Alex and Briggie Genealogical Mysteries
Alexandra Campbell is a thirty-something widow whose husband, Stewart, died in a terrorist plane crash. Amidst her grieving, she is trying to assemble her late husband’s family tree in Scotland, where they lived. Thus she meets Brighamina Poulson (Briggie) a sixty-something widow whose family tree interconnects with Stewart’s. Brim-full of life and confidence, Briggie sweeps Alex into the exciting world of Family History and takes her home to live with her in Independence, Missouri. They form their own research company, RootSearch, Inc., using their combined expertise to unravel many a complicated family tree (starting with Alex’s own). What they don’t expect is to encounter murders which can only be solved by a genealogist who holds all the family secrets! Family historians cannot, by nature, resist a mystery! Alex and Briggie tangle with the law, with dysfunctional families, and with the heirs to fortunes, often coming to bodily harm. However, armed with the truth and Briggie’s deer rifle. they always get their man!
It is high time Alex finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return.
It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once beloved father, she leaves with only a wallet-sized photograph of a woman she knows nothing about.
That night, Alex’s father is killed. Bewildered and grieved that her family can never be whole again, she soon finds out that she is the chief suspect in the murder. With the unflappable Briggie at her side, she uses all her new genealogical skills, and (with the help of Briggie’s deer rifle) discovers a secret so bizarre that she finally understands why her parents wanted her far away and safe.
Join Alex and Briggie in the first of their hair-raising adventures!
Of Deadly Descent
Where do you start looking for an ancestor without a name with whom you share an inheritance?
At their last known address—The Argonne Forest, France, 1919.
In their previous adventure, Alexandra Campbell and her business partner, Brighamina Poulson, discover a branch of Alex’s family that was previously unknown. Because of wicked deeds in days gone by, a soldier in World War I who should have been part of Alex’s family was lost. In fact, he was so lost, he didn’t even know his own name!
Through a series of coincidences (and we all know there are no coincidences in genealogy!) they track their man from France to Oxford, and even give him a name. However, upon their arrival in Oxford, before they even contact the man’s descendants, a member of the family is pushed under a bus right before their eyes! It soon becomes evident that the death was connected to the coming legacy. Who knew they were coming to Oxford with news of a fortune? What role does the mysterious Frenchman Etienne play in the dastardly doings? And what about Charles Lamb, a very eligible bachelor, also an heir to the estate?
Briggie is lost without her deer rifle and can’t keep up on the standing of her Kansas City Royals Baseball Team. She doesn’t think much of Oxford, either, and is worried about the effect of this center of secular wisdom on Alex. She is even more worried about Charles Lamb.
Accompany Alex on her attempt to unravel a family tree that proves to have more branches than she bargained for, not to mention a murderer, a misappropriated fortune, and a family secret someone is willing to kill for! As she grapples with this unwieldy job, she is also trying to learn to get to know her mother, whom tragedy separated from her as a teenager. A recent convert to the Church, she is still trying to trust God and discover the true essence of forgiveness. On top of all these issues, she also has serious conflicts in matters of the heart. Should she marry the charming Englishman Charles, who courts her so exquisitely, or the down-to-earth Daniel who knows her better than anyone?
Is there such a thing as “bad blood?” Take a rifle-toting grandmother and a recently engaged young widow, combine with a passion for genealogy, and you have RootSearch, Inc, dedicated to unraveling complicated family trees. The most recent client of Alexandra Campbell and her associate, Briggie, is a famous singer who at the age of thirty-seven wants to marry and have a family but is terrified by childhood memories of whispers of a family curse and “bad blood.” The investigation leads to a remote Ozarks town and a strange woman known as the Keeper, who holds secrets that turn out to be deadly. Her sudden murder leaves Alex and Briggie no alternative but to piece together the mystery of a 150-year old scrapbook and tombstones in the local cemetery with cryptic references to a lynching. It takes all of Alex and Briggie’s ingenuity to discover the source of the “bad blood” and escape death deep in the Missouri woods.
The Hidden Branch
When the murder of Armenian-American billionaire inventor Paul Mardian takes Alex and Briggie to Huntington Beach (aka “surf city”), California to hunt for heirs, Briggie is immediately smitten with ideas of wetsuits and boogie boards.
Alex believes the killer is a relative of the victim, but her pursuit of the truth nearly costs another life–her own. So many suspects, so little time. Could it be the real estate typcoon with the trophy wife? The pompous attorney who spends every cent he makes on high living? The professor of Middle Eastern studies with a penchant for Armenian antiquities? Or even the darlky handsome surfer who has more than a passing interest in Alex?
While her fiance struggles with a crisis of faith, Alex searches for answers, putting her life on the line, yet again, to discover the missing link that will solve this captivating mystery.