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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on June 26, 2014
I've read all the Torie O'Shea mysteries and this is one of my favorites. The story is very appealing, even though you can figure it out quite easily early in the reading.
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on December 1, 2003
This series has been enjoyable until this installment.
Torie came across as a nosy, obnoxious, spiteful child. Her dislike of Colin for not letting her do whatever she wants is getting old. This is a grown woman with three children, not a 10-year-old child. Grow up, Torie.
Unfortunately, Torie comes across as so stupid and unlikable in this story that it was hard to really get into it. All I wanted to see was Colin lock her in a cell for good and throw away the key.
The worst part is that the supporting cast encourages her idiocy. Even Colin, who is supposed to dislike her constant meddling, allows her to read confidential files and shares confidential information with her, even after she blabs details of the murder that were kept secret to the entire town, in front of the press. Are these people stupid?
The other thing that was most annoying was that half of Torie's dialogue seemed to consist of her saying "Oh" in response to people. Did the author need to fill a page count?
I hope the next installment is better, or I won't be visiting New Kassel anymore.
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on July 13, 2003
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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on May 30, 2002
(Sung to the tune of the old Patty Duke Show theme song)..twists, turns danger and intrigue. How's does Torie do it? Great light reading.
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on May 16, 2002
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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on March 17, 2002
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. And then a stranger is found dead in one of the abandoned houses in New Kassell, who turns out to be one of Catherine's relations. Could the man's presence have anything to do with the fact that Catherine's estate is being sorted out? And could he have had information about the missing Finch heir? Not to worry: you just know that Torie, who cannot help but poke her nose into everything, will discover all!
Torie O'Shea is a rarity in the mystery novel world in that Rett MacPherson presents her to us warts and all. Torie is not perfect -- she frequently acts instinctively without thinking things through, and she is a busybody. She just has to know what's going on. The fact that Torie admits this basic fact about herself, allows us to empathise with, and to like her. As I noted before however, while the mysteries in this series are interesting and fun, they are rather straight forward. And after a while you have to wonder why only Torie has the imagination and the curiosity to get to the bottom of what's going on -- in this case what really happened to the Finch baby. But that is exactly what makes this series (and book) so readable: that Torie has the guts and determination to see things through to the bitter end. And that is why I will always be on the library waiting list for future Torie O'Shea books.
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on March 3, 2002
Having just given birth to her third child, New Kassell, Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea looks forward to her new assignment. The Historical Society wants Torie to write the definitive biography of a local, 1930s popular local jazz singer Catherine Finch. Torie begins her usual methodical research into her subject, but soon learns that someone abducted Catherine's infant son, who never returned home.

While Torie ponders what happened, the mayor decides to bring in riverboat gambling at the site of the Yates house over the protestations of many locals. However, the project is halted when the body of a former resident Patrick Ward and the skeletal remains of an infant are found in the house. Torie begins investigating the connection between the two deceased people and easily finds links that reach into the governor's mansion.

KILLING COUSINS is an engaging cozy that is fun to read though the waters of the plot never run deep. The story line engages the audience through the actions of Torie and her cohorts who are a pert group. Rett MacPherson's tale is for those readers who relish a spunky heroine starring in a vivacious tale that stretches the imagination once the clues leave New Kassell.

Harriet Klausner
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