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The Lost Empress

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From acclaimed author Steve Robinson comes a bold new Jefferson Tayte mystery. On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route between Canada and England. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Emp From acclaimed author Steve Robinson comes a bold new Jefferson Tayte mystery. On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route between Canada and England. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death. Tayte is expert in tracking killers across centuries. In The Lost Empress, his unique talents draw him to one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history as he unravels the truth behind Alice’s death amidst a backdrop of pre-WWI espionage. This is the fourth book in the Jefferson Tayte mystery series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.


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From acclaimed author Steve Robinson comes a bold new Jefferson Tayte mystery. On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route between Canada and England. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Emp From acclaimed author Steve Robinson comes a bold new Jefferson Tayte mystery. On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route between Canada and England. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death. Tayte is expert in tracking killers across centuries. In The Lost Empress, his unique talents draw him to one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history as he unravels the truth behind Alice’s death amidst a backdrop of pre-WWI espionage. This is the fourth book in the Jefferson Tayte mystery series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

30 review for The Lost Empress

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kylie D

    Another intriguing mystery in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series. In this book JT is investigating the supposed death of a young woman, who went down on the passenger liner The Empress Of Ireland in 1914. However his client in America is claiming that the woman is her grandmother. So what would cause Alice Stilwell to fake her death and hide from her family in England? Enter JT! As JT delves into the past he finds all is not as it seems. Secrets, lies and betrayals hide behind every Another intriguing mystery in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series. In this book JT is investigating the supposed death of a young woman, who went down on the passenger liner The Empress Of Ireland in 1914. However his client in America is claiming that the woman is her grandmother. So what would cause Alice Stilwell to fake her death and hide from her family in England? Enter JT! As JT delves into the past he finds all is not as it seems. Secrets, lies and betrayals hide behind every corner, and JT has a real riddle to solve if he wants to find out what really happened to Alice Stilwell. I found The Lost Empress to be another unputdownable read from Steve Robinson. The plots are imaginative and the tracing of family trees is fascinating. I love the character of JT, dedicated and passionate, yet flawed. I highly recommend this series to all lovers of historical mysteries.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries never fails to keep me intrigued to the end and The Lost Empress in no exception. This book was everything I have come to love plus more... 5 Gold Stars a must read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I know the historic character in Steve Robinson's latest book is supposed to be fictional, but Alice Stilwell is so well written that I'm having a hard time convincing myself it would be a waste of time to do my own research on the Empress of Ireland in order to prove she was a real person. Jefferson Tayte has solved more intriguing murder cases, in my opinion, but the story behind the story was wonderfully crafted and intriguing. I let my coffee get cold while I read the last 10 chapters, despe I know the historic character in Steve Robinson's latest book is supposed to be fictional, but Alice Stilwell is so well written that I'm having a hard time convincing myself it would be a waste of time to do my own research on the Empress of Ireland in order to prove she was a real person. Jefferson Tayte has solved more intriguing murder cases, in my opinion, but the story behind the story was wonderfully crafted and intriguing. I let my coffee get cold while I read the last 10 chapters, desperate to find out what became of Alice. And that's a huge compliment to the author. *In a side note, one of the things I appreciate about Mr. Robinson's books is that they can stand alone without needing to be in order of the "series"; there's continuity, but not rigidity. My favorite "new" author once again delivers a grand book, well worth the wait! Read it! (But finish your coffee first...)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    I'm afraid I could not push on any further with this book. I got to 15% and didn't enjoy a minute of it, found it very wordy and it just did not grab me one bit. I've too many other books to read and review, I just don't think this one is for me. As I didn't get far I'm not rating it as I think that's unfair, but sadly I just could not keep pressing on. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. I'm afraid I could not push on any further with this book. I got to 15% and didn't enjoy a minute of it, found it very wordy and it just did not grab me one bit. I've too many other books to read and review, I just don't think this one is for me. As I didn't get far I'm not rating it as I think that's unfair, but sadly I just could not keep pressing on. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Beautiful! Another gem by Steve Robinson. The assignment in this 4th book is about a lady who, in 1914, apparently died in the historic sinking of the "Empress of Ireland" in the Saint Lawrence River in Canada... or did she? I love stories like this, with a tangled web that gradually gets untangled by protagonist Jefferson Tayte, with a few surprises at the end. I did manage to guess one of them at about 75%, but not the final outcome. Delectable! Beautiful! Another gem by Steve Robinson. The assignment in this 4th book is about a lady who, in 1914, apparently died in the historic sinking of the "Empress of Ireland" in the Saint Lawrence River in Canada... or did she? I love stories like this, with a tangled web that gradually gets untangled by protagonist Jefferson Tayte, with a few surprises at the end. I did manage to guess one of them at about 75%, but not the final outcome. Delectable!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. There is no other way to put this. Too many unneeded words.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    The fourth book in the Jefferson Tayte series and it was another good one. Some new techniques used by the author in this book. Here we have a the case of a person who apparently was killed on the legendary Empress of Ireland liner (true historical facts are relied on for the disaster) and yet who appears to have survived and lived in Canada under a new name. This book deals with pre-WW1 espionage in those months leading up to Germany's invasion of Europe and German agents who lived and worked i The fourth book in the Jefferson Tayte series and it was another good one. Some new techniques used by the author in this book. Here we have a the case of a person who apparently was killed on the legendary Empress of Ireland liner (true historical facts are relied on for the disaster) and yet who appears to have survived and lived in Canada under a new name. This book deals with pre-WW1 espionage in those months leading up to Germany's invasion of Europe and German agents who lived and worked in England to secure British naval secrets for the German military. The author swings back and forth every 2 or so chapters between current day and then back to 1914 to spin a tale of espionage, betrayal, treason and of a woman who is thrust into the middle of all this. There are murders in 1914 and there are murders today as everyone wants to find an old notebook, written in code, for what it contains. It is a good page turner with a bit of a convoluted ending but nonetheless it is another strong effort by Robinson who has written 7 books in this series with each one being a better effort than the prior book. Look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I think some would look at a “genealogical mystery” as something that would probably be pretty boring. I mean, what could rooting through a family tree actually produce? Well, I could say the same thing for archaeology. I got this from the publisher through NetGalley and now I want a hardbound copy for myself, along with wanting to read the previous books in the series. The lineage research in THE LOST EMPRESS is tarted up, I think, in the same way that Indiana Jones tarts up archaeology. Really, I think some would look at a “genealogical mystery” as something that would probably be pretty boring. I mean, what could rooting through a family tree actually produce? Well, I could say the same thing for archaeology. I got this from the publisher through NetGalley and now I want a hardbound copy for myself, along with wanting to read the previous books in the series. The lineage research in THE LOST EMPRESS is tarted up, I think, in the same way that Indiana Jones tarts up archaeology. Really, it’s not that dangerously exciting but it makes a fun go of it, doesn’t it? Tate is tasked with finding out whether a woman who recently died in the US is really another woman who supposedly died on a ship that foundered in the St Lawrence nearly 100 years prior. And from there he opens up a can of worms that doesn’t necessarily want to wriggle free. Really, it was an exciting read. If you have any appreciation at all for history or what could lie under the carpet of a family tree I think you’ll like this book. There’s no doubt in my mind that Robinson knows what he’s talking about and he’s put a painstaking amount of research into writing this book. That much is obvious but it’s not overflowing with research. It blends seamlessly with the story and nothing seems out of place. As Tayte is trying to unravel the mystery on his plate the true story (within the context of the book) is played out in alternating chapters. I kind of wanted to shout at the book as I read a vital piece of information from the old timeline that Tayte was still trying to uncover. I was at work so that didn’t happen. It also introduced me to the Empress of Ireland, and it’s the main reason I was drawn into the book in the first place. She was a real ship and she really did sink but her timing wasn’t all that great. She had a greater passenger loss of life than the Titanic but she sank nestled between that 1912 sinking and the looming dawn of the Great War so she’s been pretty much lost to the annals. And her sinking was far more disastrous than Titanic’s. Yes, she foundered in a river, however she only took twelve minutes to do it. TWELVE MINUTES. It’s a miracle anyone survived. On top of that was all of the German espionage going on. I had no idea that the Germans blackmailed people into spying for them, and that England killed those people are treason (or some of them). Crappy situation all around. So there was a little bit of excitement. A person or two having gone a bit bananas for one ulterior motive or another but that’s actually a pretty thin part of the book. The bulk of it is about the life of Alice Stilwell as it unfolds on one timeline and Tayte trying to uncover it in another while working with the police in solving a murder. No, he’s not a cop but in his research he uncovered that someone’s murder could possibly be linked to what he was looking for so it all came together in the end. And it was exciting. No crushing boulders or guys yanking hearts out of chests or anything but Robinson wrote good, realistic excitement that made sense for the story without being overblown. I want to go back and read more of the Jefferson Tayte books now. Because I don’t have enough books to read, apparently. 4 1/2

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    3.5 stars This was my first time reading a book in this series but I had no trouble jumping in at book four. Each mystery is discrete and self-contained with not a lot of info or story about out main character, Tayte. I fact, that's one of my complaints; we don't get enough about Tayte. I don't really feel as if I know him any better by the end of the story. We're given little hints about a mysterious background but they weren't quite enough to whet my appetite, more enough to irritate me with t 3.5 stars This was my first time reading a book in this series but I had no trouble jumping in at book four. Each mystery is discrete and self-contained with not a lot of info or story about out main character, Tayte. I fact, that's one of my complaints; we don't get enough about Tayte. I don't really feel as if I know him any better by the end of the story. We're given little hints about a mysterious background but they weren't quite enough to whet my appetite, more enough to irritate me with the lack of information and development. On the plus side, the focus of the story is on the mystery - determining whether American Alice Dixon was also British Alice Stilwell, who supposedly died when the Empress of Ireland sank. The story alternated between being told from Alice Stilwell's POV in the early 1900s and Tayte's POV in the present day. Robinson weaves in history, genealogy, war, family drama, and romance. Alice's story lured me in and kept me reading. She faced some difficult decisions with little guidance and I felt for her even as I disagreed with her choices. She was likable, caring, naive, and loving, and Robinson's research showed clearly while never overtaking the story. I hadn't heard of the Empress before or her sinking but as Tayte said it got lost between the disaster of the Titanic and the start of the first World War. In the present, Tayte is looking for links between the two Alices and finds himself embroiled in a current murder mystery. The victim is a relative of the late Alice Stilwell so Tayte's attention is immediately grabbed. Add in the vicious reception he gets from Alice's current day relatives and he's like a grey hound after a rabbit - he won't stop until he solves the various mysteries, old and new. Parts of this story were predictable and parts took me completely by surprise. In the 1914 mystery, I did figure out the villain early on, it was simply too obvious. But the modern day villains took me mostly by surprise and I like being surprised. Actually, the resolution and reveal reminded a bit of classic Dick Francis and that did take me by surprise, in a good way. "The Lost Empress" kept me reading, I cared about Alice and wanted a different ending for her. Tayte was mildly interesting but I did enjoy learning about genealogical research. I will probably read more in the series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean Gill

    Fans of this bestselling series, like me, will find much to enjoy and even surprise them in the latest adventure of genealogical detective J.T. As always, it is the unfolding of the story set in the past that I like best. In this case, I discovered the prelude to WW1, with credible spies and a real-life shipwreck. More passengers died when the Empress of Ireland sank than in the Titanic disaster and yet most of us know nothing about it because war news overwhelmed all else. Who was it that point Fans of this bestselling series, like me, will find much to enjoy and even surprise them in the latest adventure of genealogical detective J.T. As always, it is the unfolding of the story set in the past that I like best. In this case, I discovered the prelude to WW1, with credible spies and a real-life shipwreck. More passengers died when the Empress of Ireland sank than in the Titanic disaster and yet most of us know nothing about it because war news overwhelmed all else. Who was it that pointed out how to bury bad news by timing its release? Caught up in these events is the subject of JT’s investigation, Alice. I found it easy to empathise with Alice and her dilemma as she struggles against threats to her family and pressure to betray her country. The modern day antics, with murder and chases, are entertaining, well-structured to leave the past narative at cliff-hanger moments, and I believe in J.T. as a character. His sloppy shyness with women is endearing, as is his failure to discover his own family history (so far). It goes with the genre that there are twists and revelations and the reader has to be willing to accept some unlikely behaviour in the interest of plot entertainment. Given the complexity of the three-strand plot (past and present of ‘the case’, plus J.T.’s own life) I think Steve Robinson pulls it off well. Until three-quarters of the way through the book, I was completely gripped by Alice’s story; after that, the pace grew faster but the characterisation weaker, in my eyes. Of course, I still wanted to know what happened but I'm always going to prefer it when the writing reaches a higher level. Having said that, the sinking of the Empress is an emotional roller-dipper of a scene and I love the historical detail in the whole book. I trust Steve Robinson's portrayal of clothes, manners and machinery to set the scene. I now know what camera spy might have used in 1914 – fascinating!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A tremendous novel of treachery and suspense. Thoroughly researched, and it has to be because the main character is a researcher himself. Plenty of twists and turns to keep even the staunchest Mystery reader engaged. I enjoyed the interweaving of the present and past story lines. The historical information is refreshing as it consists of a ship whose infamy is obscured by other events and is now brought to the forefront. A true trust no one tale that spans all ages.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hina Tabassum Khatri

    The story is gripping in a way that you don't want to put it down. Going into the secrets that history holds in definitely interesting. The story is gripping in a way that you don't want to put it down. Going into the secrets that history holds in definitely interesting.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane Challenor

    We enjoyed it! We've listened to the whole series so far. All have been a good read. We enjoyed it! We've listened to the whole series so far. All have been a good read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Highton

    A decent mystery set mainly in North Kent where I was brought up, with Jefferson Tayte trying to solve a mystery dating back to 1914, when a survivor of a major shipwreck used it as an opportunity to start a new life. A pretty decent read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    As in his previous book To the Grave, author Steve Robinson tells his story with two narratives; one in 1914 and Tayte's in the present day. It is a technique he does well. I found both narratives to be equally interesting, and both kept me guessing at how all the pieces fit together. In addition, Robinson shines the spotlight on an almost forgotten tragedy: the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. With a death toll almost as high as the Titanic, the Empress of Ireland has long been overshadowed b As in his previous book To the Grave, author Steve Robinson tells his story with two narratives; one in 1914 and Tayte's in the present day. It is a technique he does well. I found both narratives to be equally interesting, and both kept me guessing at how all the pieces fit together. In addition, Robinson shines the spotlight on an almost forgotten tragedy: the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. With a death toll almost as high as the Titanic, the Empress of Ireland has long been overshadowed by the Titanic, the sinking of the Lusitania, and by the beginning of World War I. The Lost Empress does deal tangentially with the Great War and its centenary this year by focusing on some of the events that led up to it. This strong historical foundation adds a great deal to the past narrative in the book. As someone who's read all four of Robinson's Jefferson Tayte mysteries, it's easy to see what a canny writer he is. One of the things I enjoy the most is his character's use of basic genealogist's tools to solve mysteries. Having lived with two of this breed, I know just how much information can be found in old records, be they census records, wills, photographs, newspaper accounts, or letters and diaries. To the uninitiated it may seem incredulous that Tayte can solve crime using these methods, but it's not. (Did you know that there's such a thing as forensic genealogy?) Another thing that Robinson has done throughout this series is vary the action. From someone who blundered from one concussion to the next in the first book, Tayte has become calmer and more assured-- even to the point of dodging bullets in The Last Queen of England. Robinson knows that there aren't many genealogists out there who dodge bullets for a living, so there's no repeat of that in this book. Instead the focus is on that very puzzling ancestor and her story, and it's a very rich and satisfying mystery to solve. This book can easily be read as a standalone, but as the story ends with Tayte being on the verge of making a life-changing decision, chances are excellent that this is one series you're going to want to continue following.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen Charlton

    The master of genealogy crime fiction does it again! Spring 1914: The Germans amass arms and ammunition for ‘the day’ when they will invade the rest of Europe and an atmosphere of suspicion and fear begins to stifle England. A young British mother and wife is forced into a role she hates in order to save her family and thus starts a one hundred year-old murderous mystery which can only be solved by Jefferson Tayte, Robinson’s genealogist cum amateur detective. I really enjoyed this book. It is th The master of genealogy crime fiction does it again! Spring 1914: The Germans amass arms and ammunition for ‘the day’ when they will invade the rest of Europe and an atmosphere of suspicion and fear begins to stifle England. A young British mother and wife is forced into a role she hates in order to save her family and thus starts a one hundred year-old murderous mystery which can only be solved by Jefferson Tayte, Robinson’s genealogist cum amateur detective. I really enjoyed this book. It is the fourth one I have read and personally I think that the JT mysteries where both strands of the story are set within the last five generations are the best. Yet again Robinson has taken me to a world in the not-so-distant past which I thought I knew – and now realise that I didn’t. He brilliantly recreates the stifling unease and the complacency of the pre-war era and opened my eyes to a brutal world of international espionage of which I was totally unaware. Although the ‘Titanic fan’ in me would have liked more of the novel to describe the sinking of the ‘Empress of Ireland,’ I appreciate that Robinson is writing a tightly-plotted whodunit rather than sensationalising history. Our intrepid detective, JT, is also maturing with each novel. He is still as likeable – and continues to risk his life with every case – but he appears to be less naïve, awkward and trusting than in the earlier books. He also cooperates better with the British police. I particularly enjoyed the minor characters of Davina’s father and Archie but would have appreciated a short family tree at the beginning to help me keep tabs on the Ashcrofts, the Scanlons and the Saxbys. Perhaps in the next book in the series? Looking forward to it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    A really interesting read I do love Steve Robinson’s novels because he always writes about something that is interesting and he manages to bring into it a touch of excitement and intrigue. This novel was no exception. To write about an ocean liner that was sunk on it’s way back to England in 1914 just before the First World War was absolutely fascinating and the intrigue surrounding the young lady whose life he was researching really brought this to life. Authors who can take a history fact and wr A really interesting read I do love Steve Robinson’s novels because he always writes about something that is interesting and he manages to bring into it a touch of excitement and intrigue. This novel was no exception. To write about an ocean liner that was sunk on it’s way back to England in 1914 just before the First World War was absolutely fascinating and the intrigue surrounding the young lady whose life he was researching really brought this to life. Authors who can take a history fact and write a fictional story around it are extremely clever as they have the ability to not only bring history to life but to make the reader believe that it actually happened. Steve is one of the best at doing this and I am sure it won’t be long before I delve into his next novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    This story skips between 1914 and present day. The RMS Empress of Ireland sank off a Canadian coast, and she took many passengers and crew with her. This has little to do with the rest of the tale; the ship is a convenient way of claiming a death when puzzlingly it appears that a woman listed as drowned, lived for years afterwards. Trying to resolve this issue is a genealogist called Jefferson. The rest of the story occurs in England, mainly Kent, with a detour via North Holland in 1914. The them This story skips between 1914 and present day. The RMS Empress of Ireland sank off a Canadian coast, and she took many passengers and crew with her. This has little to do with the rest of the tale; the ship is a convenient way of claiming a death when puzzlingly it appears that a woman listed as drowned, lived for years afterwards. Trying to resolve this issue is a genealogist called Jefferson. The rest of the story occurs in England, mainly Kent, with a detour via North Holland in 1914. The theme is spying in the run-up to the Great War. A young English wife has to co-operate after her husband and children are abducted. While the lady's adventures are told with great detail and drama, I was irked by the fact that the return of her children almost at once was glossed over in a couple of lines and could easily be missed. Nor could I see an officer assisting her in spying for any reason. However the lady has a good time skulking around the ship and submarine building yard on the Medway, with her heart in her mouth, so much is forgiven. In modern day the slightly weaker story sees Jefferson befriending or making enemies of English people when he comes to visit a man - who has recently been killed in a supposed break-in. Here the work of the genealogist and the record-hunting are detailed. Fans of historical crime stories and family tree researchers will enjoy the excitement and secrecy in this tale. There are a few in the series already but you don't need to have read them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    This is the fourth genealogical mystery I've read by Steve Robinson. Being a family historian myself, I love the technique he uses in writing these books. There is the genealogist, Jefferson Tayte's own story as he tries to unravel mysteries of the past; and then there are the actual stories of those who came before. The author manages to do an excellent job of interspersing the two. In "The Lost Empress" one of Tayte's clients thinks that her recently deceased grandmother may have actually been This is the fourth genealogical mystery I've read by Steve Robinson. Being a family historian myself, I love the technique he uses in writing these books. There is the genealogist, Jefferson Tayte's own story as he tries to unravel mysteries of the past; and then there are the actual stories of those who came before. The author manages to do an excellent job of interspersing the two. In "The Lost Empress" one of Tayte's clients thinks that her recently deceased grandmother may have actually been a woman who supposedly drowned when "The Empress of Ireland" floundered and sank in the St. Lawrence River in 1914. Taking what pictures the granddaughter has given him and what info he can dig up on the internet, Jefferson is off to England once more to speak to the descendants of the lady who drowned. When he is met by definite hostility, he is more and more convinced that the family has a shameful secret they do not want unearthed. You can't help loving the somewhat overweight and uncoordinated Jefferson with his love of chocolate bars and his timidity of aggressive women. Enjoyed this read and look forward to the next Tayte book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    This was the 4th book in the Jefferson Tayte series, and thankfully it reverts back to the twin time lines. In this case the present day and just prior to the outbreak of war in 1914. His client has given him a mystery to solve, was her deceased elderly relative really who she had always thought she was, or did a locket contain the real truth. It also deals in part with the spy fever that gripped England prior to war, and the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland, both real events which have bee This was the 4th book in the Jefferson Tayte series, and thankfully it reverts back to the twin time lines. In this case the present day and just prior to the outbreak of war in 1914. His client has given him a mystery to solve, was her deceased elderly relative really who she had always thought she was, or did a locket contain the real truth. It also deals in part with the spy fever that gripped England prior to war, and the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland, both real events which have been well used in this tale. So much so that at times I had to remind myself that the main character was fictitious. The book was slightly sluggish initially. but after about 30 or so pages it soon got into its stride. The characters were well crafted, and any action was not blown out of proportion. Everything had that ring of research which had been well done, and made for a gripping tale. I have enjoyed all of the Jefferson Tayte series so far, and now I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Which hopefully will be released later this year.

  21. 5 out of 5

    R.G. Phelps

    As they say, "It isn't over until it's Over." Steve Robinson takes you on a very Interesting trip with his storyline covering the early 1900's as part of the story blended with today as the other part of the story... The early 1900's portion introduces you to Alice Stilwell/Dixon, Archie Ashcroft, Oscar Scanlon, Frank Saxby, and Admiral Metcalfe. Today's characters consists of; JT Tate, DI Bishop, Davina Scanlon, Dean Saxby, Raife Metcalfe, and Jean Summer. Everything starts with JT's research of As they say, "It isn't over until it's Over." Steve Robinson takes you on a very Interesting trip with his storyline covering the early 1900's as part of the story blended with today as the other part of the story... The early 1900's portion introduces you to Alice Stilwell/Dixon, Archie Ashcroft, Oscar Scanlon, Frank Saxby, and Admiral Metcalfe. Today's characters consists of; JT Tate, DI Bishop, Davina Scanlon, Dean Saxby, Raife Metcalfe, and Jean Summer. Everything starts with JT's research of the connection between Alice Stilwell/Dixon and the Metcalfe family... I enjoy a storyline that takes you back and forth between two time zones, with both containing their own mysteries, and Steve's, "The Lost Empress," has plenty to go around... Toward the end of the story you will read this quote, "The past is already written. The future, on the other hand, is a story yet to be told. So write it well." Are there surprises in store for you? Definitely there are! Enjoy...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joo

    This is the fourth in the Jefferson Tayte series of genealogical mysteries and it is back to the dual timeline that the first two books utilised. This time JT is tracking down Alice who may or may not have gone down when the Empress of Ireland sank in 1914. Was Alice really a traitor to her country on the eve of war, or just a wife and mother caught up in events beyond her control? I did enjoy this story. The set-up of these books whereby you are taken back and forth in time, with the story unfold This is the fourth in the Jefferson Tayte series of genealogical mysteries and it is back to the dual timeline that the first two books utilised. This time JT is tracking down Alice who may or may not have gone down when the Empress of Ireland sank in 1914. Was Alice really a traitor to her country on the eve of war, or just a wife and mother caught up in events beyond her control? I did enjoy this story. The set-up of these books whereby you are taken back and forth in time, with the story unfolding concurrently is a pleasure to read. But I must admit I preferred the previous book where there was more action and it was set in current times. As a series of books, the stories are well thought out and I look forward to JT's next mystery.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carol Mcgrath

    A good book I liked this book. It was well written and gave a very good insight into espionage before WW1 began and choices that had to be made to protect those you loved. Alice Stilwell had to make very difficult choices including giving up her family to keep them safe. Jefferson Tayte, a genealogist, looking for answers tried to find them by working with some very difficult descendants is Alice. This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Another satisfying adventure with JT, humble genealogical detective. Loved the twist at the end! The combination of two fascinating stories--one in present day, one from the past--plus the excellent narration of Simon Vance make this series highly entertaining! One of my favorite discoveries from Kindle Unlimited, read & listen "free." Another satisfying adventure with JT, humble genealogical detective. Loved the twist at the end! The combination of two fascinating stories--one in present day, one from the past--plus the excellent narration of Simon Vance make this series highly entertaining! One of my favorite discoveries from Kindle Unlimited, read & listen "free."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    Gripping Another excellent Jefferson Tayte novel, with specific interest to me as I was brought up a stone's throw from where the action takes place - the Medway Towns in Kent. World war 1 spies, kidnapping and blackmail, betrayal, and salvation both in 1914 and current times. Excellent again Mr Robinson - thank you! Gripping Another excellent Jefferson Tayte novel, with specific interest to me as I was brought up a stone's throw from where the action takes place - the Medway Towns in Kent. World war 1 spies, kidnapping and blackmail, betrayal, and salvation both in 1914 and current times. Excellent again Mr Robinson - thank you!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Probably about 3.75 stars but rounded up to 4. This is the second SR. book I've read. Whilst they are similar to other murder mystery thrillers in that there is plenty of action and twists and turns, I like the uniqueness of the genealogy storyline. Probably about 3.75 stars but rounded up to 4. This is the second SR. book I've read. Whilst they are similar to other murder mystery thrillers in that there is plenty of action and twists and turns, I like the uniqueness of the genealogy storyline.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Lloyd

    Once again I have returned to read about professional genealogist, Jefferson Tate or JT as he likes to be called. Hailing from the States he frequently finds his investigations take him to England, even though he hates flying.  He is a very human character, who loves chocolate, has few social skills but is prepared to put himself in danger, in order to solve the mysteries which his clients present him with.  The Lost Empress is a dual time novel, leading up to the tragic sinking of the ocean line Once again I have returned to read about professional genealogist, Jefferson Tate or JT as he likes to be called. Hailing from the States he frequently finds his investigations take him to England, even though he hates flying.  He is a very human character, who loves chocolate, has few social skills but is prepared to put himself in danger, in order to solve the mysteries which his clients present him with.  The Lost Empress is a dual time novel, leading up to the tragic sinking of the ocean liner.  We join young mother and Admiral's daughter Alice Sitwell who is driven to engaging in espionage against her country, to protect her husband and young children. The more she tries to extricate herself, the tighter the noose tightens and we wonder whether Jefferson will solve the mystery of her death or disappearance. Both Alice and JT are at risk of losing their lives but both act bravely if rather foolishly.  This is a particularly thrilling episode of this series which I seem to be reading in random order but that has not spoilt my enjoyment due to the clear characterisation. A novel which will entertain those who enjoy family history, thrillers or historical novels.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This book was only okay. I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I was attracted to it by the prospect of learning more about the story of the ship Lost Empress, but the ship makes just a brief appearance. There are 2 timelines in the book - a past during 1914 when the ship sank, and a present day storyline. I liked the “past plot” much more, and I thought the book would be much better without the present story. A solid 3 stars from me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    That was so, so boring. And all the threads from the previous book were just left hanging. Meh. If I didn't have to read this series for work-related purposes, I would honestly drop it. That was so, so boring. And all the threads from the previous book were just left hanging. Meh. If I didn't have to read this series for work-related purposes, I would honestly drop it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    MRS A HARDY

    This book I thought at the beginning of this book I was not going to enjoy it as much as the others but once I got into it it became gripping and couldn't put it down This book I thought at the beginning of this book I was not going to enjoy it as much as the others but once I got into it it became gripping and couldn't put it down

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