Introducing The Irish Inheritance by M J Lee...

Blurb: June 8, 1921. Ireland.
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.

November 22, 2015. United Kingdom.
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father.

How are the two events linked?

Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller.

It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.


She sipped her tea, enjoying the soft, warm smokiness as it swam past the back of her tongue. The laptop was sitting on the counter. She flipped the Mac open and clicked Safari. Her emails came up immediately.
The first two she deleted. She had no need for life insurance or penis enhancement at the moment. The third caught her attention, it was from Richard Hughes.

Dear Ms Sinclair,

Apologies for disturbing you this afternoon. And additional apologies for requesting a meeting at such short notice. But once you meet my uncle, you will understand the need for speed. In this email, you will find two attachments. My uncle's adoption file and his original birth certificate. We began the process of searching for his antecedents two months ago and have now reached an impasse.
I look forward to meeting you at six this evening at the Midland Hotel.

Richard Hughes

The language was quite formal and educated. Nobody used words like antecedent or impasse any more. But the job looked too straightforward for her skills. And besides, she should stay with Paul in case he needed her. Schlepping across Manchester in the rain held no attraction. She picked up her tea and sipped it, glancing at the address. An ordinary private Gmail, nothing too special about it.
She glanced at the message again, seeing the two attachments sitting at the top.
'Bugger it,' she said out loud, opening the first attachment. It was a notice of adoption stating that the child, John Michael Trichot, an orphan aged four years old, was being adopted by an American couple, Thomas and Glenda Hughes. It was dated October 4, 1929, and signed at the bottom by the Matron of the Ilkley Children's Home, a Mrs Glendower, and the Resident Magistrate of the town, James Whittaker.
A fairly standard adoption certificate, nothing out of the ordinary. She glanced through it one more time. It looked straightforward to her, with all the formalities required by the Adoption of Children Act 1926 fulfilled to the letter. What nobody realised was that from the 1920s to the 1960s over 150,000 English children were sent abroad as orphans, mainly to Canada and Australasia. It seems this man was one of those transported at this time. She checked through the adoption papers, no additional information. Under the Act, there should have been reasons for the adoption and statements from the Children’s Home, but there was nothing.
Strange. She made a note for herself to check out the Ilkley Children’s Home.
She clicked on the second attachment, the birth certificate. The baby's name was repeated: John Michael Trichot, born July 16, 1925. She immediately smiled. Not a common name, probably of French origin. The birth certificate was English, so it should make searching for ancestors relatively easy.
 'Thank God, he isn't a John Smith,' she said out loud. She often talked to herself as she investigated. She had done the same in the police, earning the nickname 'The Whisperer'. It wasn't a bad nickname for the force, better than most. One of her bosses went by the name of 'Lurch'. Not for his resemblance to the television character but for his ability to accidentally bump into the breasts of junior female officers when he was drunk. A quick sharp squeeze of his bollocks had made certain he never attempted another lurch with her.
She scanned across the certificate. The father's name came next. Charles Allen Fitzmaurice Trichot. Even better, three Christian names. She hoped he had used all three of them in the census or in the army as it would make him easy to find.
His profession was listed as Gentleman. Funny, I wonder how you got that job? Apply with a CV in triplicate or simply be born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Probably the latter.
The mother was simpler; Emily Clavell. Fairly straightforward and to the point. Her profession was Spinster. She loved the old descriptions that cropped up on birth certificates. So much better than Housewife.
Her favourite was a Night Soil Collector, the ancestor of a millionaire football client with a famous temper. She had told him his grandfather was a water dispersal operative. He was as pleased as punch.
She decided to start with the father as, with his rare name, he was probably going to be the easiest to find. Unlike women, men very rarely changed the names they were born with. She logged on to and typed in Charles Allen Fitzmaurice Trichot.
She restricted the search to the UK and eliminated the Allen and the Fitzmaurice, pressing return once more.
Nine results.
She clicked on the 1911 census. There he was, living with his parents in Hertfordshire. 21 years old. The only son of a father who was a vicar. A quick check of the 1891 and 1901 censuses revealed he had grown up at the same address. Not surprising, people moved around a lot less than they do today.
Then she clicked on the next section in the results headlined, Soldiers, died in the Great War.

First names: Charles Edward Fitzmaurice
Last name: Trichot
Service Number: 4267
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Princess of Kent's Own
Battalion: 1/5th Battalion
Birthplace: Sheppey, Hertfordshire.
Enlistment Place: London
Death Year: 1918
Death Day: 7
Death Month: 11
Cause of Death: Killed in Action
Place: Sambre Canal

It was the same man. The name and place of birth were exactly the same.
 But if he were dead, how did he manage to father a child seven years later?
She sipped her tea, the warm smokiness of it slipped down her throat and warmed her stomach. Her eyes scanned all the way to the last result on the website search list. A newspaper report from The Times for November 30, 1918. The full page of the newspaper opened up with a small article outlined in yellow at the top right corner with a headline that immediately excited her.

MM Awarded to Captain Charles Trichot (Posthumous)

It is gazetted today that Captain Charles Trichot of the First Battalion Princess of Kent's Own has been awarded the Military Medal for Gallantry. During the crossing of the Sambre Canal, Captain Trichot led his men with valour gaining his objective despite losing most of his company to shellfire. With a small detachment of his men, he held off repeated attacks by the enemy, despite being wounded in the leg and chest. Captain Trichot died of his wounds at No.23 Casualty Clearing Station, Auberchicourt on the morning after the engagement. He is the only son of the Reverend Charles Trichot of Sheppey, Herts.

It was the same man, it had to be. But how does a man father a child when he's been dead for seven years?
She closed the laptop. Perhaps, she would keep this appointment after all


Author bio: Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

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