Book Blog Tour: The Desk From Hoboken

Book Blog Tour banner: THe Desk From Hoboken. March 19-March 28, 2024. Reviews & Giveaways. Dark red back ground. Cover image on left. The Desk from Hoboken A Geneology Mystery ML Condike. An antique brown desk in foreground. Background red with swils of black and the image of a dead body.

A Genealogy Mystery, #1
ML Condike

Mystery / Women Sleuths / Forensic Genealogy
Publisher: Harbor Lane Books, LLC
Date of Publication: March 5, 2024
Number of Pages: 446 pages 

Small Banner with wordage: Book Blurb
Book Cover. Wordage: The Desk from Hoboken A Geneology Mystery ML Condike. An antique brown desk in foreground. Background red with swils of black and the image of a dead body.

After a personal loss, forensic genealogist RaeJean Hunter accepts what she believes is a straightforward case to ease back into the game: a student at Connecticut College has found human remains on the school campus. The College hires RaeJean to confirm their tentative identification that it’s a woman named Mary Rogers, whose cause of death has never been determined.   

Unfortunately, it becomes downright dangerous. Someone thwarts her investigation of the same case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.” Still, she meets relatives, some helpful and others not, amid escalating threats. Using her skills, including DNA analysis, historical records research, genealogy mapping, and guidance from a mystical antique desk, she follows every clue.



The Book at Goodreads


Small banner with wordage: Review

RaeJean is a fun, spunky character who also happens to be smart and good at her job which entails searching old documents and interviewing people in an effort to trace lost ancestors. She’s worked with the FBI on cases and has garnered a lot of respect for how she does her job.

In solving the mystery of whether the 180 year old cadaver is Mary Rogers, RaeJeans husband, Sam, supports her efforts, and accompanies her on many trips from Philadelphia to New York. The fact that he deals in antiquities is a nice compliment to her work, and they make a good team for further stories. I look forward to meeting them again.

I’d also enjoy seeing Claire again. She’s RaeJean’s friend and fellow genealogist, who first had the case of the identification of the old body, but was threatened off. The abduction of her daughter, Emma, is one of the elements of suspense in the story that keeps tension high. Claire and Emma, and RaeJean’s sister Caitlin, are all strong characters.

A strong element of this story is the odd behavior of Lillian, a descendent of the Mather family that has hidden family diaries in bank vaults, or with attorneys, and put severe restrictions in place, determining who can have access to them. The reader is kept guessing as to what the woman’s motives are and does she really want to help solve the mystery of Mary Rogers.

For access to some of the documents RaeJean races against the clock as the diaries are scheduled to be destroyed. Another great element of tension that holds reader attention, and how RaeJean handles herself with the deceptive Lillian is a testament to her perseverance and determination to do the job no matter what.

While I enjoyed much in this book, some of the repetition of information about the members of the Mather family got tedious, and there was more telling than showing for my total satisfaction with the read.

That said, there are many things I liked, including the interactions between RaeJean and Sam, and the mutual respect they have for their respective professions, and the very satisfying conclusion to the story. I was surprised at the big reveal of the secret Lillian was hiding, but it makes perfect sense, and is a nice tie in to what might have happened to Mary Rogers those many years ago.

Anyone interested in history and genealogy will thoroughly enjoy this story. What I learned about how a person like RaeJean goes about doing that kind of search for answers was really fascinating, and this was a fun look at the mystery of what happened to Mary Rogers that still perplexes people today.

The addition of the endearing Corgi, Sophie, to the story is a nice touch. The little dog reminding RaeJean to get up from her desk is a lot like my dog barking to let me know it’s time to stand and take a walk. That is a relatable element for anyone who has a faithful dog in their lives. I also loved the old desk and how that helped in the investigation. Is it haunted? The reader is left to believe what she wants.

Check out The Desk From Hoboken and decide for yourself.

Small Banner with wordage: About The Author
Author headshot. Woman with short blondish hair. Smiling. Wearing a black knit top under a tweedish-looking jacket with red trim on lapels.

ML Condike’s novel, The Desk from Hoboken, is the first in a genealogy mystery three-book series. She also has short stories published in five anthologies. ML Condike completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path in Dallas in 2019 and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime North Dallas, Granbury Writers’ Bloc, and Key West Writers Guild.




Giveaway graphic. Book cover on the right. Plush Corgi doll on the left. Amazon gift card in Middle. Prize info repeated from wordage below.

1st: signed paperback + Corgi plush toy
2nd: signed paperback + $25 Amazon gift card
3rd: choice of $25 gift card OR signed paperback
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 03/29/24)



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4 thoughts on “Book Blog Tour: The Desk From Hoboken”

  1. Wow! This sounds like an intriguing story, with a lot of angles, and a lot of mystery! I really look forward to reading this series starter and seeing where it goes. Thanks for your review.

    1. The story definitely has a lot of angles that are all eventually tied up neatly, and the mystery did keep me guessing.

    1. You’re welcome, Mary Lou. I was happy to read the book and offer my humble thoughts. Really love your spunky heroine.

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