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A Misty Mourning (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 4) Mass Market Paperback – December 9, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Seven-months pregnant Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea takes time off from her historical society job to travel to West Virginia at the invitation of a family friend, 101-year-old Clarissa Hart, in this absorbing small-town cozy, the fourth in an excellent series. The night after she and her 80-something grandmother, Gert, arrive at the Panther Run Boardinghouse, Clarissa suffocates in her sleep. Was it an accident, or murder? The local sheriff believes the latter, and Torie is a prime suspect because Clarissa's new will leaves the boardinghouse to her. In order to clear her name, Torie has to use her skills as a historian to unravel a tangle of mystery and intrigue leading back to the early years of the century, when her great-grandmother kept the boardinghouse and Panther Run was a "company town." Fans of O'Shea's earlier adventures may be disappointed not to see much of her husband and mother, but grandma Gert is a delight, and a large cast of minor characters, including two of Torie's more distant relations, adds to the fun. If the denouement is contrived, it really doesn't matter. MacPherson has again (Family Skeletons, etc.) shown herself an original and humorous storyteller. She is generous with her wit, and her descriptions of the landscape of Appalachia and the people who live there are especially evocative. Agent, Michele Rubin at Writers House. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Pregnant small-town genealogist and sleuth Torie O' Shea journeys with her grandmother to visit their 101-year-old friend in West Virginia. Someone murders their friend shortly after they arrive, however, so Torie investigatesDbeginning with a family-tree search. A dependable series.
Copyright 2000 Reed 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: 255 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (December 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312977840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312977849
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,076,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ann E. Nichols on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Yes, there are plenty of twists in this story. Some I saw coming and some I didn't. "Grandma Gert" is a nice addition to the "Holy Terror" school of formidable elders. The author asks our forgiveness for not setting this story in New Kassel, but I don't think there's anything to forgive. The West Virginia setting was just as interesting as the unfolding of another less-than-ordinary chapter in the lives of Torie's ancestors. The information about a certain use for quilts was new to me and welcome. I hope this isn't the last we'll see of cousin Elliot. RANDOM COMMENTS: Actually, considering what happens to your body when you die, sitting on the toilet might not be the worst place to be if your plane should crash. I, for one, don't think Torie should forgive her stepfather-to-be until he clears her record. Colin should write to her car insurance company and the department of motor vehicles [if they still have the incident on record] and admit that Torie didn't deserve that ticket. He should also pay Torie every penny of the difference that ticket undoubtedly made in her insurance rates during those years. It's not enough to apologize if you've wronged someone. You need to make reparation. All right, I'll admit I'm frequently shocked by what coworkers in their teens and 20s don't know about American history, but Torie is in her 30s. Weren't they still teaching about miners and the horrible conditions under which they worked when she was in school? Didn't she ever ask an adult what the line "I owe my soul to the company store" in Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" meant? I would have expected her to nod and let the speaker go on talking. I do hope Torie's car has vinyl seats instead of cloth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read most of the books in this particular series and continue to be impressed. The author is certainly a very good story teller. With her work we get history, humor, good discriptive details and likable characters. This particular work takes place outside of O'Shea's normal residence, but it still has all the charm of her small town in Missouri. I guess I am rather fascinated with this author's work. These books are most certainly "cozy chick books," not something that can normally hold the interest of a 60 plus year old ex-military man who reads more biographies than anything else. But...there is something about them (MacPherson's books) that is quite relaxing, the writing is good and I am grateful to my wife for insisting that I read the first one. I would have missed a lot had I not listened to her. I would be curious to know why this particular author has not branched out into other genre. Her story telling abilities and command of the language are at least as good as those of Elizabeth Moon and Anne McCaffrey (two of my favorite in the fantasy genre). Anyway, I highly recommend this one for a very enjoyable read and hope we have many more like it coming down the pike.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In New Kasel, Missouri, Tori O'Shea is a professional genealogist. She lives with her husband Rudy and their two daughters, nine-year-old Rachel and six-year-old Mary. They live the typical suburban family life except when Tori becomes involved in a homicide (see FAMILY SKELETONS and A VEILED ANTIQUITY). No one expects Tori to deal with a murder investigation since she is seven months pregnant.

Tori and her grandmother Gert travel to Panther Run, West Virginia to visit long time friend Clarissa Hart Campbell, a 101-year-old lady. However, just after the two visitors arrive at Clarissa's boarding house, someone kills the centenarian, but not before she makes it clear she has something important to tell Tori. The local sheriff suspects Tori of killing Clarissa, which encourages the pregnant woman to make her own inquiries. Her investigation opens up long buried secrets that are almost as old as Clarissa was as well as a killer who would not mind a double homicide with one murderous blow.

Rett MacPherson creates charming cozies starring a beguiling heroine with a sense of humor. The story line, based on the coal mine owners total control of the work force, provides the audience with a realistic glimpse into an unsavory time in this country's heritage. A MISTY MORNING ties the past to the present so that the history of early twentieth century West Virginia coal mining towns are vividly displayed. Ms. MacPherson has written a wonderful amateur sleuth tale whose historical perspective adds tasty seasoning to a strong tale.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on May 27, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read the previous 3 Torie O'Shea books and really enjoyed them but this one has so far been my favorite. The mystery was really good but what I enjoyed even more than that was the history of the coal miners and their way of life. I am very interested in Appalachian studies and it was a bonus that this book really fed into my interest, and has led me to look into some of the books that Rett MacPherson cites as some of her sources in the back of this book.

Very enjoyable read!
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By JJ on April 24, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
4th book in the Torie O'Shea genealogy mysteries series.

Heavily pregnant genealogist Torie O'Shea is drafted to drive her 80-year-old grandmother Gert from eastern Missouri to her old hometown in West Virginia to visit Gert's old friend Clarissa and attend a reading of Clarissa's new will. That will takes effect almost immediate, after Clarissa dies mysteriously the night of their arrival at the bed-and-breakfast that Clarissa owns. Torie doesn't think Clarissa's death was natural--even if the woman was 101 years old--and neither does local law enforcment, who are quite suspicious that Torie was first on the scene of Clarissa's death, and even more so when the will reveals that Torie will inherit the bed-and-breakfast. Not allowed to leave town until the cloud of suspicion is lifted, Torie sets out to solve two mysteries: who killed Clarissa, and why was she repaying a debt to Gert's mother by leaving her property to Torie?

Even though this isn't set in her typical setting of a small fictional Missouri town, MacPherson still keeps the same small-town vibe in this new location. Readers get a glimpse into what the coal mining industry in West Virginia used to be like and more tastes of the family that Torie came from.
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