Ballindaloch Castle background
Do you know what happened in your family seven generations ago?

Do you know what happened in your family seven generations ago?

Spanning seven generations and the Atlantic Ocean, Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat switches back and forth between Victorian Times and three days in 2011, leading the reader to the Scottish Highlands and Boston, USA, combining fact with fiction, within the mysterious journey.

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Ballindalloch Castle

Ballindalloch Castle

In the month of November 1895, the Laird of Ballindalloch, Gordon Macpherson, mysteriously disappears from his Highland Estate.

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SS State of Nebraska

SS State of Nebraska

The son of the Ballindalloch gamekeeper, Alexander Stewart, sets sail to America on the SS State of Nebraska …

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Grantown-on-Spey

Grantown-on-Spey

In August 2011, American Homicide Detective Cathy Stewart from Raleigh, North Carolina, reluctantly agrees to join her husband on a trip to Scotland where her detective instincts and Celtic heritage are ignited by a long kept family secret.

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The old Ballindalloch Train Station

The old Ballindalloch Train Station

On her quest, Cathy Stewart comes across the old Ballindalloch Train Station, without the tracks but with many traces …

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Lagmore Stone Circle

Lagmore Stone Circle

… The Lagmore Stone Circle that reveals its secrets to those who speak its language …

[ photo by Patricia Lawson ]

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The River Spey

The River Spey

… The River Spey as it flows through the Ballindalloch Estate …

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The Bookmark bookshop in Grantown-on-Spey

The Bookmark bookshop in Grantown-on-Spey

… The Bookmark bookshop in Grantown-on-Spey, a treasure chest for the curious …

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Inveravon Church

Inveravon Church

… and burial grounds.

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Royal Scotsman train journey

Royal Scotsman train journey

Following the trail Cathy Stewart leaves behind while researching the Macpherson and Stewart ancestry, New Yorker Diane Cox, boards the famous Royal Scotsman train journey, to heir-hunt her way into the Ballindalloch Estate…

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Ashmead Bartlett

Ashmead Bartlett

Seen through the eyes of Alexander Stewart, Bloodlines -Traces, tells the story of WWI British officers, who hide from the public eye , the true casualties of a young Churchill’s miscalculations on Gallipoli. War Correspondents Ashmead Bartlett and Keith Murdoch, manage to smuggle a letter bound for prime minister Asquith and change the face of the war.

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University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

As one of the first women in the history of the University of Edinburgh, Katherine Macpherson fights her way through pride and prejudice, follows her heart and initiates medical help for the working classes in Leith.

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GlenFroach Whiskey

GlenFroach Whiskey

Privately owned distillery GlenFroach, has been in the family for generations. With the Scottish whisky industry besieged by foreign investors, present day owner Doug Stein finds himself entangled in a web of espionage.

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Do you know what happened in your family seven generations ago?

Spiritual insight and genealogy research are the heart of Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat  and its sequel Bloodlines – Traces, the mystery series on cultural inheritance by Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers.

Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat

Bloodlines - Touch Not The Cat, by Thomas McKerley and Ingrid SchippersThe story of American homicide detective Cathy Stewart from Raleigh, North Carolina leads the reader to Ballindaloch Castle in the Highlands, the home of the Macpherson family for over 450 years. Although reluctant at first, Cathy gets drawn into a mystery set in motion by her own ancestors.

Victorian period flashbacks reveal the life and times of Alexander Stewart, born in 1875 as son of the Ballindalloch gamekeeper, who emigrates to America, where a dream comes true.

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Download a pdf with the first four chapters of Bloodlines – Touch Not The Cat.

Coming soon: Bloodlines – Traces

Bloodlines - Traces, by Thomas McKerley and Ingrid SchippersAfter doing the unthinkable and despite the inquisitive DI Duckett, homicide detective Cathy Stewart stays on in the Highlands, to research the clues she has uncovered, leading to the history of her American family.

Intrigued by the Victorian/Edwardian stories of her husband’s Scottish ancestor Alexander Stewart and the laird’s daughter Katherine Macpherson, Cathy sparks a sequence of discoveries guiding her to an astonishing outcome.

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Download a pdf with the first four chapters of Bloodlines – Traces.

Praise for the Bloodlines series

As a double act Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers have an assured, unique literary talent.

Arts and Travel writer Vivien Devlin, proofreader of Bloodlines – Traces, February 2016

“All the elements of a great read; family feuds, suspicious deaths, betrayals and a compelling narrative that switches effortlessly between the past and the present. An auspicious debut and the perfect starting point for a series.”

The Daily Record, The Daily Record book review by Shari Low, Saturday 16th June 2012.

“ Ballindalloch Castle, ancestral home of the Macpersons, is the setting for a long ago tragedy to be revealed. A compelling read. ”

The Scotland Magazine, May/June 2012 edition.

“ This gripping mystery slips easily between past and present, drawing the reader into a rich, multi-layered tale that focuses on the fascinating family history of Ballindalloch Castle. The gripping dual narrative follows Cathy from North Carolina on her journey to the Scottish Highlands as she fights to uncover a family mystery, interspersed with flashbacks to the life of Alexander Stewart in 1875. It’s a page-turning combination of mystery and romance, history and genealogy that will appeal to fans of both detective fiction and family history. ”

Scottish Field, May 2012 edition,
“Cover to Cover” review of Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat: 4 out of 5 stars.

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The books and their narrative

Scottish Castle Ballindalloch, an important location in Bloodlines - Touch Not The Cat

Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat: The disappearance of Ballindalloch laird Gordon Macpherson in 1895, sets in motion a chain of events, affecting the lives of 7 generations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bloodlines – Traces: Following the trail through time to Edinburgh University in 1896, and the WWI battlefields of Gallipoli in 1915, Cathy Stewart finds some curious twists and turns in the family tree.

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The authors

More about the authors Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers

‘Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat‘ and ‘Bloodlines-Traces’ were written by author duo Tom McKerley and Ingrid Schippers. Tom and Ingrid are both first-time mystery novel writers. By combining their fortes of down-to-earth structure and spiritual insight, they make a remarkably compatible writers team.

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