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A Comedy of Heirs (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312971338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312971335
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a genealogist for a historical society in New Kassel, Mo., Torie O'Shea must examine her own family's history in this third entry in MacPherson's cozy series (A Veiled Antiquity, etc.). As she prepares to host her family's annual Christmas reunion, Torie is sent an anonymous packet of newspaper clippings. They reveal that her great-grandfather Nathaniel Ulysses Keith was shot to death in 1948 on his front porch while his family was inside the house. Because she had been told as a child that Keith died in a hunting accident, Torie now wants to know which story is true. Like a bloodhound on the scent, she scans library microfilm records to prove the veracity of the articles, then visits the county sheriff for further information. What she learns isn't pleasant: her ancestor was a brute to his children and publicly unfaithful to his wife. The list of people who wanted to kill him is as long as it is convincing. Torie's best sources of information, however, are the relatives about to descend on her home. When an aunt tells her that Keith's wife and children sat listening to his groans until he died, Torie is horrified. Could her great-grandmother have sanctioned the murder? Not according to another aunt who was inside the house that day. But since that aunt didn't see the killer, it's up to Torie to ferret out the culprit and clarify her family history. Torie's large, eccentric family provides plenty of entertaining characters, and MacPherson skillfully connects the family's many subplots (pregnancies, sibling rivalries, new romances) while keeping the murder at the center of the intrigue. Although the title promises comedy, there's much more than humor at stake in this heartrending tale of family pride and the coverups to keep it intact. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

-Torie O'Shea takes the first week of December off from her job as genealogist with the local historical society to organize the family's reunion and get a head start on the upcoming holiday season. Amid a house full of relatives, she receives a letter pointing out the fact that her great-grandfather was murdered, and not accidentally killed in a hunting accident. Why has the family done nothing to clear up the murder in all that time? Torie begins to search for the truth through the gathered family members, through research in old newspaper articles, and through notes left from her great-grandmother. An uncle's death adds to her burdens and acts as a red herring, drawing the focus away from the great-grandfather's murder. A drugged cup of tea eventually leads to the killer. MacPherson provides Torie with a large family full of some wacky characters and dreary perfectionists. Her relationships with the myriad family members add background to both the main plot line and details about the other relatives. Memories are everywhere, effortlessly and quickly adding familiarity with the major players. The setting, a Missouri river town, shows that small towns can be blessings as well as irritations to those who live in them. The logical plot and real-to-life characters result in a compelling skeleton-in-the-closet story. Teens interested in their own family's history will appreciate Tori's mystery, and those who are unfamiliar with genealogy may find themselves looking more closely at their own kin.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In New Kassel, Missouri, genealogist Torie O'Shea wonders why she agreed to host her family's annual Christmas Party. Seventy relatives will soon invade the small town to attend the festivities. However, Torie's troubles take a wicked twist when an unmarked package of newspaper articles arrives at her house. The clippings claim that her great- uncle Jed murdered her great-grandfather. This contradicts the family account that her ancestor died in a hunting accident.

Though the incident occurred in 1948, Torie feels compelled to learn the truth. Being an expert at shaking a family's tree, Torie investigates her own kin. The documented evidence points to her relative as being an abusive individual commonly hated by all. First hand accounts from her living relatives affirm that information and add even more grisly accounts to the growing facts in which anyone alive five decades ago wanted Torie's great- grandfather dead.

The third Torie O'Shea mystery is a fabulous tale in which the genealogist looks inside her family for answers to an old mystery. The story line lives up to the title, COMEDY OF HEIRS, as the support cast are an eccentric, often humorous bunch. However, the plot actually goes beyond just a simple comedy as Torie never loses sight that murder may have happened with a conspiracy by her beloved family to hide the facts. Rett MacPherson provides readers with an innovative and entertaining who-done-it that readers will fully enjoy.

Harriet Klausner 7/27/99
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 2, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a nice, easy-going read. The author continues the Tori O'Shea series in fine form. Again, we have wonderful character developement, nice twists...all presented with a wonderful wit.

I highly recommend this one and the rest of the series. Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Salgal on September 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rett has done it again, given us a great little mystery to enjoy. I felt right at home with Tori and her family. Cousins, aunts and uncles crawling all over Tori's house for a family reunion and her reactions made me smile. Of course, Tori's reunion wouldn't be complete without the family skeltons and a murder. I love this series and can't wait to read Misty Mourning. I am hooked!
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By Mitci 920 on October 14, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good series, if interested in genealogy, this cozy mystery series is for you. Small town genealogist Tori O'Shea juggles family life with her work at the local historical society and uses her genealogical skills to untangle mysteries. Some of them are within her family, some are from other people in town. The characters and town are easy to know. I've read all 11 of these and only wish there were more.
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