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Lethal Lineage (Lottie Albright Series) Hardcover – March 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“appealing second mystery . . . a whodunit that will keep the reader turning the pages until the dramatic conclusion.”— Publisher’s Weekly



 “Lottie’s second case is a worthy successor to Deadly Descent (2009). Deftly drawn characters and a complicated but believable mystery leave you yearning for more.”— Kirkus Reviews

 "unusual and well-written sequel to Deadly Descent.”—Library Journal

"an intriguing tale that links current events to old rivalries. Readers will be waiting for Lottie’s next case."— Booklist


Book Description

A sinister Episcopal Bishop shows up to confirm Lottie and Josie Albright’s niece at the new frame church built on the corners of four Western Kansas counties. The twins are already agitated when the Reverend Mary Farnsworth flees to the anti-room after dropping the chalice. Josie, a psychologist, lingers after the service to comfort her, but Lottie immediately orders her sister to leave when they discover Reverend Mary’s body. Back at the county-wide picnic, an elderly lady informs Lottie that a man kneeling next to her scared Reverend Mary into a heart attack. Where does the truth lie?


Product Details

  • Series: Lottie Albright Series
  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition first Printing edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590588371
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590588376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,815,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlotte Hinger is a Western Kansas historian. The Lottie Albright series was inspired by a childhood listening to the natural born liars in her small community of Lone Elm, Kansas, and the mesmerizing "rest of the stories" whispered behind closed doors when she edited over 500 family submissions for county history books.

She has published a number of mystery short stories. Simon and Schuster published her historical novel, Come Spring, which won the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Award. Convinced that mystery writing and historical investigation go hand to hand, she applies her MA in history to academic articles and her wicked and depraved imagination to murder most foul.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lethal Lineage, Charlotte Hinger's latest addition to her brilliant series with small-town local sleuth, Deputy Sheriff Lottie Albright, is another spellbinding mystery. Hinger again weaves a riveting tale that winds through the musty historical archives of Carlton County, Nebraska, and through the back roads and homes of the rural residents, some not so friendly to Lottie's mission to delve into a strange and sudden death during a service in a local church. One interesting character after another tells stories to Lottie of past lives that have been kept secret for generations, some from as far away as Africa. All this blends into Hinger's novel of intrigue with gripping scenes that will pull you skillfully from one chapter to another, not only with Lottie, but with the able assistance of her twin sister, Josie, and her husband, Keith. Don't miss this newest edition from one of our most gifted novelists writing today.
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Format: Hardcover
I like the contemporary Western Kansas setting with wide open spaces and third/fourth generation land survivors. Thirty-something Lottie Albright is married to a respected rancher-veterinarian; she is a mover and shaker in the local historical society, and also the under-deputy sheriff for the county.

Lethal Lineage starts in church with Lottie, and members from several counties, attending the first service at the new church they built themselves. But the day is marred when Episcopal priest Mary Farnsworth has a panic attack, locks herself in another room, and is there found dead after the service. No windows, only one door. A natural physical ailment is ruled out.

The mystery deepens when there is no record anywhere of Mary Farnsworth's history, family, or other relations. And then there's the strange Bishop who was officiating for the baptism of Lottie's niece...He reminds Lottie of a priest she researched who lived 150 years ago.

A lot to contemplate here, and with Hinger's good writing the lively plot moves along quickly. We see her conflicts with being a sheriff and also a wife and a working historian; to lessen her burdens, her husband takes on the vacant deputy position, and is also on the case. Both of them really rile the sheriff of a neighboring county and he makes trouble.

Throw into this mix Lottie's continuing interviews with county people for family history, and, lo!, some seem to be tangential to the Farnsworth murder. Also, Lottie's very urban twin sister, Josie, gets involved after a not-so-smart arrest by the neighboring county sheriff. And then there's the fiddle contest...

Sound complex? Well it is, and I think Hinger nearly undid herself.
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Format: Paperback
First Line: Happiness happens.

The Episcopalians in Lottie Albright's corner of western Kansas have worked hard to build a small church on a parcel of land that sits on the corners of four counties. The first day they gather together for a sermon, communion, and the confirmation of Lottie's niece.

The bishop gives an inappropriate sermon filled with hellfire and brimstone, and everyone is thunderstruck when beloved Reverend Mary Farnsworth drops the chalice during communion and locks herself in the anteroom. Lottie's sister Josie, a psychologist, stays after the service to comfort Mary, but Lottie orders her sister to leave when the locked door is opened and Mary's body is found on the floor. Frightened by the bishop's strange rituals for disposing of the spilled wine, Lottie would like nothing better than to leave, but as undersheriff, she must stay to attend to the death.

An elderly lady who attended the service insists that a man kneeling next to her scared Reverend Mary into a heart attack which gives credence to Lottie's belief that this was not a natural death. Calling in other law enforcement agencies, Lottie discovers many more questions than answers as the investigation moves forward.

The first book in this series, Deadly Descent, relied a great deal on Lottie's skill as an historian digging through old records, documents, and genealogical charts. In Lethal Lineage, Lottie finds herself focusing more on the oral histories of several county residents. She also realizes that she's bitten off more than she can chew in her work for the county historical society and as undersheriff.
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Format: Hardcover
What starts out as a happy celebration for both the Albright family and the parishioners of St.Helena's Church, turns terribly wrong in the course of a few minutes. First the visiting Episcopal Bishop who has come to confirm Lottie and Josie Albright's niece delivers what can only be described as a fire and brimstone homily. Then as the congregation is receiving communion, Reverend Mary Farnsworth, drops the chalice spilling the consecrated wine before fleeing to the ante-room. Farnsworth is found dead after the service ends. That is the set up for Hinger's second Lottie Albright mystery.

There are so many different angles to this book to pull different sorts of readers in. It's rather unusual to have a protagonist who is both an amateur sleuth and a law enforcement officer, but that is exactly what readers have in Lottie Albright. While she came to Western Kansas as the Director of the County Historical Society, she soon found herself a part-time deputy for the Sheriff's Department and is now in fact the Under Sheriff. So while the book is technically a police procedural, it's also an amateur detective novel. Because Lottie's current project at the Historical Society is writing the county's history through the stories of the residents, it is very much historical fiction as well.

Then there's the rich detailing of Western Kansas for a setting which brings the area to life leaving no confusion with the reader that Lottie's Kansas is far, far away from Kansas City-and not just in miles. Through the oral histories of the families readers learn much of how this area of the country came to be settled-what drew people to what was not by any measure an easy life in the early days.
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