This is the second Esme Quentin Mystery by Wendy Percival and it takes us to a charming part of North Devon. Esme, an historical researcher, returns to Warren Quay where she spent family holidays, 30 years ago, but this time she has gone to assist Maddy, cataloguing the archives of children’s charity SAFE. But her visit takes a dramatic turn when she discovers a dying woman on the beach. Never one to avoid problems, Esme tries to help the woman’s daughter, Neave, discover, why her mother had travelled to Devon from Berkshire and whether there was a connection to the father Neave has never met.
As in the first Esme Quentin Mystery, the reader can discover many interesting aspects of social and genealogical research but there is also a gritty and frightening mystery story. Dramatic events play out against the background of the Mary Ann, a replica nineteenth century sailing ship which has been turned in to a floating museum about the fate of the convicts transported to Australia. Esme and Neave are drawn into a dangerous situation but Detective Sergeant Collins does not believe there is anything to worry about.
I would recommend this to lovers of murder mysteries, intrepid women and those with an interest in family history. I look forward to Esme’s next adventure and perhaps learning more about her previous life.
You can purchase The Indelible Stain at Amazon UK
Wendy Percival was born in the West Midlands and grew up in rural Worcestershire. She moved to North Devon in the 1980s to start her teaching career.
An impulse buy of Writing Magazine prompted her to start writing seriously and after winning a short story competition and having another story published she turned to full length fiction.
The time-honoured ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy and it was while researching her Shropshire roots that she was inspired to write the first Esme Quentin mystery, Blood-Tied.
Genealogy continues to intrigue her and its mysteries provide fodder for her family history blog (http://familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.com) as well as ideas for further novels.
Wendy’s website is http://www.wendypercival.co.uk