A Misty Mournings

Rett MacPherson, Author
Rett MacPherson, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-26619-6
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Hardcover - 251 pages - 978-1-57490-353-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-312-97784-9
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-7727-2
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Seven-months pregnant Missouri genealogist Torie O'Shea takes time off from her historical society job to travel to West Virginia at the invitation of a family friend, 101-year-old Clarissa Hart, in this absorbing small-town cozy, the fourth in an excellent series. The night after she and her 80-something grandmother, Gert, arrive at the Panther Run Boardinghouse, Clarissa suffocates in her sleep. Was it an accident, or murder? The local sheriff believes the latter, and Torie is a prime suspect because Clarissa's new will leaves the boardinghouse to her. In order to clear her name, Torie has to use her skills as a historian to unravel a tangle of mystery and intrigue leading back to the early years of the century, when her great-grandmother kept the boardinghouse and Panther Run was a ""company town."" Fans of O'Shea's earlier adventures may be disappointed not to see much of her husband and mother, but grandma Gert is a delight, and a large cast of minor characters, including two of Torie's more distant relations, adds to the fun. If the denouement is contrived, it really doesn't matter. MacPherson has again (Family Skeletons, etc.) shown herself an original and humorous storyteller. She is generous with her wit, and her descriptions of the landscape of Appalachia and the people who live there are especially evocative. Agent, Michele Rubin at Writers House. (Sept.)
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