Go to Homepage   Rett MacPherson: Killing Cousins


Crescent Blues Book Views St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN 0-312-26689-8
Rett MacPherson gathers a plethora of plot elements and ties them all together with her own delightful irreverence, unique perspective and original plot twists. In her Torie O'Shea mystery series, she incorporates genealogy, a small Missouri river town, colorful characters, a female keeper of the community's history and family relationships. Into these elements she throws one outspoken young woman, Torie O'Shea, who Book: Rett MacPherson, killing cousinsconstantly switches among the roles of daughter, step-daughter, wife, mother and neighbor. To complicate her roles, add the roller-coaster hormone-induced ride of a mother of a newborn third child. That should give you a little insight into Torie O'Shea and her world.

Torie's mother and her new step-father, the most irritating Sheriff Colin Woodrow Brooke, exchange wedding vows and head out on their honeymoon. Before they leave, Sheriff Brooke asks Torie to catalogue the furniture and personal belongings he recently bought at the Finch estate auction. Coincidently Torie's boss, Sylvia Pershing, asks for a biography on Granite County's recently deceased celebrity, Catherine Finch.

While looking into Catherine's past, Torie discovers that Catherine's baby had been kidnapped, and the criminal escaped capture. As Torie immerses herself into the history of Catherine Finch, a Roaring Twenties jazz singer, the present intrudes in the form of New Carlisle's greedy mayor Bill Castlereagh. New Carlisle Book: Rett MacPherson, a misty mourningoccupies some prime Mississippi shore front real estate, and Castlereagh wants to capitalize on it by bringing in riverboat gambling. Torie and many neighbors oppose the prospect of gamblers and all of their bad habits spoiling the town's turn-of-the-century charm -- not to mention its pastoral security.

Everything becomes more complicated when an intruder turns up dead and Torie unearths his link to the past and realizes the danger now present in their cozy little town.

MacPherson uses genealogy, town politics, Torie's perseverance and luck to solve the mystery and save the town. The author accurately and warmly depicts people of all ages from newborn to young mothers to 90-year-olds, giving them all well rounded personalities.

I agree with Publisher's Weekly. MacPherson certainly qualifies as "an original and humorous storyteller." And Torie O'Shea quickly climbs up my list of favorite mystery sleuths.

Dawn Goldsmith

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