Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: "The Wicked Trade, A Genealogical Crime Mystery" by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

I met Nathan Dylan Goodwin, author of the Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogy mystery book series, at RootsTech 2018 in early March.  I have been a fan of his books, and of genealogist Morton Farrier, for several years now.

His latest book, seventh in the series, is The Wicked Trade, A Genealogical Crime Mystery.  The book back cover says:
"When Morton Farrier is presented with a case revolving around a mysterious letter written by disreputable criminal, Ann Fothergill in 1827, he quickly finds himself delving into a shadowy Georgian underworld of smuggling and murder on the Kent and Sussex border. Morton must use his skills as a forensic genealogist to untangle Ann’s association with the notorious Aldington Gang and also with the brutal killing of Quartermaster Richard Morgan. As his research continues, Morton suspects that his client’s family might have more troubling and dangerous expectations of his findings. 
​"This is the seventh book in the Morton Farrier genealogical crime mystery series, although it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story."
The book chapters switch back and forth between the past and the present.  In the recent past, a workman discovers skeletons in the chimney of a pub in Kent.  In the far past, Kent smugglers in the 1820s are running liquor between France and England, and the government agents track them down.  There is murder, illicit affairs, a gold cache, a mysterious woman who becomes wealthy, and a letter passed down over two centuries.  In the present, Morton has a client who really wants to find the gold, plus his recently found birth father comes to visit Morton's family while he does his research in local repositories.

I love the history vignettes in these books.  I love the research process that Morton follows and the repositories he visits.  It feels like I'm riding along with him and seeing the documents he finds.  The research gives me ideas for my own research in England.

I highly recommend this book to genealogy mystery and historical fiction fans.

You can obtain the book on Amazon.  Nathan's book page is  There are images of places and records from the research for this book in

My thanks to Nathan for sharing his book with me in PDF format (complimentary) -  I happily offered to write a review.


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