I've been looking forward to reading another book featuring the genealogical sleuth, Esme Quentin, for ages.
I enjoyed both of Wendy Percival's earlier novels, Blood-Tied and The Indelible Stain and although a shorter read, Death of a Cuckoo is well up to form.
Author Wendy Percival can tell a good taleand her personal knowledge and understanding of genealogical matters permeates her writing.
From the book description:When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.
I'm sure all Family History enthusiasts are amateur detectives and the author creates a very satisfying fusion of mystery, crime and genealogy for us.
In Death of a Cuckoo, the main character is Gina Vincent who calls on Esme Quentin for help in unravelling an unexpected complication in her family story.
From the book description:
The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.
As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.
What happens next has a good plot with unexpected developments leading to a very satisfying and heart-warming conclusion.
Esme Quentin is a strong but supporting character in Death of a Cuckoo.
But this is really Gina's story and the author has chosen to explore a difficult subject after it's revealed to Gina that her whole life has been based on a lie.The issues uncovered in the story are handled with sensitivity although the author isn't afraid to confront the emotional truths that are revealed as the tale unfolds.
Gina is a very likable character and the reader experiences a sense of relief for Gina in the book's outcome.
I'm sure Death of a Cuckoo will be a must-read for all Esme Quentin and Wendy Percival fans but it also serves as a good introduction for new readers.
I'm looking forward to reading the next one!
Sample and download Death of a Cuckoo from the Amazon Kindle Store.