though the pair constantly wrangle over Lucy’s sleuthing. In the end, Lucy’s hot-and-cold relationship with Ben helps to turn up more clues about the old murder that’s caused her friend’s death.
A delightful debut spiced with a tempestuous romance and certain to appeal to fans of genealogical research and history.