The Blood Ballad (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 11) by Rett MacPherson

The Blood Ballad (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 11)
ISBN 0312362226
  • Author:
    Rett MacPherson
  • Title:
    The Blood Ballad (Torie O'Shea Mysteries, No. 11)
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  • Publisher:
    Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (February 19, 2008)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1960 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1174 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1714 kb
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Genealogist and mother of three Torie O’Shea is out birding on the cliffs of the Mississippi River as part of New Kassell, Missouri’s first ever bird-watching Olympics, when someone starts shooting at her and her partner. Disoriented and running for their lives, they stumble over an antique trunk and discover a badly beaten dead body stuffed inside. Soon after this disturbing event, musicologist Glen Morgan shows up at the Kendall House, Torie’s new textile museum, claiming to be Torie’s cousin and to have proof that Torie’s grandfather secretly may have written a number of popular songs for the Morgan Family Players, who were famous country music singers. Being a genealogist and the head of the local historical society, Torie doesn’t appreciate anyone shaking up a family tree that she has spent years putting together, but Glen’s old recordings are more than she can resist. After a little digging in the library and some serious snooping into the shooting, Torie starts to uncover secrets about her family and the town that even she didn’t know.Rett MacPherson’s intricate plots and delightful small-town characters with long family histories hit all of the right notes in The Blood Ballad, the newest installment in her terrific Torie O’Shea series.

Torie O'Shea now owns 2 museums and is still doing genealogy research for others. She is settling into her new home and now has horses and kids. She is still aggravating the local sheriff with her propensity to get involved with murders. Things get complicated when she has to figure out how birdwatchers are different from the usual forest hikers. She discovers a musical ancestor and surprising clues. I worry about how many more of these mysteries will appear, since I am so fond of this series and their wonderful characters.
I was very excited to finally be able to read this newest Torie O'Shea book. When Torie and Eleanor get shot at during the birding Olympics and a dead man lands at their feet you know you have returned to New Kassel. One of Torie's cousins claims that she has proof that her great grandfather was misidentified thus upsetting the family historian. Connecting these events while raising a family and celebrating Christmas is right up Mrs O'Shea's alley
Very good series, if interested in genealogy, this cozy mystery series is for you. Small town genealogist Tori O'Shea juggles family life with her work at the local historical society and uses her genealogical skills to untangle mysteries. Some of them are within her family, some are from other people in town. The characters and town are easy to know. I've read all 11 of these and only wish there were more.
Well, let me assure you, Torie O'Shea has lost none of her quirkiness. In fact, she entertains the reader magnificently with her `devil-may-care' demeanor when it comes to 1) danger 2) parenting her children or 3) concern for her reputation. None of the above applies - she will do what she feels compelled to do - get the facts - solve the mystery and add knowledge to her genealogogy genius.

The compelling aspect of Rett MacPherson's series is the unique mixture of work life. She is historian, museum curator, genealogist and wife/mother. Family life - we have watched her children grown into individuals as wacky as their Mom. Don't forget the disabled mother who stays centered and forgiving and a step-father relationship that has blossomed from hatred to near respect. We cannot overlook the community life. It is Torie's most patient husband, Rudy, along with the town chocalatier, the quite taken-with-herself Eleanor and other equally colorful characters that force the reader to grin at least and laugh out loud more likely.

The best reference I can give is if you can start with her first book in this wonderful series , Family Skeletons, you will not have to be coached into reading the next 10 books. Torie is a hoot - you will relish every moment of reading pleasure.
Murder meets music in the latest Tori O'Shea adventure. In typical Tori form we find her again hunting truth and family ties. This is another winner. I'm always eager to read the latest Tori installment!
I have read every one of Ms. MacPherson's Torie O'Shea's books in this series. I loved the earlier ones. She does a good job with most of the characters, which leads me to the main gist of this review. I gave this book only 3 stars because I did not care for the way the author portrayed Torie's pathetic indifference to her teenage daughters' ridiculous behavior. It was too excessive. I ended up despising the characters. Torie, the mom, changed. She became more self-absorbed and less involved with her husband and kids as the series evolved. I have never developed such dislike toward certain key characters before. This particular mystery was a disappointment. The teenage daughters spoiled this book for me. They were extremely hateful to each other. They were over-the-top disrespectful to Torie, the professional historian/genealogist-turned-amateur sleuth. Worst of all, Torie didn't seem to care. She didn't do anything about it. She appeared to shrug it off. I get that parents and teens have conflicts. These were not normal conflicts. This was psycho behavior between the siblings in the home. It was way beyond unreasonable. Rudy, the husband and father, was disconnected. The author rarely wrote about him. By the end of the series, he had faded into the background. In the early part of the series, Torie would describe him lovingly. She would describe him as her best friend, someone she couldn't live without. As the series progressed, the daughters grew older and absolutely hateful toward each other. This was not normal sibling conflict/dislike/childish hatred. It was seriously pathological and I don't understand why Ms. MacPherson let it develop to that level, which was very distracting from the story. I'm glad I'm done with the series because I would not be able to get through another story with those two psychopath daughters.

Aside from that, an excellently written story with a satisfying ending. All of the stories were very well done. I loved the genealogy angle and how the genealogy always played a part in solving the mystery. That was great. The small town feel--wonderful. The one sour note in all this were her bratty, psycho daughters and the indifferent, weak parenting. She could face down killers, bring bad people to justice, stand her ground with the sheriff but she could not make her daughters behave.