On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route between Canada and England. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten.
When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death.
Tayte is expert in tracking killers across centuries. In The Lost Empress, his unique talents draw him to one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history as he unravels the truth behind Alice’s death amidst a backdrop of pre-WWI espionage.
This is the fourth book in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.
Once again I have returned to read about professional genealogist, Jefferson Tate or JT as he likes to be called. Hailing from the States he frequently finds his investigations take him to England, even though he hates flying. He is a very human character, who loves chocolate, has few social skills but is prepared to put himself in danger, in order to solve the mysteries which his clients present him with.
The Lost Empress is a dual time novel, leading up to the tragic sinking of the ocean liner. We join young mother and Admiral’s daughter Alice Sitwell who is driven to engaging in espionage against her country, to protect her husband and young children. The more she tries to extricate herself, the tighter the noose tightens and we wonder whether Jefferson will solve the mystery of her death or disappearance.
Both Alice and JT are at risk of losing their lives but both act bravely if rather foolishly. This is a particularly thrilling episode of this series which I seem to be reading in random order but that has not spoilt my enjoyment due to the clear characterisation. A novel which will entertain those who enjoy family history, thrillers or historical novels.
The Lost Empress is available on Amazon UK
My review of Steve Robinson’s Letters from the Dead