In his first published novel, local author DJ Wiseman has created a credible mystery and an entirely plausible amateur sleuth. Lydia’s only tools are those available to any family history researcher: gravestones, census records; birth, marriage and death registers; old copies of the Oxford Mail and a dogged attention to detail.
She begins by identifying the family in the old photographs, successfully traces a living descendant and gradually builds up a picture of the family’s lives, loves and tragedies. Finally, with a little help from a well connected academic, she fits the final pieces into the jigsaw and, in an unexpected twist, uncovers the real story behind the mysterious diary.
A Habit of Dying is a well-written, well-paced piece of puzzle solving that will please family history buffs and fans of old-fashioned detective stories alike.