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Torie O'Shea--genealogist, historian, and snoop--goes to visit her favorite aunt, Sissy, in Minnesota because she's found a century-old diary full of passion and desire and longs to know who it is about. The tale of an unmarried 17-year-old mother who died in a fire where Aunt Sissy's farm now stands captures both Sissy and Torie, but when a possible descendant is murdered, Torie finds the whole thing takes on modern and sinister implications. Torie can be both stubborn and whiny, and both mystery and murder take a little too long to get going. Still, the genealogist angle has appeal for like minds, and MacPherson dutifully follows Torie on her search of libraries, historical societies, court records, and cemeteries. Those who respond more to the generational tale than the genealogy would love Beth Gutcheon's More Than You Know (2000). GraceAnne DeCandido
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