Friday, November 14, 2008

Torie O'Shea Mysteries

The latest entry in the Torie O'Shea mystery series by Rett Macpherson, is the book Blood Ballad. This is the 11th book in the series, so I'll try not to include any spoilers in the review - this is a series you want to try and read in order!

Torie O'Shea is a genealogist and local historian in a small Missouri tourist town who seems to find herself in trouble more often than not. What I like about her the most is that she is a real woman - struggling with her weight, dealing with family issues, and her life in small-town America. In this particular book, Torie somehow finds herself spending the night in the woods with one of her least favorite people, as she reluctantly participates in New Kassel's first Birding Olympics. As is bound to happen, a dead body ends up bringing Tori's night to an end, but is only the beginning of a new mystery involving a recording sent to her from the deceased person, her ancestors and a historical unsolved disappearance.

One of the highlights of these books for me is the humorous relationship between Torie and her stepfather, Colin. While they clash over just about everything, and neither one is bashful in their exasperation with the other, Colin is still one of the first people Tori turns to when she's in trouble. Which is a lot.

Overall, the Torie O'Shea mysteries are great cozy mystery reading - there is little if any graphic violence, the characters are quirky and entertaining, and the books always end with a satisfying conclusion. There are a few in the series that I felt were not up to MacPherson's usual quality, but on the whole, this is an enjoyable and very readable series. I would definitely recommend reading the books in the order they were written so changes in Torie's family, friends and neighbors can be followed coherently.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Thanks for introducing me to the Tori O'Shea character. I really enjoyed Blood Ballad and getting to know the characters from New Kassel, MO. Now I'll have the joy of reading the prior books in the series! Happy reading to all.