This is a fun who dun it starring Torie O'Shea, a historian in a small town. when the river gets to very low levels, the remains of a sunken steamship become visible. This event brings notoriety to the town, and with the advent of reporters, Torie becomes interested in the legends of the ship- why it crashed- were there really diamonds on board- what happened to the heiresss, etc. The reader follows Torie through her research, and eventually to solving all the pertinent mysteries. Oh, and Torie finds out about a 1/2 sister that she never knew existed.This is a quick, fun read. The heroine, Torie is a great, well developed character. She loves her family and her job. She has a wacky best friend. We learn just the right amount of information about her. The other characters are good as well. MacPherson doesn't introduce a million useless characters. Things are given on a need to know basis, which is great, because you don't get bogged down with useless trivia.This is not a suspenseful edge of your seat mystery though. It is well thought out, and utilizes Torie's knowledge of history and research to come to a satisfying conclusion. The writing is funny and well paced, the narrative snappy, and the descriptions detailed, yet not overbearing.This is a good, fun who dun it. Please read!
Small-town Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea is New Kassel's unofficial "town historian" and also works as a tour guide at the Gaheimer House, a historic mansion in town. When a drought causes the Mississippi River's level to drop, the remains of the steamer "The Phantom", a steamship which sank mysteriously in 1919, become visible right outside of town. There are two mysteries associated with the sinking of The Phantom. A New York heiress named Jessica Huntleigh disappeared when the ship sank, but her body was never found. Second, a passenger was rumored to have a large amount of uncut diamonds in his baggage, and these were never found either. So when the ship resurfaces after all these years, the local historians, thrill seekers and treasure hunters are clamoring to search the ship's wreckage. But when one of the local college professsors investigating the steamer is found dead at the scene of the wreck, the shipwreck turns into a murder investigation. Piqued by the mysteries of the missing heiress and the missing diamonds, genealogist Torie O'Shea does a little genealogical digging of her own to try to solve all three mysteries. Oh yes, Torie also discovers a heretofore unknown half-sister of her own.
The three mysteries in this story are extremely well developed and intertwined. I loved how Torie used her genealogical research to help unearth the truth behind the stories. And just when I thought the mysteries were all solved,the author throws in a surprising twist just 20 pages from the end.
Up until now, I had only read the first book in this series, called "Family Skeletons". The first book was an enjoyable debut, but this one was so much more of a complicated mystery! "Blood Relations" stands well on its own.Read more ›
Torie O'Shea loves living in the tourist town of New Kassel, Missouri with her husband and three children. She knows almost all the other residents and where the skeletons are buried because she is the Granite County archivist. What she doesn't know she can find out which is why she is so good at solving homicide investigations.Due to the drought the Mississippi River is so low that for the first time since 1919 the steamboat the Phantom is visible. Rumor has it that there was a huge amount of diamonds on it when it went down and the journalists and even a university professor are looking for a good story. One night when Torie and her friend are out walking she hears a groan near where the boat is located and discovers the body of the college professor whose skull is bashed in. Using her investigative skills and information gathered from interviewees and out-of-state contacts, Torie learns why the Phantom sunk over five decades ago, but who the killer is remains to be solved.In addition to working yet another homicide investigation, Torie must cope with the knowledge that she has a half-sister she never knew about, but she does both with an aplomb that will make her the envy of readers. Torie is one of the most likable heroines a reader will find because she loves her family and friends and is not afraid to show and act on her feelings. Rett MacPherson is a talented writer who provides a complex, multi-layered mystery.Harriet Klausner
Nice story line, good character developement, funny, nice twists and turns...what more could you want. Like her other books in this series, this is a nice fast read and quite enjoyable. As far as I can tell, it is quite well researched and settings are quite believeable. Recommend you read this one.
Torie O'Shea is a local historian and genealogist in New Kassel, Missouri. There's been a drought and as the depth of the Mississippi River lowers, a steamboat wreck, believed to be The Phantom which wrecked in 1919, has emerged.
There are many rumors, but the most prominent one seems to be that there was a cache of diamonds on board when it wrecked that have never been recovered. Soon treasure seekers from all over arrive in town. The sheriff, her step-father, has his hands full trying to keep people away from The Phantom.
After someone is killed, Torie and her friend, a reporter, dig for the truth. At the same time, Torie is trying to deal with the news of a half-sister she never knew she had. The wreck gives her a diversion, but her personal turmoil must be dealt with as well.
Can she find out the truth about the wreck and the diamonds as well as come to grips with the existence of her half-sister? What kind of relationship is she willing to have with her new half-sister?
I really enjoy this series. Torie is such a wonderful character and New Kassel is a great small town setting for this terrific cozy series. The townspeople are great, but yet they are very realistic. I feel as if I have been a visitor in their town by the time I finish a book in this series.
The steamboat wreck and the turmoil over finding about her new half-sister work well together. The author has done a great job of interspersing them but yet keeping them separate. I really enjoyed this book and love the series. I highly recommend this book!