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Deadly Pedigree [Paperback]

Jimmy Fox

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Book Description

August 2001 Nick Herald Geneology Mysteries
Murder has a family tree! . . . in Deadly Pedigree, an award-winning Louisiana genealogical mystery. Nick Herald, a professional genealogist in New Orleans, searches for Louisiana relatives of an elderly man, a Holocaust survivor. Soon Nick learns that his client is actually seeking strange vengeance on a wealthy New Orleans woman, who then persuades Nick to work for her and to steal the information she fears. Genealogical curiosity turns deadly as Nick stumbles upon murderous mysteries with roots reaching far back into the past. In the course of his investigation, Nick pieces together a tangled tale of bigotry, betrayal, lust, and shame spanning two centuries. He falls into the arms of the wealthy woman's beautiful daughter, with dangerous consequences for his conscience and his heart. And as the story draws to its conclusion, he learns far more about himself than he ever wanted to know. Finally, Nick makes courageous decisions to right old wrongs and expose the guilty, while doing his best to save his own neck. Ernest J. Gaines, acclaimed titan of American letters, had high praise for Fox’s Deadly Pedigree: "This novel starts with a bang, and ends with a bang. It is a mystery, with all the characters you will find in most good mysteries--tough ones, evil ones, good ones, and in-between ones. The scenes of New Orleans (of the Quarter and the Garden District) and those of Natchitoches are brilliant. The plot takes us back into history, with a subject that is quite familiar: an older generation trying its best to keep a secret of identity from a younger generation."

Deadly Pedigree won 1st prize at the 1995 Deep South Writers Conference and was a finalist in the 1996 St. Martin's Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Contest. Additionally, during the spring and summer of 2000, recognized Jimmy Fox as a "Featured Mystery Author" for Deadly Pedigree, the first novel in his Louisiana genealogical mystery series.

The star of Fox's mysteries is Nick Herald, an ex-college professor of English, now a Certified Genealogist, scratching out a paltry living in fascinating New Orleans, Louisiana. Undeservedly disgraced in his former profession, he has become an outsider, reluctant to trust or to love, but driven to help justice prevail. He scoffs at authority and sneers at hypocrisy. But his cynicism is tempered by an awareness that he too is a flawed human being. And his passion for genealogy is genuine, even spiritual: he believes that exploring the lives of our ancestors helps us better understand other people, other cultures, and other times.

Assisted by Hawty Latimer, a brilliant, young, disabled African American woman, Nick uses his vast store of knowledge, his remarkable memory, and--most of all--his intuition to root out the deadly rot festering within the Louisiana family trees he investigates. He's no hard-boiled hero; yet when cornered, he will fight to win against villains who seek to obscure, control, or destroy the preserved record of the past for their own criminal purposes.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Top Publications (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929976089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929976089
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 313 g

Product Description

About the Author

Jimmy Fox's hometown is Alexandria, Louisiana, a dynamic city on the Red River in the center of the state. Louisiana's many distinct cultures have left their marks here; some have managed to thrive into modern times. As Fox was growing up in this interesting microcosm of the state at large, in this beautiful recreational wonderland, he was fortunate to have parents who emphasized ideas and their expression, creativity, and self-determination.

At Tulane University (B.A., English major, 1977) and at Louisiana State University (M.A., English, 1980), Fox discovered the real value of a good liberal-arts education: learning how to learn. Later, for more than a decade, he worked at the Alexandria NBC television affiliate, in various creative and managerial capacities. Here, he honed his writing skills under the pressure of constant deadlines.

He's been writing, in one way or another, all of his adult life. When he discovered the wonders of genealogy, he knew he was onto something that could be the stuff of great mystery fiction. Fox continues to study extensively in the field of family history, both in a personal quest to trace his roots and in an effort to enhance the authenticity of his mysteries.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading Aug. 23 2013
By Donna M. Glover - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful blend of mystery, genealogy, with a little world history thrown in. It's a fun, quick book to read, but goes into the less traveled realm using genealogy as a background. I wasn't disappointed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Fox scores! May 13 2013
By Susan Leatherman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story Is so meaty and so well-written. Fox uses excellent vocabulary and intelligent descriptive language. Loved it. Refreshing and sophisticated.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardboiled detective work a little overdone Aug. 25 2013
By Eric T. Jorgensen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Proving that genealogists can be hard-boiled detectives, "Deadly Pedigree" follows a discredited academic in a "milk them for as much as I can" genealogy business as he's hired to collect everything about an immigrant lineage for two reasons: one to let the truth come out, and one to remove all evidence at any cost. While the protagonist is sympathetic, his moments of guilt don't exactly stop him from acting immorally to get what he wants (so I couldn't always exactly root for him).

The locations are well described, if perhaps too much (an occasional full page of exposition between lines of dialogue), but often the dialogue seems to get the same treatment (who talks like that?). This and the "know it's wrong, but do it anyway" nature interrupted the flow for me, but it won't stop me from checking out the next two Nick Herald mysteries ("Lineages and Lies" and "Jackpot Blood", both being reissued in paperback and Kindle soon).

I received this Kindle edition during a free promotion period.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Jan. 11 2013
By Anonymous - Published on
This was a very enjoyable read for me, especially being a Louisiana girl. I could readily envision the characters in their environments (New Orleans and the Natchitoches, Louisiana area). I guess that is because Nick seemed pretty realistic. I liked the dark nature of the book's plot and motivations that were balanced by lighter moments as well. It was pleasingly complicated and kept me guessing until the end. I'm also intrigued by genealogy and the book appealed to my interest in that topic. It was definitely worth taking the time to read. I will pick up other Nick Herald genealogical mysteries in the future.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read April 18 2013
By gammadeb - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of ancestry so this was quite satisfactory. The characters are easy to get to know, and the story moves along at a steady pace. overall very much enjoyed reading this story.

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