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The Orange Lilies

The Spyglass File by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

When a woman asks for help to discover information about her parents, forensic genealogist Morton Farrier, is less than keen. His recent cases have not gone well and with his wedding to Juliette and the prospect of finding out about his own father looming ever closer, his mind just isn’t on the task. He relents, however, and takes the case, leading him to World War Two Britain and an abundance of secrets and lies.

The Spyglass File is the fourth of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s Forensic Genealogist series, and one that focuses less on the main protagonist and more on the mystery being solved. The amount of research undertaken by the author on the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and their involvement in decoding German transmissions is obvious and makes for a very accurate retelling of the roles of these often overlooked women. It was interesting to read that much of the plot was based on something that the author had discovered in his own family.

As in previous books, the characters are extremely well-written and it is easy to have empathy for the plight of Elsie Finch. Stuck in a loveless marriage at a turbulent time when nothing is the norm, I found myself willing her to have a happy ending. You will have to read the book to find out whether this is the case, but suffice to say the ending was a satisfying, if unexpected, one!

Of course, as in all Morton Farrier books, it would not be right if he did not experience some sort of danger throughout his investigation! If anyone tells you genealogy is a boring hobby, just refer them to this man! Thankfully for Morton, he just about gets away with his life once again!

The ending has set up the next book nicely, so I am presuming we shall be off to America in the next installment. I can’t wait!

The Spyglass File is available to purchase now.

The America Ground by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

Forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, returns and this time he’s America Groundready to delve into his own past. Keen to discover the identity of his biological father, he is soon sidetracked however, when he is commissioned to investigate the history of Eliza Lovekin, the subject of a nineteenth century painting. In true Morton Farrier style, the case is not as straightforward as it may seem and soon he finds himself part of a race against time to avoid something untoward happening…

‘The America Ground’ is the third of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s novels featuring Morton Farrier (a novella, ‘The Orange Lilies’ was published last year) and continues in the same vein as the previous books. It is not essential to have read the first two parts of the series although they do come highly recommended!

The author weaves fact and fiction together seamlessly and also gives good advice for anyone wanting to research their own family history. Despite the timeshifts throughout the book (the Lovekin story occurs in the early nineteenth century while Morton Farrier is very much of the present), the story is easy to follow and the numerous twists and turns make it an exciting read.

I am now eagerly waiting the fourth book of the series!

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