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Top 10 Fiction Books for Genealogy Lovers


Take a break from the research with one of these great fictional reads with a genealogy theme. Book topics range from genealogical mysteries to more historical themes, with a touch of family history and genealogy.

1. All The Names

Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago's seventh novel tells the story of an unassuming clerk in an unnamed registrar's office. The reclusive Senhor José devotes his solitary life to a single passion - collecting clippings about famous people and sneaking into the Registry at night to gather additional facts on their birth and lives. Upon finding the index card of a 36-year-old unknown woman among his celebrity clippings, he begins a consuming quest to learn more about the woman's life.
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2. The Heir Hunter

In this detective thriller with a genealogy twist, former cop turned heir hunter Nick Merchant finds himself searching for the heirs to an estate worth $22 million. A fast-paced, suspenseful read from Chris Larsgaard.
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3. Outlander

Historical romance with a genealogy twist, "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon sends heroine Claire Randall unexpectedly back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets her present-day husband's notorious ancestor, Captain John Randall. It can get a bit graphic at times, but this book and the rest of the series is one of my all-time favorites.

4. In Sheep's Clothing

A genealogy "who-done-it" in the Torie O'Shea series by Rett MacPherson, this cozy mystery begins with a 150-year-old diary which holds the clues to a deadly past. Other books in this excellent genealogical-themed series include A Misty Morning, Comedy of Heirs, Blood Relations and Thicker Than Water.
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5. Lineages & Lies

One of several books genealogical mysteries featuring professional genealogist Nick Herald, Lineages & Lies by Jimmy Fox delves into the murder of a genealogist and his ties to a ship that sailed into French colonial New Orleans. The main character can be a bit obnoxious at times, but the genealogy adds a nice twist. Other good reads by this author include Jackpot Blood and Deadly Pedigree.
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6. Genealogy of Murder

Murder mystery writer Lee Martin adds a genealogy twist to this novel featuring Deb Ralston, a middle-aged Mormon police officer. A connection between an extra corpse and a missing genealogist is just the beginning of the puzzling mystery.
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7. The Famous DAR Murder Mystery

Several members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) discover a corpse in an out-of-the-way cemetery, leading them to want to learn more. A bit of genealogical research and a lot of murder mystery makes this a lively, fun read.
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8. The Hole in the Heartland: An American Mystery

A retired professor searches to learn why his father kept his grandparent's origins as Russian Jews a secret, even from his own wife.
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9. Hanging Katherine Garret

Author Abigail Davis weaves a story around the 1737 trial of Kate, a Pequot Indian woman for the murder of her newborn infant. Karla Palmer, a novice genealogist, works to uncover Kate's story - using timelines, historical societies, genealogical records, and a number of interesting hypotheses.
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10. The Death of Cousin Rose

Upon arriving in Ballycara, Ireland, to research his roots, Irish-American Danny O'Flaherty finds that his cousin Rose has been brutally murdered. Her murder and the family's origins turn out to be connected, discovered by Danny in his genealogical quest to uncover the truth.
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