The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson

Cover image for The Last Queen of England.Find an eye-catching historical fact (such as Queen Anne experiencing 18 pregnancies, but having no child live beyond the age of eleven and none survive her); discover that a group of respected intellectuals were executed towards the end of her reign under mysterious circumstances; create a conspiracy theory that proof of the invalidity of the current monarchy, having been passed down the generations, is about to be used by republican sympathisers, and we should have the basis of a very readable novel. So it proves.

I enjoyed this action-packed thriller set against the background of a murderous genealogical mystery that has to be solved within tight deadlines.

After surviving numerous attempts on his life through three novels, Mr Tayte is proving as hard to kill as James Bond. May he last as long.

The book is available from Amazon. The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)

To the Grave by Steve Robinson

Cover image of To the GraveThis is the second in what looks like becoming a series of books with genealogy researcher Jefferson Tayte as the central character who was introduced to us in In the Blood.

We have the same basic format of the researcher running into danger, but this is more complex. The action moves between two time periods. In one we follow Tayte as he fulfils his research contract; in the other we have moved back in time to discover the human story behind the cold facts.

Those past events may sound hard to believe, but the truth about the Magdalene Laundries has finally emerged and the Irish Government is paying out millions of euros as compensation to the victims.

The book is well written and thought-provoking, as well as being entertaining.

I bought it for Kindle from Amazon, but print copies are also available. The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)

In the Blood by Steve Robinson

Cover image of In the BloodI’m not usually a fan of the crime genre; books are often formulaic and predictable. This one is different. The genealogy theme allows the tale to cover events and individuals spread over a long timescale. I found both the plot and the characters engaging. It also helps that it is set in a beautiful and atmospheric part of the country. Some reviewers on Amazon have commented on buying it because of the low price – of the Kindle edition, presumably, as the print edition is a standard £7.99. It was £1.99 when I bought it and that seems to me to be a fair price to pay for an eBook, although it does seem cheap when compared to the grossly over-priced output of the mainstream publishers. It’s a rapidly developing marketplace and I suspect that we will eventually see it stabilise with quality eBooks selling in the £1.99 to £2.99 range. However, commenting on the price of an ebook is probably a waste of time. Authors/publishers can change the price with a few mouse clicks – and they frequently do.
I’m suspicious of indie-books that immediately receive a lot of 5* ratings. I can’t help thinking that it’s friends and connections rallying around, but I recognised quite a few of these reviewers from their postings on book forums and I respect their opinions. On that basis I was happy to give this book a go – and I’m glad I did. Making the central character a genealogist whose researches drag him into danger is an original approach. Jefferson Tayte is a strong enough character to reappear in more books of the same genre.

I bought it for Kindle at Amazon where it is also available in print format. There are several different editions. In the Blood (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)