Thursday, 7 May 2015

Combining two loves....

....genealogy and reading, particularly historical fiction.

Thanks to a recommendation from Peter Calver from the Lost Cousins website I've discovered another favourite author to add to the list, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, who writes the England-based Morton Farrier crime mystery novels. The main character is a forensic genealogist, and to read about his work is fascinating. What makes the novels great (IMO) is that during the course of his research he mentions various repositories, databases and websites that he uses to search for clues. While I haven't had the pleasure (yet) of going to The National Archives at Kew and such places, I've been on all of the websites he uses. I love recognising places I the books I read.

While I was reading Book 2, The Lost Ancestor, a colleague returned from holidays bearing photos of her stay in Rye, East Sussex, which is the town where characters Morton and his partner, Juliet, are living. She even took a photo of the exact house and pub that is central to the book, not realising that I was reading about them. The Mermaid Inn was re-built in 1420, so it predates that, and the Norman cellars date back to 1156. Buildings of that age are unimaginable to me when Australia's oldest buildings are less than 200 years old.

The House With Two Front Doors in Rye, East Sussex
Photo courtesy

The Mermaid Inn, re-built 1420
Photo courtesy

Book 3 - a novella
Book 1
Book 2

So if you love reading and you love genealogy, get stuck into Goodwin's books. I can't wait for #4!!


  1. Thanks Janelle. They sound great. Yes those old buildings in the UK are marvelous aren't they? They're so lucky to have them.

  2. PS Do you borrow these from your local library or do you download them as an e-book. I can't find them at BCC libraries or Moreton Bay - sigh.

    1. Alex I bought mine from Amazon & read them on the Kindle app on my iPad. My local library doesn't have them. Trove (NLA books, not newspaper section) says the City of Gold Coast Libraries has book 1, but that's the only public library in Australia that has his novels. They're quite cheap as e-books.

  3. I read the first one a while ago, was a bit meh about it but considering trying the others.

  4. Thanks to Eileen A. Souza's blog Old Bones Genealogy, we have many more novels to add to the list of genealogy mysteries. Mostly available in Kindle.