Friday, November 7, 2014

Torie O'Shea Mystery series

Between 1997 and 2008 American author, Rett MacPherson, wrote eleven books in the Torie O'Shea Mystery series. The main character in the books, Victory O'Shea, is a genealogist and local historian who uses her genealogy skills to help solve crime.

In Sheep's Clothing is number 7 in the series. When Torie, her husband and her step-father visit her Aunt Sissy, Torie is shown a manuscript that her aunt found hidden in her house. The aunt asks Torie to try and discover who wrote the manuscript and, if possible, find out what happened to the writer. Her quest not only uncovers a mystery that occurred 150 years previously but also leads to solving a more recent murder.

Dead Man Running is number 9 in the series. Torie's step-father is running for mayor against the incumbent who lives next door to Torie. When the editor of the local newspaper asks Torie to locate family trees for both candidates Torie discovers discrepancies in the information supplied by the Mayor. When a number of sinister looking men visit the town and appear to be spying on the Mayor plus a body is found on a float in the Oktoberfest Parade, Torrie is determined to find out what is going on.

Books in the cosy crime genre usually involve characters with a passion of some description - food or quilting for example. Using genealogy as a tool is the unique characteristic of this series of books.  Cosy crime books are also normally set in a location where the characters are grouped in a small community and in these books Rett MacPherson introduces the reader to an assortment of interesting characters living in, or near, New Kassel, Missouri. The main character is often, but not always, an amateur sleuth with the ability to solve the mystery. Torie is a flawed character who has the knack of sometimes upsetting people as she pursues her investigations. However if something does not appear right she persists in finding out what is happenening. Her perseverance, active community involvement and ability to work with her supporters ensure she achieves her goals.

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