REVIEWED BY NATALIE DANFORD
A mystery series featuring a genealogy researcher may not promise excitement, but Mountain keeps things hopping in her second entry in the Natasha Blake series. Blake is an "ancestor detective" (and, ironically, an adoptee) hired by well-off Charles Seagrove to investigate the background of a 21-year-old who seems to be unrelated to him. Blake provides her client with information which turns out to be damning—the man's ancestors include a parlor maid who murdered her employer in 1852 and a fellow accused of "night poaching" and other crimes. Shortly afterward Seagrove turns up murdered himself—shot to death in his own garden. As Blake peels away the layers, she uncovers a twisted eugenics scheme that dates back to World War II. Mountain's writing is brisk and well-suited to the genre, but Americans occasionally may have trouble decoding Britishisms like "the poor lad's gone a bit doolally." The pleasures of spying on Blake as she spies into the past, though, are worth the effort.