Tomatoes and Books

It’s summer in the south, which means it’s the perfect time to have fresh vine-ripe tomatoes. It also means it’s the perfect time to have something to occupy your mind while you are inside, enjoying the air conditioning. I am fortunate enough to have found both this month. It’s an added bonus that with the Corona Virus still affecting the United States and the need to stay indoors I could spend time alternating between reading and making tomato sandwiches, salads, and anything else you can imagine.

Most recently I’ve had the chance to indulge in reading Lineage Most Lethal by S.C. Perkins. This was a terrific mystery book, full of fun characters, a great plot line and even some cooler weather since it takes place in December. There wasn’t much emphasis on the weather or the season, so it didn’t feel out of place to be reading it in the middle of a July heat wave. Basically, I think the book could be enjoyed at any time of year. Here’s my review of the book so you can have a little more insight.


This is the second book in the Ancestry Detective Mystery series by S. C. Perkins and is a solid follow-up to the first novel. In Lineage Most Lethal, genealogist Lucy Lancaster is hard at work putting together the family history of a young woman who has inherited her family’s fortune and turned the family estate into the flag-ship hotel of the family chain. The death of a man on hotel grounds initially appears to be an unwelcome, but accidental intrusion. However, Lucy, as she shares information about a collector’s quality Mont Blanc fountain pen with her grandfather, himself a collector, learns it is much much more. 

In the process, Lucy learns much about her grandfather’s time in the military during WWII when, unknown to most of his family, he was a member of the intelligence branch with some top secret duties. His group had been issued pens matching the one carried by the murdered man so they could recognize one another, and thus the present starts to merge with the past.

Lucy’s grandfather is a charming character in the series, and his information is vital to solving the current mystery. There are also repeat appearances by Flaco, Lucy’s self proclaimed adoptive father and master chef of all things Mexican; her roommates, and a brief appearance by Ben, her love interest from the first novel. The book is self-contained and there is sufficient information for anyone to enjoy this one without having read the first in the series. However, if you are a lover of mystery series, you may want to read the first book and then this one as you will most likely want to continue as new books are published.

While I figured out early the identity of the murderer, it was no less enjoyable to read and see how Perkins included clues right in front of the reader’s nose that could easily be overlooked. Likewise, the importance of red herrings was cleverly touted while, in truth, having nothing to do with the murder. The entire story harkens back to occurrences from WWII, and thus seems a perfect setting for someone with Lucy’s interest and talent at doing historical research.

My thanks to St. Martin’s Press Minotaur Books and NetGalley for providing me an advanced digital real copy of the novel. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


I hope I’ve tweaked your interest in this series. It’s a great one if you are looking for something light that is still well written, well paced, and has interesting characters. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go make some grilled green tomato caprese for dinner. As soon as that’s done I get to delve back into another book. Happy Reading!