Author M.J. Lee is on the blog today with the first in his Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery Series, a story that takes a deeper look at the Easter Rising in Ireland, all while finding answers for an American Billionaire. Please read on for my review of the AudioBook narrated by Lucy Rayner.
The Irish Inheritance
Told in dual-perspectives the story of Jayne Sinclair’s first case for an American Billionaire with questions about his own history and ties to Ireland in the early 1920’s, M.J. Lee uses detailed research, descriptive storytelling and a clever heroine with a compelling background to draw us into the story and keep us reading on. While I’ve read many accounts of the Easter Rising in 1921, this perspective of an adopted man searching for his family, and the voice from the past detailing conditions, attitudes and anger that fueled the tinderbox that was Dublin at the time is intriguing and engaging.
Jayne is struggling to get her new business as a genealogical investigator off the ground: she has the detecting skills as an ex-cop, and the determination to not stop until she has the answers, and a marriage in tatters to keep her motivated. So the enquiry was perfectly timed: the fact that her client has little time left to live instantly starts Jayne off on the search with a sense of urgency. And then…..
Everything starts to twist. What should be a reasonably simple, if tedious and time consuming search suddenly twists: someone doesn’t want the truth uncovered, even as the history (and point of view) from the days surrounding the Easter Rising are redolent with passion, anger, history and emotion: engaging in ways that harken to the traditions and feel of old Irish tales and famous tellers. Mixing history and present, finding little threads that connect the slow demise of Jayne’s marriage to the slow growth of anger and outrage leading to the Rising, and the twists that Jayne encounters in the history and in the increasing difficulties in finding the next logical piece all keep intrigue high.
Narration for this story is provided by Lucy Rayner, and her transitions between characters, presenting voices, emotional nuance and ever-increasing tension as the story progresses enhanced the listen and my interest in returning for more. While I couldn’t listen to this title in one sitting: Rayner never shorted her performance: from historical detail to emotional components: all added to the volumes of information, giving time to gasp at the twists, wondering just where things would go next.
While the moments devoted to the historical perspective often felt longer and more detailed, Jayne’s own personal story, and the threats she faced along the way in finding answers made for a story that added twists, turns and a great surprise at the end. A wonderful introduction to this author and this series, and a great listen for those who want a story to last several hours.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: The Irish Inheritance
Author: M.J. Lee
Series: Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Historic Elements, Setting: Ireland
Narrator: Lucy Rayner
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 31 March 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 10 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible
June 8, 1921. Ireland. A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.
November 22, 2015. United Kingdom. Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father. How are the two events linked?
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller. It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.