The Stories Behind the Series
(See the individual book blurbs by clicking on the links below or the tabs above.)
Enid Grizel Douglas Gilchrist is the sixty-five-year-old genealogist-turned-sleuth in the Enid Gilchrist Mystery Series. Even her name connects her to the past: Enid—a Celtic female name meaning spirit. Grizel—a Scottish female name meaning gray battle-maid. Douglas—a Scottish surname meaning black water or dark river. Her husband’s name paid tribute to the past as well: Bryce—a Celtic male name meaning swift. Conall—Gaelic for strong wolf. Gilchrist—Gaelic for servant of Christ. Although Bryce died ten years earlier, Enid has chosen to remain unmarried. She does, however, keep company with her high school sweetheart, Chief of Police, Patrick Mulhaney.
Enid is a retired high school English teacher and an avid genealogist. She has been the Director of the Genealogy Room at the Bakersville City Library for twenty years. Accustomed to searching out “solutions” to family history mysteries from the past, her research now comes forward as well as goes backward as she unravels the past to solve mysteries that cross generations to impact the present. As she solves the mysteries, she unwittingly provides family history research tips for her readers.
The seed for the first story in the series, Benjamin’s Ghosts, was an actual land dispute that led to one of my ancestor’s sons leaving home after he returned from fighting in the Civil War. He moved to Texas—never to have contact with his family again. While doing my own genealogy research, I connected with one of his descendants and learned this part of our history, although even he did not know the reason for the land dispute. When I began writing this mystery, two story ideas came together to produce a theme of sorts for the series and my writing in general: The past bleeds into the future.
When I started thinking about the second story in the series, Mama’s Secret, I knew only that a friend of Enid’s wanted to discover a secret left by an ancestor, possibly concerning a hidden sum of money, and that someone close to the ancestor escaped in the middle of the night. The story ended up being about so much more.
With the third story in this series, 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.