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Killing Cousins (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 5) Mass Market Paperback – June 16, 2003

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her fifth cozy featuring Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea (after 2000's A Misty Mourning), MacPherson paints a vivid portrait of a town and a family with a secret. Given her history of conflict with New Kassel sheriff Colin Brooke, Torie is dismayed when Colin marries her wheelchair-bound mom. Still, Torie agrees to inventory the contents of famous jazz singer Catherine Finch's estate, purchased by Colin, who intends to make a mint in his antique business. Enter Sylvia Pershing, the town matriarch, historical society head and Torie's employer. What better way to kill two birds with one stone than to do biographical research on Finch while already sorting through her things on Colin's behalf? The sheriff's honeymoon is barely started when a dead man turns up in the old Yates house, scheduled for razing. Later, a demolition crew finds an infant's skeleton hidden inside a wall. Were the two deaths related? And were both victims somehow connected to Finch and the 60-year-old tragedy that changed the singer's life forever? Torie believes six cousins, including one who's now the governor, knew the answers all along. But how many of them would be willing to kill to keep things quiet? Thanks to an amazingly compliant if shadowy husband, Torie manages to balance sleuthing with the demands of a newborn baby and two other youngsters. With her characteristic blend of wit and sarcasm, MacPherson has delivered another winning whodunit. Agent, Michele Rubin.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea researches the "line" of a local jazz singer popular in the 1930s. Much to her dismay, she discovers that the woman's baby was kidnapped and never found. Oddly enough, the skeleton of a baby soon turns up in town. Fifth (after A Misty Mourning) in a fine series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (June 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312983255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312983253
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,059,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a readable book; the plot moves along nicely and most of the characters are realistic. However, Torie is irritating. This is the first book I've read in this series and there is no explanation as to why Torie dislikes her new stepfather, the sheriff. So her motivation for being snide, and sometimes downright nasty, toward him is puzzling. He acts in an adult and professional manner in contrast to her being impulsive and often childish. I'm not interested in feeling superior to characters in a book. I want to admire the protagonist and enjoy the time I spend with her. Others may find Torie feisty--she makes me tired.
That being said, I might read the next book in the series just to see if Torie matures. And because Rett MacPherson is a good writer--why else would I find Torie so real?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on March 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The reason why I'm quite addicted to this series is not because of the mystery at hand. Not that the mysteries in this series are boring! To the contrary, they are usually interesting ones, even if you sometimes wonder why no one else except Torie can ever solve these mysteries. No, the reason why I like this series is because of Tories' smart aleck asides and the wry humour with which Rett MacPherson writes these Torie O'Shea novels.
Torie O'Shea, a genealogist from the small town of New Kassell, Missouri, is still coping with a hormonal overload from having recently given birth to a baby boy, as well as having just seen her mother married off to New Kassell's sheriff, Colin Brooke (and her own private nemesis); when she's approached by the town's matriarch, Sylvia Pershing, to write a biography about Catherine Finch. Finch, a denizen of New Kassell was a popular jazz singer from '30s, and has recently passed away. Coincidentally, it turns out that the sheriff, who also happens to be a budding antique dealer, has bought the contents of Catherine's estate. Because of a time constraint the sheriff needs to sort out what he's bought right away. However the sheriff is about to leave for his honeymoon, and so he asks Torie to go through Catherine's effects and sort out the junk from the valuable for him. It's an opportunity that Torie cannot say no to, esp given that she's already agreed to write Catherine's biography.
Doing some basic research into Catherine's history Torie discovers that Catherine suffered a tragedy that she never recovered from -- her infant son was kidnapped from his cradle in 1938, and he was never found, dead or alive. It's a tragedy that resonates with Torie, and she's soon becomes immersed in trying to discover what happened to the Finch baby.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on May 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tori O'Shea's world has been turned upside down. Her mother is married to the thorn in her side, Sheriff Brook, she is suffering from post partem depression(or so her husband says), Sylvia Pershing has asked her to write a biography of a famous local woman, and the mayor is trying to introduce riverboat gambling to the town. One night she sees someone sneaking around the putative site of the casino, apparently he was trying to get inside a wall. He is found dead inside the abandoned house. When the old house is torn down, the remains of a baby are found inside the very same wall. A baby was kidnapped in the area in 1938 and never found. Since Colin and her mother are in Alaska and the deputy in charge is obviously in over his head, Tori helps to solve the mystery.
This is always an entertaining series. The author uses the main character's vocation as a geneologist to blend a mystery from the past into the present. The characters are all very vivid and the story is great. I can't wait until the next book to find out how the vote on Riverboat Casinos went.
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Format: Kindle Edition
5th book in the Torie O'Shea genealogy mystery series.

Genealogist Torie O'Shea watches her mother marry the local sheriff, and gets recruited by her boss to do a little side job. Sylvia Pershing (head of the historical society) is commissioning a series of books on famous people from the region. She wants Torie to write a booklet on Catherine Finch, a famous jazz singer from many decades before. Coincidentally, Torie's new stepfather just won his bid to buy the estate of the late Catherine Finch, and has asked Torie to inventory the collection for later sale in his new antique store. Killing two birds with one stone, Torie begins to explore the untouched effects of Catherine Finch and uncovers quite a mystery. Back in 1938, Finch's infant son was kidnapped from his crib and never seen again. Having just given birth to her own son (and like Catherine, having two daughters older than her son), Torie is pulled into the tale with a vengeance. Soon after, a lurking stranger in town is murdered in an abandoned house, and it is Torie who informs the deputy sheriff that the man wasn't a stranger--Patrick Ward had once lived in the town, and in an even stranger coincidence was a nephew to Catherine Finch. But the man's body isn't the only thing found in the house--investigators discover a secret buried in the wall near where the man died: a baby's skeletal remains, later identified as the body of the long-missing Byron Finch. How did he get there? When? Why? Torie tries to solve both mysteries: what brought about baby Byron's death all those years ago? and how does it connect to Patrick's death now?
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