Blog Tours are a little passion of mine. Not only do I love being introduced to new books, authors and participating in something I know is making the author happy, I also get to help out a good friend of mine. Today I have a Guest Post from MJ Lee!
June 8, 1921. Ireland.
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.
November 22, 2015. United Kingdom.
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father.
How are the two events linked?
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller.
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.
Guest Post: WHAT IS A ‘GENEALOGICAL MYSTERY’ ANYWAY?
In recent years, a new mystery genre has steadily been gaining popularity - the Genealogical Mystery. Essentially, these are books that use the techniques of family history and genealogy to reveal a past crime, or simply tell a story about a family mystery.
And what amazing stories can be told. Who hasn’t watched ‘Who do you think you are?’ and marvelled at the diversity of tales being told as the celebrities reveal their pasts. And how many people have delved into their own family to find secrets hidden for decades, whispered quietly by old aunties?
One of these family stories was the basis of my own genealogical mystery, The Irish Inheritance. I have spent the last ten years researching my family history. I discovered that my grandfathers had completely different backgrounds during the First World War, despite both being Irish. One fought for the British whilst the other was a Captain in the Irish Volunteers, actively fighting for Irish Independence.
This was the genesis for my novel, The Irish Inheritance. It rapidly evolved into a story where digging up the past revealed more than just secrets. The synopsis is straightforward; When an adopted American businessman dying with cancer asks her to investigate his background, it opens up a world of intrigue and forgotten secrets for Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator. She only has two clues: a book and an old photograph. Can she find out the truth before he dies?
This idea allowed me to explore Irish history through my characters, and particularly, the impact of the Easter Rising, using genealogical sources as a starting point. Luckily of me, the original sources available for that period in Ireland are numerous. Theyare the Censuses of 1901 and 1911 (the only full ones to survive), the Irish Bureau of Military History, University College Dublin’s wonderful pictures and document archive, plus a myriad of others including RTE and memoirs of the main participants.
All these sources allowed me to get the historical context right ,so I could create a genealogical mystery novel that revealed one family’s truth of what happened in the past.
I hope you enjoy the book. The second novel in the series will be coming out at the end of the year.
In the meantime, do let me know about your family secrets. There are millions of secrets out there. Because all families have secrets, don’t they?
Martin Lee is the author of three previous historical crime novels. This book is the first time he has managed to combine two of his passions - crime and genealogy - into one novel. It is also the first in a new genealogical mystery series featuring the investigator, Jayne Sinclair.
He can be contacted at www.writermjlee.com, on Facebook at writermjlee and on twitter at @writermjlee. He’s nothing if not original with his names.
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.