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At the start of MacPherson's middling ninth cozy to feature genealogist Torie O'Shea (after 2005's Thicker than Water), the small town of New Kassel, Mo., is in a heated mayoral election. Torie has a vested interest in the outcome: she loathes the incumbent, Bill Castlereagh, and the other candidate happens to be her stepfather, Colin Brooke. When a reporter for the local paper asks Torie to pull together the family trees of the two candidates, Torie finds some irregularities in Castlereagh's. Then Castlereagh disappears, some concrete mix is stolen from a construction site, a parade comes to a violent end, and a stranger who may have Mafia ties shows up at the Murdoch Inn. Meanwhile, the whole town is gossiping about Torie's marriage. Unfortunately, Torie is more often annoying than amiable, and only longtime fans are likely to feel they have much stake in her conjugal woes, the outcome of the election or the predictable explanation for the oddities plaguing New Kassel. (Apr.)
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Torie O’Shea has her hands full. Aside from her new duties as president of the Historical Society in New Kassel, Missouri, and her interest in genealogy, she’s having a new house built, coordinating the town’s Oktoberfest, and coping with her teenage daughter, who’s beginning to date. Then at the request of a local journalist, Torie takes on an assignment to research the families of her hometown’s two mayoral candidates: incumbent Bill Castlereagh and his challenger, Sheriff Colin Brooke, who happens to be Torie’s step-father.
Before she can get anywhere on the politicians’ genealogies, though, a body turns up and spoils the Oktoberfest parade. Sheriff Brooke discovers some disturbing information about the dead man. Meanwhile, Torie’s research into Castlereagh’s genealogy is turning up more questions than answers. As the case unravels, the mayor flees town and Torie is left with a shocking discovery that might lead to her own demise.
Once again, Rett MacPherson’s charming characters and twisting plot keep the town of New Kassel—and the reader—on edge, making Dead Man Running a delightful addition to the Torie O’Shea series.