New Release: Martha’s Gift, An Enid Gilchrist Mystery

I am thrilled to announce the release of Martha’s Gift, the third book in my Enid Gilchrist genealogy mystery series. The timeliness of this story amazed me.

When I started writing Martha’s Gift, I wanted DNA testing to contribute to the story and the mystery. The story would begin with the grandchild of an adoptee searching for her great-grandparents by birth so she could complete both of her family trees. Initially, she would not be concerned with why her grandmother was given up for adoption. That soon changed, and I quickly learned the why would mean more research than I had anticipated.

When I was halfway through the first draft of Martha’s Gift, the point at which I stop and do most of my research, news media announced the arrest of a man suspected of being the Golden State Killer. Authorities based his arrest on an unorthodox DNA comparison using an open-source genetic platform. That and similar events have generated considerable controversy and discussion in law enforcement and the genealogy community about such use of genetic data.

I thought my research would focus on old remains. I soon discovered that the use of DNA to solve criminal, missing persons, and unidentified human remains cases, old and new, is in a state of flux. Concerns include the possibilities of misuse, the inability to use current databases in some cases, and the lack of uniform and consistent procedures across the states. New procedures and laws are under consideration which may relieve some concerns but exacerbate others.

I hope enough of my research material appears—accurately—to reflect both the benefits and the risks involved in combining forensic genetics and genetic genealogy. We need the technology, we need it to work for both forensics and genealogy, but we also need to protect privacy and other rights. Controversy and discussion can lead to acceptable solutions. Until and unless they do, discretion is not such a bad idea.

I hope you enjoy reading Martha’s Gift. If you do, I would appreciate a short review or better yet a recommendation to your friends.

Blurb: When genealogy director Enid Gilchrist agrees to help Diana Evans trace her family history and uncover a family secret, she cautions her about potential consequences. When DNA test results reveal a second secret, their search takes them from Tennessee to Mississippi and Arkansas, where they discover more than ancestors and risk becoming missing pieces of their own history.

Quote: “Why should we be interested in our nation’s history but ignore our family’s history? Who has the right to prevent us from discovering that history?”

Giveaway: Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to be randomly selected to receive one of three free paperback editions of Martha’s Gift (recipients to be announced on Monday, October 29, 2018).

Kindle Edition Release Sale: The Kindle edition of Martha’s Gift: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery (Enid Gilchrist Mysteries Book 3) is on sale for 99¢ Wednesday through Sunday, October 24-28 (click on the title in this paragraph or on the image above).