A mysterious beginning with an invalid, threatened by a stranger. Just who is this woman and what is her connection to Esme Quentin? Blood–Tied by Wendy Percival is the first of the Esme Quentin series of genealogical mysteries.
Esme’s older sister Elizabeth is attacked and in hospital in a coma. Why was she in a town forty miles from home? Did she fall, or was she pushed? And who are the two people in photographs hidden in Elizabeth’s treasured locket? At the start of this story, Esme knows who her family is but once she starts to dig into Elizabeth’s odd accident/attack she uncovers a complicated family history which had me confused at times. This genealogical mystery involves a long-ago family argument, a derelict canal and a feisty elderly lady in a residential home. Esme is a bit like a dog with a bone, she won’t give up despite getting the jitters in the dark of the night.
Two things would have made my reading experience easier. Esme’s history – scar, widow, background as investigative journalist – was thinly drawn so it felt as if I was reading part two of a two-book series. The family twists and turns were such that I was often lost, perhaps because so much was told as Esme discovered paperwork, rather than seeing the action on the page by the characters concerned. That said, the menace builds nicely though I read to the end to find out what happened to Polly, the feisty lady.
Read more about Wendy Percival’s books here. Next in the Esme Quentin series is The Indelible Stain.
If you like ‘Blood-Tied’, try these other genealogy mystery novels:-
‘Pale as the Dead’ by Fiona Mountain
‘Blood Atonement’ by Dan Waddell
‘Hiding the Past’ by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
‘Blood-Tied’ by Wendy Percival, #1 Esme Quentin [UK: Silverwood]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
1st Esme Quentin mystery: BLOOD-TIED by @wendy_percival #bookreview via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2bP
Thanks for reviewing Blood-Tied, Sandra. I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Esme! As regards Esme’s history – the scar, widow, journalist background etc. – you may be interested to know that in the 3rd Esme mystery (which I’m currently editing and which is due to be published later this year) Esme is forced to confront the truth of what really happened in what is, until now, an unresolved part of her past.
And on that note, I’d better get back to that editing! 😉
You’re welcome. I’ll watch out for the next one. I’m editing too at the moment, and trying not to get distracted by plot ideas for the next one! SD