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Blood Relations (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 6) Hardcover – April 7, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (April 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312301715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312301712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,066,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Old secrets are brought to light when a drought hits the small town of New Kassel, Mo., the setting for MacPherson's sixth delightful Torie O'Shea mystery (after 2002's Killing Cousins). As the river goes down, the bones of the wreck of the steamboat Phantom are revealed, and soon the old stories of a cache of diamonds that went down with the ship in 1919 are drawing visitors to town. Among the curious are a slick television reporter and his cameraman and a team from a nearby junior college, who claim to be working on a documentary about the wreck. As an authority on local history and genealogy, Torie is naturally interested in the mystery, and when a murderer strikes, Torie and her friend, another reporter, are the first to find the body. While Torie digs for the truth, she's also dealing with the discovery that she has a half-sister, a fact that her charming and feckless father has neglected to tell her. Weaving the story and the characters into the believable minutiae of small-town life, MacPherson provides a stellar example of the traditional cozy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Torie O'Shea, the warmhearted genealogist, wife, and mother, gives this series its zip. At times sarcastic, self-pitying, stubborn, and arrogant, Torie is as distinguished by her flaws as she is by her strengths. In the series' sixth installment, Torie is confronted with a half-sister she has never met. Torn between anger at her father's betrayal and curiosity, she struggles with how to handle the new relationship. Meanwhile, the small town of New Kassel, Missouri, is abuzz with news that a drought has exposed a sunken riverboat. The rumor of diamonds aboard brings plenty of interest--and the murder of one of the men working on the wreck. Despite warnings from her stepfather the sheriff, Torie launches her own investigation. As with the best cozies, this series focuses more on characters than on crime. And characters abound in New Kassel, from eccentric innkeeper Eleanore Murdoch to vivacious Collette, Torie's best friend from the "big city" of St. Louis. A slice of Americana as warm and comforting as apple pie a la mode. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
The heroine, Torie is a great, well developed character.
Manhattan Mom
Like her other books in this series, this is a nice fast read and quite enjoyable.
D. Blankenship
I plan to go back and read the other stories in this series that I have missed.
L. Kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Manhattan Mom on January 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Kelly on April 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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.
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