Lineage Most Lethal by S. C. Perkins: New Excerpt
By Crime HQJune 22, 2020
“Stop,” I begged. “Please.”
Her trancelike gaze swiveled my way, curly tendrils of graying brown hair sticking to her damp forehead. My eyes darted from her round, blotchy face to the mound of white powder she held in her gloved hand.
“No,” she said. Despite the cool day, sweat trickled down her temple, mingling with a smudge of mascara and blue eye-liner. “It’s what I have to do.”
She drew her arm up, her thick wrist ﬂexing backward. She was going to use the entire handful. Oh, the damage it could cause.
I reached out, latching on to her wrist. With a yelp, her ﬁngers opened and the powder fell in a ﬂuffy white shower onto the grass.
She whirled on me. “Hey! What was that for?”
Palms outstretched, I said, “I’m so sorry, but I couldn’t let you do that.”
She looked down at her glove, which was coated in powder. It also dusted most of her purple stretchy knit pants and the hem of her multihued striped cardigan.
“For heaven’s sake, why not? It’s just all-purpose ﬂour.”
Pulling off her gloves, she began brushing the ﬂour from her knit pants with angry strokes. “All I’m trying to do is get a clear look at that unreadable gravestone”—she jutted her chin in the direction of what would have been the target of her ﬂour bomb—“which I’m pretty sure shows the resting place of my great-great-grandma.”
The name and date were indeed hard to read, as the stone had been worn with time, dirt, and lichen. “I saw online that if you rub ﬂour onto it and then brush some of it off, the words will show up nice and clear.”
“Well, technically that’s right,” I told her, holding out a clean washcloth I’d pulled from the tote bag that had somehow stayed on my shoulder. She snatched it from me. Her eyes were a clear gray, and they were shooting me icy daggers of annoyance.
“See? Then why did you grab me and knock the ﬂour out of my hand?”
“Because of what happens when ﬂour gets wet,” I said.
She went silent, giving her pants two more rough strokes with the washcloth, then ﬁnally grunted, “It gets gummy.” Her voice went deﬁant again. “I was going to brush it all off, you know.”
“I don’t doubt it for a second.” Nodding toward her still ﬂoury legs, I said, “But as you’re reminded, it’s hard to get all the ﬂour off, and any residue that’s left behind can trap moisture and speed up the deterioration of the gravestones.”
She gestured toward her intended target. “Then how am I supposed to read it? My mama’s not well enough to come out here and see the grave herself, and it’s taken me almost a year to ﬁnd where my great-great-grandma was in the ﬁrst place. I’d planned to do one of those rubbings you hear about.” She pulled a thick crayon from her pocket and indicated her own tote bag. Inside, along with an open bag of ﬂour, I glimpsed a piece of rolled-up butcher paper.
I tilted my head toward the entrance of Comal Cemetery. Located forty-ﬁve minutes outside of Austin in the town of New Braunfels, it was the ﬁnal resting place of a good two dozen ancestors of my latest client, hotel heiress Pippa Sutton. “Some cemeteries allow rubbings and some don’t. This one doesn’t. Usually you have to call ahead or check the website, but this one also has a ‘no gravestone rubbings’ sign on the gate you entered through.”
Her shoulders drooped. “So what am I supposed to do?”
“I’ll show you.” Rummaging in my bag, I pulled out a soft-bristled brush and a plastic bottle ﬁlled with liquid. “This is a biological solution for cleaning gravestones. You can buy it off the internet or at certain stores. First, we need to wet the stone with water. Then we’ll spray on the solution and suds it up, and the white lather will settle into the etchings and make them readable, just like the ﬂour would have. From there, you can take lots of photographs with your phone.”
Dousing the stone with water from a nearby spigot, I then sprayed on the biological solution. “Afterward, we’ll rinse it off again, but the agents in this stuff won’t harm the stone or the surrounding grass.” I grinned. “It’ll give it a nice cleaning to boot.”
The would-be ﬂour attacker looked dubious, but didn’t stop me as I went to work. Once the stone was all lathered up, I smoothed off the excess and the words became clear. I turned around to ﬁnd her grinning ear to ear, a mist of tears ﬁlling her eyes as she saw the name on the stone.
“I found her,” she whispered. “We were thinking she’d been lost forever.” She leaned over, touching the stone with reverence and giving me a clear view of the cemetery entrance, where an old man stood, leaning heavily on a cane, as a car approached.
A breeze lifted what patchy wisps of hair were left on the top of his head. His gray suit hung limply from his frame, and it took him two tries to open the car door before he began lowering himself into the back seat with effort. I wondered whose grave he’d been visiting. That of a loved one? A friend? A new-found ancestor like my ﬂour-happy companion?
As if he felt my gaze, he paused and looked straight at me. I had a ﬂeeting impression of something I couldn’t place before interference in the form of a colorful striped cardigan broke our connection.
“Now what do we do?”
My new friend looked hopefully at me, shifting just enough so I could see the car carrying the old man disappearing down the side road. I smiled and focused. “Now we take some photos for you and your mother before we rinse off the solution.” I showed her how to work the ﬁlters and extra editing features on her phone’s camera to make the words even clearer.
“My goodness,” she said, her cheeks now pink with happy surprise.
I said, “For gravestones that aren’t as badly worn as your ancestor’s, sometimes you can just take a photo and use ﬁlters to make the words stand out.”
The woman gave a hefty snifﬂe, wiping her nose with the washcloth I’d given her. “How do you know all of this?”
I held out my hand to her. “It’s part of my job. My name is Lucy Lancaster, and I’m a genealogist.”
I admit it, Luce, I’m a little jealous you get to be in the lap of luxury at the Hotel Sutton for the next ﬁve days and Josephine and I have to wait until New Year’s to join you,” Serena said. “All my travel in the past two months has been bloody exhausting, and I’m ready for a staycation.”
“Seriously, who makes your schedule? You should sack her this instant,” I teased.
This was met with an amused snort from both Serena and Josephine, my two best friends and ofﬁce mates. All three of us were self-employed and shared an ofﬁce space in a small historic building in downtown Austin, just a block south of the Texas Capitol. On the third ﬂoor of the Old Printing Ofﬁce, as our building was known, I operated my genealogy business, Ancestry Investigations, while Josephine Haroldson was a sought-after translator and Serena Vogel was a successful style blogger and inﬂuencer. While all of us had been busy over the holiday season, Serena had been more in demand than usual. In fact, Josephine and I had barely seen our friend since early November.
“Note to self,” Serena drawled, “ﬁre self for overscheduling self like a total prat.”
“I love how you two have picked up on my native British lingo,” Josephine said. “It makes me long for London—and feel as if I’ve been une très bonne inﬂuence.”
“Considering we’ve mostly picked up on your native British swear words, I’m thinking you’ve been a very good bad inﬂuence,” Serena said.
“Oh, you’ve deﬁnitely inﬂuenced us, Jo,” I said with a grin that neither of my friends could see, since they were at the ofﬁce and I was in my car, driving back to town from New Braunfels. “Only it comes two years after we had you saying ‘y’all’ and addicted to queso and guacamole, so I’m thinking Serena and I were the better bad inﬂuencers.”
“More like the unfair advantage of two against one,” Josephine retorted, before adding, to Serena, “Though now I want some guacamole. Care to make our Lucy jealous by having happy hour at Big Flaco’s Tacos?”
“High ﬁve,” I heard Serena say, and there was the sound of slapping palms.
“Oh, now that’s just a low blow,” I said. My scandalized tone only made them snigger.
“Anyhoo,” Serena said. “We actually called to check how your schedule with the Sutton project was going. Would you fancy a facial with us at the hotel spa on New Year’s Eve morning? I called and they still have one spot open at ten a.m.”
Turning off West Cesar Chavez Street, I hung a left onto Delta Drive. The semiprivate road angled sharply toward Lady Bird Lake for two-tenths of a mile, past a line of tall juniper trees marking the boundary of the Sutton estate, before depositing me onto the crushed-granite parking lot of the Hotel Sutton, where I was about to start my own luxurious staycation.
Well, mostly. I was still ofﬁcially on contract, with a few days’ work left to do for Pippa Sutton, my twenty-four-year-old client who was the last descendant of the famed nineteenth-century Texas land baron Reginald Sutton and his stylish English wife, Sarah Bess, to bear the Sutton surname. Though Pippa was an only child, she had a whole bevy of cousins she was close to, most of whom I’d interviewed over the preceding six weeks.
Part of the reason I was staying at the Hotel Sutton was that I had more interviews scheduled with two of Pippa’s out-of-town cousins so I could add their oral histories to the documentary-style video I’d created. Afterward, I would edit the videos and put together the ﬁnal presentation that would be shown on New Year’s Day to Pippa, her mother, Roselyn, and nearly a hundred other descendants of Sarah Bess and Reginald.
I’d show it twice, in fact. Tomorrow, at Pippa’s request, I’d be unveiling a draft version to a small group of her closest family members, all of whom were ﬁrst cousins once removed or second cousins, and one great-aunt known to everyone as Aunt Tilly. They were the relatives who’d banded around Pippa and her mother after the death of Pippa’s father eighteen years earlier.
With her paternal grandfather’s passing last year, Pippa had become the sole heiress of a nearly hundred-year-old dynasty of small but high-end hotels in Texas and other parts of the South. Knowing she was the last ofﬁcial Sutton in the family line was the impetus behind Pippa’s decision to hire me. My job was to help her preserve the Sutton name and its history. Not just for Pippa herself, but also for her other family members, including future generations.
“So, what do you think?” Serena’s voice said through my car speakers.
Inwardly, I sighed. My best friends would be snogging their boyfriends on New Year’s Eve, but when the clock struck midnight, I would be singing “Alone Lang Syne.” Still, maudlin wasn’t normally my thing, so I made sure my tone was bright.
“Sure, ten o’clock will work.”
My response was met with the silence of friends who know you better than you think.
“Yeah, we heard that fake cheeriness, Luce,” Serena said in dry tones. In the background I heard Josephine’s “Mmm-hmm,” but she added kindly, “You don’t have to come with us if you don’t want to, love.”
“No, no,” I said, “of course I want to. Book me the appointment, Serena. If I only get to look dewy and glowing for myself and you two, that’s enough for me. It’ll be fun.”
“You’ll be even more beautiful than usual,” Josephine said. “Walter and Ahmad will notice, too, no doubt.”
Serena added, “But they always think you look great.”
“Okay, okay,” I said with a laugh. “I know it’s the end of December and there’s a chance it may snow on New Year’s, but there’s no need to tack your own snow job on top of it. I’m ﬁne. Really. And the facial sounds great.”
Catching sight of my determined face in my rearview mirror as I put my car in park, I said, “In fact, while you’re at it, see if you can also book me a massage. I deserve it.”
“Too bloody right,” Josephine said.
“Heck yeah, you do,” Serena agreed. “I’ll call the spa back now.” And I only just heard Jo sing out, “See you on New Year’s, love!” before my friends hung up on me.
Just beyond the Hotel Sutton’s parking lot, the afternoon sun was casting its last glints of the day onto the surface of Lady Bird Lake, the Colorado River reservoir named after former First Lady and Texas native Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson. I hefted my suitcase from the trunk as a double-decker riverboat chugged slowly westward over the water, groups of tourists lining its railings and enjoying the pleasantly cold December air. A near constant stream of walkers, joggers, and cyclists made use of the ten miles of trail skirting the lake.
One woman, running by with a shaggy mixed-breed dog, faltered in her pace for a moment, staring up the terraced lawn at the Hotel Sutton for the seconds it took her to pass. I was familiar with the sensation. The hotel, once a grand private house, suddenly and gloriously appeared out of the trees as you came along the path, its elegant beauty proud in the clearing, and vanished just as quickly behind the veil of oaks, cypresses, and sugarberry trees as the trail curved away.
Slinging my tote bag over my shoulder, I rolled my suitcase over the crushed-granite pathway and around a stand of topiaries and leaﬂess crepe myrtles to the front of the hotel, carried it up the wide steps to the deep front porch, and pulled open one of the heavy wooden double doors.
A lovely smell of furniture polish and fresh ﬂowers met me in the foyer, as did a large Aubusson rug in shades of gold and cream on a ﬁeld of aqua. A runner in complementary tones ran up the grand staircase, while the adjacent front room held prim emerald-green velvet sofas and rugged-looking distressed-leather armchairs.
Dominating the left wall over a large ﬁreplace was a gilt-framed 1901 portrait of Sarah Bess Sutton, Pippa’s three-times-great-grandmother. On the opposite wall, underneath the ﬂuted balusters of the grand staircase hung a Warhol-esque painting of a long-haired dachshund, his ears and tail up as if he’d spied a rat to ﬂush out of a hole. Sarah Bess’s dark green eyes seemed to be perpetually regarding the little dog with the hint of an amused smile.
The mix of feminine and masculine, stately and cheekily modern—it was all Pippa’s doing, and it all worked perfectly.
“Lucy, welcome back, my dear. You’re just in time for cocktails.”
If I hadn’t recognized the voice, I would have thought Sarah Bess herself had spoken to me. Instead, at the back of the room, pink-cheeked Mrs. Pollingham was beaming at me from her post, a huge curved desk fronted by tufted saddle-toned leather.
“Miss Pippa went to her cottage, but she’ll be back in a ﬂash,” she continued. “She asked that you leave your suitcase for the bellboy and meet her in the bar for your progress update.”
“Happy to,” I said. The bar was mere feet from where I was standing and a ﬁre was already crackling merrily in the ﬁreplace behind the marble high-top tables and brass-accented barstools.
“Excellent,” Mrs. Pollingham said. “She wants to try something called a Napoli old fashioned on you to see if it’s worthy of the happy hour menu. It has a shot of Chef Rocky’s home-made blood orange liqueur in it, as if all the bourbon weren’t enough. I’ve already told him to be sure and send you two out something to eat before you start drinking that lethal-sounding concoction.”
I grinned. “Old fashioneds . . . a warm bar . . . anything made by Chef Rocky . . . I like the way you and Pippa think, Mrs. P.”
Parking my suitcase beside a Queen Anne chair upholstered in bold striped satin, I started to pivot in the direction of the bar, then stopped in my tracks as the look on Mrs. P.’s face went from its usual sweet expression to a frown. Eyes in a crystalline blue were locked onto my legs as she made her way around the front desk and crossed over the Aubusson to stand in front of me, hands on her hips.
Somewhere in her ﬁfties and a longtime employee of the Sutton chain of hotels, Mrs. P. was all softness, from her curves to her hair, which was gingery with a bit of gray and worn in a chin-length pageboy that was often tucked behind her ears. She was barely taller than my ﬁve foot two but her capable, no-nonsense presence made her a giant at the Hotel Sutton. She was called the Force of the Front Desk, and everyone loved her, including me.
“What’s this? What happened to you?” she asked.
I looked down at my dark jeans. Or what had been dark jeans when I drove to New Braunfels at lunchtime. Now they were dusted with so much ﬂour, they’d lightened by two full shades.
“Holy cow,” I said. “Hyacinth’s bag of ﬂour must have spilled on me when I carried it for her. We were talking so much I didn’t even notice.”
To Mrs. P.’s curious look, I explained, “Hyacinth’s a woman I met at Comal Cemetery when I was there taking photos of the Sutton family gravestones. She was trying to use ﬂour on her ancestor’s stone to get the name to show up better. I explained why she shouldn’t, of course. She was very nice once we got to talking, though, and very interested in learning more about genealogy.”
Mrs. P.’s eyebrows rose slowly at the earnestness in my voice. “My dear, other people go to New Braunfels to have a good time ﬂoating down the Comal River in inner tubes. It does make me wonder that your idea of a good time is to go to Comal Cemetery.”
“Hey, it’s never a good time until you go hunting for dead people, Mrs. P.,” I quipped. “Everyone knows that.”
Her eyes lit with mirth. “How did you fare, then? Did you ﬁnd all the dearly departed Suttons you wanted?”
She gently turned me back toward the door as she spoke. I took the hint. I was to rid my legs of ﬂour before reentering her carefully guarded front room.
“I did,” I said as she opened the front door for me and we stepped out onto the porch, with its classic Haint blue ceiling. I pulled my phone from my bag, showing her a handful of photos, including the gravestones for Sarah Bess and Reginald. The last photo was of the gravestones of James and Nell Sutton, Pippa’s paternal great-grandparents.
“I need to ask why James and Nell aren’t in the same row as James’s parents, or his siblings and their spouses. I’m wondering if James didn’t initially expect to be buried in New Braunfels, being that he went back to England for so many years and fought in World War Two as a British citizen.”
“You’re spot on as usual, Lucy, as my great-granddad would say,” came a voice from behind me.
Pippa Sutton, wearing a white blouse under a sedate black blazer, a pencil skirt, and low heels, was rounding the far corner of the wraparound porch. Her hair was pulled back at the crown and fell past her shoulders in chardonnay-hued waves. A simple strand of pearls was at her neck, and gold studs adorned her ears. The leather-covered iPad she was holding to her chest halfway covered a brass name badge.
I’d seen her wearing this uniform of sorts a few times. I also sensed the now familiar frustration underneath her professional smile. Pippa, the owner and chief operating ofﬁcer of multimillion-dollar Sutton Inc., was ﬁlling in for the events manager again.
Since Pippa prided herself on saying all Sutton employees, herself included, had working knowledge of every job within the hotel, I wouldn’t have thought twice about her being the de facto events manager—if the chronically absent employee hadn’t been Roselyn Fischer Sutton, Pippa’s beautiful, intelligent, talented, and, based on what I could tell from all my dealings with her, completely self-absorbed mother.
Mrs. P.’s quick glance reminded me to be careful showing my annoyance with Roselyn in front of her daughter.
“Pippa thinks so highly of you, dear,” she’d said to me only last week, “and the fact that Roselyn hasn’t been as . . . well, as reliable as usual, is embarrassing and upsetting to her.” Mrs. P.’s face had brieﬂy clouded, and I could tell it was upsetting to her as well.
I couldn’t lie—I wasn’t the biggest fan of Pippa’s mother, especially when she dumped more responsibility on her daughter’s already busy shoulders. Yet I had to give Roselyn a good deal of credit. She’d never stopped working in her thirty-year career, despite marrying her wealthy hotelier boss, Bracewell Sutton, when she herself was a newbie event planner. Nine years into their marriage, after Bracewell had died tragically in a skiing accident, Roselyn hadn’t needed to continue working. Her husband’s will had seen to her every need, though the Sutton hotel business had all gone to Pippa, Bracewell’s only child and heir. And yet Roselyn had kept working, proving herself an accomplished and in-demand event designer year after year as she helped her young daughter learn the business and prepare to eventually take over Sutton Inc.
It was strange; women like Roselyn Sutton usually made me want to throw them a ticker-tape parade and hold them up as a poster child for fabulous, hardworking, impressive women, yet there was something about Roselyn I couldn’t quite warm to, no matter how hard I tried.
Oh, and the fact that she was adamant about not wanting her side of the family included in Pippa’s genealogy project? Yeah, that didn’t really help my opinion of her, either.
I’d had clients whose family members weren’t interested in my work many times before, of course. However, they usually changed their tune once they understood the wonders of how their family came into being, struggled, persevered, and grew over the centuries. In Roselyn’s case, however, no matter how excited Pippa became at each interesting Sutton-family tidbit I uncovered, she remained dispassionate, even occasionally becoming snappish whenever Pippa suggested I could do the same for her family tree.
Thankfully, I felt my irritation with Roselyn abate when the creases between Pippa’s eyes began to dissolve, humor washing them away as she took in my ﬂoured jeans.
“What did you do? Insult Chef Rocky when he was making his fresh pasta?”
I explained about Hyacinth, the ﬂour, and the cemetery. Then I showed her the photos of her own family’s gravestones, stopping as before at the ones honoring her great-grandparents.
Pippa smiled at me. “You know, even though I can barely picture my great-granddad in my mind anymore, I have two strong memories of him. One was him smoking his pipe while reading the newspaper in the back parlor”—she tilted her head toward the Sutton’s interior for emphasis—“and the other is him telling me how he had never intended to come back to the States until he met my great-grandmother.”
She smiled wistfully and pulled her iPad closer to her chest. “To be honest, Lucy, most of what I know about him is actually from the letter you found a couple of weeks ago.”
“Hey, I’d never have come across it if you hadn’t insisted I see the dovetail joints on that seventeenth-century writing desk,” I said, holding my hands up in mock outrage. “You’re the one who told me the joints were best viewed up close. Heck, you practically made me pull the drawer out fully.”
Pippa’s laugh was surprisingly throaty, hinting at the warm and open personality hidden beneath her reserved exterior.
“Well, you made the mistake of telling me you share my obsession for antiques, so that’s on you, my friend,” she said. “Still, I’ve probably pulled those drawers out a good dozen times over the years and never noticed anything. It was you and your lucky genealogist’s touch that made the letter reveal itself.”
The letter, which was unﬁnished, had been written by Pippa’s great-grandfather to one of his friends in 1967. It had somehow fallen behind the drawer, never to be completed or sent. When I’d extracted a folded sheet of stationery from inside the slightly crumpled, yellowed envelope, we saw James Bracewell Sutton embossed at the top, and James’s precise penmanship ﬁlling the front of the page and half of the back.
Mrs. P. looked at us with fondness. “I happen to think you two girls were meant to ﬁnd that letter together,” she said. “And what a romantic tale it told of how Mr. James and Miss Nell met back in 1943.”
I put my hand to my heart. “It was super romantic. Both of them on leave in London. He in the RAF, she one of Eisenhower’s secretaries. Literally colliding with each other in the lobby of the Dorchester Hotel, so hard his ﬂight cap fell off, and she caught it.”
Pippa and I exchanged dreamy sighs. “The scene keeps running around in my mind, too,” she said.
Mrs. P. laid her hand on my arm and said, “You do really have a gift for opening up the past, my dear,” and I felt my cheeks glowing with pleasure.
“On that note,” I said, “Pippa, I was going to wait until tomorrow to tell you about something else I discovered, but I don’t think I can now.”
Pippa and Mrs. P. both looked at me expectantly.
“I was able to locate some of your great-grandfather’s war records,” I told her. “He wasn’t just in the RAF during World War Two—he was also in the SOE.”
Pippa’s brows knitted. “What’s the SOE?”
“The Special Operations Executive,” I said, noting that Mrs. P., a fellow history lover, was nodding at my side. “Your great-granddad worked in intelligence.”
“He was a spy?” Pippa said.
I nodded, then changed that to tilting my head side to side.
“Maybe,” I conceded. “SOE agents did a bunch of jobs within intelligence, but it’s highly possible he was a spy. I’m still waiting on the records I requested, which include his time in the Royal Air Force as well.”
Pippa’s eyes, which reminded me of the color of fresh jalapeños, went a half shade brighter. “I wish my dad could have heard all of this. My granddad, too.”
“Me too,” Mrs. P. said, patting Pippa on the arm.
“And I wish I’d been able to meet your great-granddad,” I told Pippa. I put my hand to my heart in history-geek ecstasy. “I would’ve asked him so many questions about the SOE.”
Pippa nodded vehemently in agreement, and the chuckle that always seemed to live in the back of Mrs. P.’s throat erupted as she put her arm around my shoulder for a squeeze.
“If he hadn’t already passed, no doubt you would have talked him to death, dear Lucy,” Mrs. P. said. “Now, stay out here and get yourself rid of that ﬂour so the two of you can try some Napoli old fashioneds. I’m going to go see where our young bellboy has got to. We have a newly married couple scheduled for check-in at any moment.”
She gestured for Pippa to go inside like an impatient mama duck herding her wayward duckling. My ﬂoury jeans and I were left outside under the rapidly darkening sky, enjoying the warm glow I always felt after giving clients news that made their faces light up like Pippa’s had.
Copyright © 2020 S. C. Perkins.
About Lineage Most Lethal by S. C. Perkins:
It’s the week before New Year’s Eve and genealogist Lucy Lancaster is ready to mix work and play at the beautiful Hotel Sutton, enjoying herself while finalizing the presentation for her latest client, hotel heiress Pippa Sutton.
Freshly arrived at the hotel—and determined not to think about Special Agent Ben Turner, who went radio silent on her after one date—Lucy is stopped in her tracks when a strange man comes staggering toward her. She barely has time to notice his weak, sweaty appearance before he presses a classic Montblanc pen onto her hand, gasps, “Keep them safe,” and collapses at her feet, dead.
When Lucy shows the fountain pen to her grandfather, an avid collector and World War II veteran, she’s in for another shock. Not only does Grandpa recognize the Montblanc, he also reveals a secret: he was an Allied spy during the war and the pen is both a message regarding one of his wartime missions and the key to reading a microdot left by the dead man.
On the microdot is a series of ciphers, some decrypted to form names. Could they be the descendants of Grandpa’s fellow spies? When two from the list end up murdered—including the chef at the Hotel Sutton—and Grandpa’s life is put in jeopardy, Lucy’s sure she’s right. And with Lucy’s and Pippa’s names possibly on the list, too, she’s got to uncover the past to protect those in the present.
With a secret Allied mission, old grievances, and traitors hiding behind every corner, Lucy must use her research skills to trace the list’s World War II ancestors and connect the dots to find a killer in their midst—a killer who’s determined to make sure some lineages end once and for all.