Died in the Wool ), the New Kassell, Mo., genealogist learns that her fiddler gran"/>

A Blood Ballad: A Torie O’Shea Mystery

Rett MacPherson, Author . St. Martin’s Minotaur $23.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-312-36222-5

In MacPherson’s tepid 11th Torie O’Shea mystery (after 2007’s Died in the Wool ), the New Kassell, Mo., genealogist learns that her fiddler grandfather, John Robert Keith, was possibly related to the Morgan Family Players, a Depression-era country band famous in five states. Glen Morgan, the grandson of musician Scott Morgan, phones Torie to say he has a tape suggesting Torie’s grandfather wrote some songs Scott Morgan took credit for. Meanwhile, during a birding expedition, Torie witnesses the dumping of a corpse, who turns out to be another Morgan grandson, Clifton Weaver. Soon after, Torie receives an eerie CD, evidently mailed by Weaver before his death. On the CD is a “blood ballad,” in effect the murder confession of Belle Morgan, a member of the clan who disappeared years earlier, sung by an unidentified female. When the song leads to the discovery of Belle’s long-lost body, Torie gets on the case. Her slogging through genealogical clues doesn’t have a lot of drama, but her warm spirit is sure to appeal to cozy fans. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
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