The Desk from Hoboken by M.L. Condike

June 10th, 2024 Kimberly Review 7 Comments

10th Jun

I was in the mood for a mystery and the audiobook of The Desk from Hoboken by M.L. Condike grabbed my attention. A forensic genealogist, the hundred and eighty-one-year-old remains of a woman who died mysteriously in 1841, Edgar Allan Poe, and a historical desk with mystical properties… yes, please. Grab an iced coffee and see what I enjoyed about this meaty cozy mystery.

The Desk from Hoboken by M.L. Condike
The Desk from Hoboken
by M.L. Condike
Series: A Genealogy Mystery #1
Narrator: Carrie Coello
Length: 11 hours and 49 minutes
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.5x

In a bid to heal from the grief of a personal loss, forensic genealogist, RaeJean Hunter, takes on a straightforward case —identify human remains found on a nearby college campus, believed to be the 180-year-old remains of Mary Rogers, a woman who died mysteriously in 1841 and was believed to have been buried in the nearby cemetery that had washed away. It should be simple enough, a project to get her back in the game.

Unfortunately, it quickly becomes anything but. In fact, it becomes downright dangerous.

Someone doesn't want RaeJean to investigate the puzzling death of the woman whose death inspired Edgar Allan Poe's "The Mystery of Marie Roget." As she follows clues through four states and discovers living family members who both help and hinder her search, she quickly realizes that the secrets of Mary Rogers' demise were never meant to be exposed.

What lengths will someone go to keep the truth buried in the past? As threats escalate and RaeJean and her family's lives become endangered, she's forced to follow every lead and use every skill she has to find the answers she needs before it's too late. Using DNA from two famous New England families, historical data, modern genealogical techniques, and a little guidance from a seemingly mystical antique desk, RaeJean takes on the cold case despite being given every reason to abandon it.

After all, what truths have been hidden for 180 years that would be worth bribery, kidnapping, and even murder?

RaeJean Hunter is about to find out.

historical MURDERMYSTERY SUSPENSE well written

Forensic genealogist RaeJean Hunter is ready to take on a new assignment after suffering a personal loss. She accepts the case of identifying human remains found on a nearby college campus, believed to be the 180-year-old remains of Mary Rogers, a woman who died mysteriously in 1841.

Mary Rogers is believed to the woman who inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” I was intrigued and while we didn’t dig as deep forensically (with the remains) as I would have liked, the mystery and RaeJean’s methods of discovery hooked me.

She used DNA from two families and modern genealogical techniques, along with interviews, journals, and more to make her determination. Only someone doesn’t want her digging. Along the way, she acquires an antique desk which provides clues as well.

The story was well paced and grabbed my attention as I listened. While I would still classify this as a cozy, the mystery offered more depth and plenty of twists. Carrie Coello is a new to me narrator but did a wonderful job of setting the tone and giving voice to the protagonist.

Fans of murder mysteries and cozy listens will want to grab The Desk from Hoboken. It’s the first audiobook in the Genealogy Mystery series and I look forward to the next one.

Amazon | Audible

About M.L. Condike

M.L. Condike

ML Condike’s debut novel, The Desk from Hoboken, A genealogy mystery, released March 2024. Her short stories appear in anthologies by the Granbury Writers’ Bloc (2019, 2022), the Key West Writers Guild (2023), and Sisters in Crime North Dallas (2022, 2023, 2024). Her awards include 1st Place - 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards, Mystery/Crime category (2019); 2nd Place - Tennessee Williams Short Story Contest sponsored by the Key West Art & Historical Society (2022). ML’s a member of the Key West Writers Guild, Granbury Writers’ Bloc, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime National and Sisters in Crime North Dallas(Treasurer, 2023-2024).

About Carrie Coello

Carrie Coello

Carrie Coello appeared in her first play at age seven, as a cranky, middle-aged fortune teller. Ever since, she's sought out characters that enlighten, entertain, and hold a mirror up to the human condition. After spending a decade working in film, and another decade educating children, she's come full circle as a performer, narrating audiobooks from her Seattle studio. She collaborates with authors and publishers to bring flesh and blood to words on the page, with humor and a deep understanding of what makes people tick. Carrie draws upon her own lived experience to portray lesbian and bisexual protagonists under the pseudonym Lois Ridge. As a practicing Atheopagan, she brings authenticity to books featuring pagans, witches, and earth-based spirituality. There's a special place in her heart for the amateur sleuth, the small-town hero who pulls herself up by her bootstraps, and the teenager struggling to make sense of herself and the world around her. Let's tell her story together.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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