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(MOSTLY NOT CREEPY) BOOKS SET IN CEMETERIES

Our upcoming program, CSI: Cemetery Search and Investigation, scheduled for Wednesday November 8, 2017, is perfect for history and genealogy buffs. Tina Beaird, a popular presenter and member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, will lead us through the history of American cemeteries. She will help us learn how to find our ancestors’ burial places, and how to decipher historical symbols on headstones.

CSI: Cemetery Search and Investigation inspired the following list. If you enjoy novels or mysteries that allow you to learn as you read, these titles are worth a look.

The Cemetery YewCynthia Riggs

The Cemetery Yew – Cynthia Riggs

No one knows more about Martha’s Vineyard than Victoria Trumbull, who has lived there for almost a century. As a newly official police deputy, Victoria notices what others miss, and something is very wrong in the cemetery. This is the third title in an appealing mystery series, by an author whose family has lived on the island for thirteen generations.

For another contemporary mystery that addresses the past, try Brooklyn Graves by Triss Stein.

Falling Angels -- Tracy Chevalier

Falling Angels -- Tracy Chevalier

Two little girls from different social classes meet in a graveyard in 1901, during the ceremonies following Queen Victoria’s death. In spite of opposition from their families, they continue their friendship, with each other and with the caretaker’s son, by meeting on the grounds of the cemetery. As the three children grow up, English society transforms in ways none of them could have predicted.

The Wages of DesireStephen Kelly

The Wages of Desire – Stephen Kelly

When a young woman’s body is discovered in a village cemetery in late 1941, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb quickly realizes that not all crimes are necessarily linked to the war. This is the second title in a series that will appeal to fans of the television series Foyle’s War.

Lincoln in the BardoGeorge Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

This complex, surreal, novel is more like a play than a typical example of historical fiction, and more of a ghost story than either. Only the second American novel to win the Man Booker Prize, its protagonist is Abraham Lincoln, who secretly visits a Georgetown cemetery after his son’s death. He encounters the ghosts of the dead, who prefer to exist in a state of limbo themselves, but want to save Willie Lincoln from their fate.

Graveyards of Chicago: the People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County CemeteriesMatt Hucke

Graveyards of Chicago: the People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County Cemeteries – Matt Hucke

Learn about some of the fascinating people, and places, of the city of Chicago. This book features facts and legends, and pages of photographs, about some of Chicago’s most famous residents and landmarks.

Section 60, Arlington National Cemetery: Where War Comes Home by Robert M. Poole provides a much more somber, and moving, discussion of the importance of cemeteries to the living. This title is available as both a book and a DVD.

Try any, or all, of these titles and, if you want to learn more about American cemeteries, history, and genealogy, register for CSI: Cemetery Search and Investigation.