To the Grave : Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries

  • by Steve Robinson
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries
  • 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A curiously dated child’s suitcase arrives, unannounced and unexplained, in a modern-day Washington suburb. A week later, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is sitting in an English hotel room, staring at the wrong end of a loaded gun.
In his latest journey into the past, Tayte lands in wartime Leicestershire, England. The genealogist had hoped simply to reunite his client with the birth mother she had never met, having no idea she had been adopted. Instead, he uncovers the tale of a young girl and an American serviceman from the US 82nd Airborne, and a stolen wartime love affair that went tragically wrong.
With To the Grave, Steve Robinson confirms his status as a master of the taut and delicately constructed historical thriller.
This is the second audiobook in the Jefferson Tayte mystery series, which begins with In the Blood but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Story Until the Shooting Starts

I waivered between 3 and 4 stars for this book. I finally decided to go with 4 stars based on the strengths of Mina's WWII story.

The book, which alternates between 1944 and present day, is intriguing. The genealogical aspects of the search for Mina are the fascinating and move the story forward. The characters in the 1944 story are well rounded and bring the story to life. I cared about Mina and what happened to her. And when the past and the present merge, the story is first rate. The author should have stopped with Mina's story and edited out the thriller aspects-it would have been a better book.

The present day characters, including the main character (Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist) are flat and typecast. So is the killer. No secret there, we meet the killer very early on. The bad guy(s) are transparent and the reason for a string of assassinations is over the top. It might have been more interesting if there was more variety in the way people died. The problem started for me when the bodies started mounting. The lackluster response of law enforcement was puzzling.

Tayte repeatedly mentions he is searching for his birth parents and that he has a weight problem. But that's all we know. Why is his weight an issue? How heavy is he? Does he have health issues. Or is it just an impression the author has of Americans? Doesn't Tayte have any relatives who know he was adopted? Were his birth parents British? It seems that is why he is so interested in British genealogy. But how does he know this?

A few of the details in the American scenes didn't work. When present-day Tayte has coffee with his American client, she serves the coffee from a percolator. I don't know if you can even buy percolators any more. And Tayte wears tan linen suits. And he seems to have a steady supply on hand. This is a minor problem, though. I'm sure British readers feel the same about details that American authors put in books set in the U.K.

The narrator, Simon Vance, is one of my favorites and he does a good job with Tayte's American English accent and pronunciation. There are instances, however, where Tatye uses a British pronunciation when he just wouldn't have.

Note: This is the second in a series of three books. I have not listened to the first because it was lower rated. I am just finishing the third and will not be recommending it. Too many bodies and another mean assassin. I will write a review soon.

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- Marie

Great WWII Story of Romance, Love, Loss, Lies

This is another terrific mystery/history story. It seemed so real even though you know it is taking place in 1944. A family torn apart by secrets withheld. A young girl forced into a home for unwed mothers from which one never escapes. That was how the Catholic Church at the time 'helped' protect morality. Lock up the girls, give away their babies. Mena is tragic because she is too young to get away from her domineering, strict Catholic, mother. The mother was hiding her daughter's pregnancy. I could go on and on but the story was about an American Genealogist hired to find out why a red suitcase arrived at the house of a woman who becomes his client. The suitcase serves as the beginning point but it leads to all kinds of twists and turns to the past and back to the present. How the sender of the suitcase knew where to send it is still a mystery to me. The whole book keeps you on your toes to get to the end so you can find out what happened to Mena. Stories like this book depicts happened to many families and stills happen today when people keep secrets. Steve Robinson is an excellent story teller and Simon Vance is a great narrator telling the story. Can't wait to find out what Jefferson Tayte gets into in the next book.
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- Linda "Amazon Fan"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-18-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio