Cinderella in the bluebell woods at Poacher's Dell….
The anonymous note means nothing to ancestor detective Natasha Blake. Then one of her clients, an enigmatic old man who had commissioned a family tree of his granddaughter's boyfriend, is shot dead at his isolated farm in the Cotswolds, just as shocking facts about the past are brought to light. Is there a link?
Despite Natasha's reluctance to delve deeper, she knows that family histories hide many secrets, and that sometimes they can kill.
Seemingly unconnected yet haunting stories begin to emerge from ancient paper trails, like slowly developing photographs: two young soldiers - one German, one British - playing football in no man's land on Christmas Day 1914; Second World War land girls, inseparable friends until a fatal mistake tore them apart; and the eerie echo of a child in an English country house.
It is these individual lives that become the clues in Natasha's investigation, ghostly fingerprints that she must use to solve a cold-blooded, blue-blooded crime, hidden for generations in the bluebell woods at Poacher's Dell.
Bloodline is the second novel in Fiona Mountain's outstanding series starring Natasha Blake, which began with Pale as the Dead. Her first novel Isabella was shortlisted for the RNA award. Her beautifully written and atmospheric storytelling will remain with you long after the last page is turned.
"The links between the respectable science of genealogy and the far more dubious one of eugenics are key to a story that ties together with considerable ingenuity a historically accurate Nazi scheme to repopulate the world with Aryan babies, a beautiful gypsy girl and a wronged wife. Genealogy and detective work have the searching out of clues in common and Bloodline, the second in a series, is a satisfying variation on a familiar but enjoyable theme."
"Well told…enjoyable mystery"
"Mountain's superb second mystery…a dramatic conclusion, an intelligent, spunky heroine and credibly human and loveable supporting characters lift this refreshing, fast-paced whodunit."
"To say this is a fascinating book is an understatement, I really loved it. A real puzzle. Brilliantly crafted, this is a real mystery. I wanted to know the end but I didn't want the book to finish. Definitely on my top ten reads of 2004."
"The twists and turns of the plot are pacy, engaging and entertaining."
Family History Monthly
"Intriguing and atmospheric tale."
"A mystery as involving for its genealogical background as for its plot and characters."
"In essence a fine resurrection of the British Golden Age puzzle mystery. Mountain gives her heroine a nice complexity and a richly realized community."
"Mountain writes with verve and style, tells a strong story and peoples her novels with characters who fascinate. Her tale of genealogy gone from harmless pastime to incredible evil with resonate with those who love mysteries of the past."
"Natasha is a fabulous protagonist…the storyline is filled with plenty of action. Fans of investigative tales will enjoy Fiona Mountain's wonderful who-done-it."