In The Blood by Steve Robinson

In the Blood (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)
394 pages

Recommendation: Yes! Wholeheartedly!


Two hundred years ago a loyalist family fled to England to escape the American War of Independence and seemingly vanished into thin air. American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is hired to find out what happened, but it soon becomes apparent that a calculated killer is out to stop him.

In the Blood combines a centuries-old mystery with a present-day thriller that brings two people from opposite sides of the Atlantic together to uncover a series of carefully hidden crimes. Tayte’s research centers around the tragic life of a young Cornish girl, a writing box, and the discovery of a dark secret that he believes will lead him to the family he is looking for. Trouble is, someone else is looking for the same answers and will stop at nothing to find them.
(Summary taken from the Amazon website.)

What I liked:

This is a really unique take on what would have been a good, but more ordinary historical mystery novel. The book bumps back and forth between scenes of the historical story, and the modern age as Jefferson discovers more information about the mystery.

The main character, Jefferson Tayte, is lovable and a bit of an anti-hero, as he is a fairly average man, socially awkward, a bit overweight and–as a history teacher, this greatly appealed to me–a history nerd. He is smart, though he is written with kind of a “bumbling” vibe. Which I enjoyed, it made him more likable. The story is really well thought out and intriguing, with a lot of unexpected plot twist and surprises. I was really happy, upon finishing this first story, to move on to the second book, To The Grave.

What I didn’t like:

It is initially tricky to keep track of the characters with this style, because there is a fair amount that you’re introduced to from two different eras, at the same time. It took me about 2-3 chapters to fully track the characters and time periods, along with the story line, as the story that Robinson sets up is quite detailed and thorough. (Don’t fear, it isn’t like Game of Thrones difficult.)


A unique and great read, especially if you enjoy the mystery or historical fiction genres. I am eagerly anticipating May with the release of book six!

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