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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Irish Inheritance by M.J. Lee and Anne Belinda by Patricia Wentworth

I first read about this series on Cathy's blog and decided to give it a try as the premise of a genealogist "detective" appeals to my love of historical mysteries.  I tried one other genealogical series that didn't work for me, but this one was a pleasure.  

The Irish Inheritance by M.J. Lee engaged my interest with the Easter Rising and the subsequent Irish problems over the years.  Jayne Sinclair, former police detective and current genealogical researcher, agrees to help an adopted American billionaire by discovering who his father was. 

 Jayne "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."  (from description)

With little time and little to go on, Jayne puts all her efforts into discovering the answers, to both the past and present questions.

I'm glad I began with the first book, and I'm happy to know that there are plenty more in this series for me to discover.  :)

Kindle Unlimited
Mystery.   2016.  Print length:  332 pages.

Patricia Wentworth is the Golden Age of Detective Fiction author of the Miss Silver series.  I saw this stand alone offered free on Kindle Unlimited, and since I wanted to read more from the Golden Age period, this one sounded like a good beginning.

Anne Belinda is as much an old-fashioned romance as it is old-fashioned mystery. 

In 1917, after he’s released from the hospital, John Waveney is headed back to the trenches in France when he decides to visit the land of his ancestors dating back to the Crusades. There, he meets a young girl who, upon learning he’s all alone in the world, tells him she’d be sorry if anything happened to him at the front.

Nine years later, John inherits the estate and returns.  His first thought is to meet Anne Belinda again, but he can't get any relevant answers.  Where is Anne and why is everyone giving him the run-around?

The novel is definitely old-fashioned and frequently frustrating.  I didn't hate it, but it doesn't compare to the best of the period.  

Open Road Media
Golden Age Crime.  1927; 2016.  Print length: 208 pages.  
My third panel for 25 Million Stitches is finished and ready to mail.  I've spent countless hours on these three panels and enjoyed some binge-watching of Netflix, a number of good podcasts, and some silent meditative stitches.  As soon as I finished, I had to begin another stitching project with no purpose other than to have the peaceful process of "needle pulling thread."

This is encouraging!

In 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. Yes, really.


  1. I read this, too, but it sounded to me like it wasn't so much for borrowing books, as using the wi-fi and other services.

    1. True, but whatever keeps libraries open is good. I used this quote from an older post on libraries:
      "According to the Public Libraries News figures, since April 2011: 57 'static' libraries(buildings) have closed; 53 'mobile' libraries (based in vehicles) have closed and 46 libraries have been taken over by volunteers, social enterprises or parish councils.Jul 31, 2012." That was within one year, and I doubt things have gotten much better.

      My hope is that if someone is there for wi-fi, they may also browse the shelves. The funding for libraries is a persistent problem, but the more people who visit, the better the chance for funding.

      I've depended on libraries most of my life, but most of my books now are free from NetGalley or Kindle Unlimited, and I visit the library less often. So...I guess I want libraries to use whatever brings people in the door. :)

  2. I went by the library this morning to pick up a book I had on hold there and, as usual, there were people all over the two-story building. Lots of kids activities going on downstairs near the children's library and lots of people upstairs using computers and browsing the shelves. It seem that no matter what day of the week I go to the library, the crowd is about the same size, something between 50 and 75 people, counting the kids. And there is always a crowd standing outside the door waiting for it to be unlocked in the mornings...a good sign.

    "The Irish Inheritance" appeals to the research-nerd who lives somewhere deep in my soul. I need to take a look at that series for sure.

    1. I enjoyed The Irish Inheritance partly because of my continuing interest in the Easter Rising, but also because of the story in the present as Jayne researches the past and deals with her current problems. :)

      Our local library has a great children's section, too. There are more people in the computer section than in the stacks, but the library still has plenty of patrons.

  3. Yay for libraries! Here's hoping there's a copy of The Irish Inheritance at mine. :)

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Irish Inheritance. This is a series that starts off strong and keeps getting better with each book.

    1. I'm excited to have a new series, and one that I don't have to wait a year or more for the next book!

  5. I could not agree with your comment more, whatever brings people to the library is great. If they come for wifi they may get a book, a video, meet some interesting people.

  6. Too bad Anne Belinda didn't work out for you. I've heard of Patricia Wentworth but never read any of her mysteries. She wrote a lot! Maybe I'll try one of her Miss Silvers books out one of these days.

    I agree with all your commentators, The Irish Inheritance sounds fascinating!

    1. I was disappointed in the dialog and repetition in Anne Belinda, but I did like The Irish Inheritance. :) Dorothy Sayers and Marjory Allingham are my favorites in the Golden Age mysteries, but I'm going to keep trying other authors. The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards is a fascinating look at the some of the authors of the period.

  7. Wow, that is incredible that there was more attendance at libraries than movie theaters! Yay for books! I had not heard of the M.J. Lee series but I think I could like that a lot.

  8. Both books sound interesting. And it's always a delight to hear that more people are visiting the libraries. :)