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Monday, March 7th 2005

2:21 PM

The first lady of genealogy fiction has done it again!

Rett MacPherson's new book Thicker Than Water is wonderful. MacPherson has Torie O'Shea, a professional genealogist, tackle a number of human emotions while telling a great story. Sylvia has died and Torie has inherited everything including Sylvia's secrets. As Torie begins to deal with the responsibility of going through Sylvia's estate she realizes that her position in the community has changed. Her interactions with the community members change and both Torie and the people of New Kassel feel the strain. It all comes to a head when community members try to undermine Torie's efforts at the historical society. To add further stress in Torie's life her mother-in-law comes to visit. Overwhelmed, Torie turns her back on her relationships with family and friends and doggedly pursues the identity of a young girl.  The girl pictured in a post card and addressed to Sylvia is haunting and the message on the back is mysterious. Torie questions her knowledge of Sylvia and tries to reconcile the Sylvia she knew to the Sylvia she is uncovering. As Torie deals with her emotions and solves the identify of the young girl we learn even more about the history of Gaheimer House where the historical society is housed.

I have enjoyed each book in the Torie O'Shea series because the genealogy elements have been so authentic. In this the eight Torie O'Shea mystery, Torie solves the mystery using genealogy, but genealogy fiction lovers may miss Torie searching in archives, libraries and cemeteries. MacPherson gives us genealogy, but it's not as important to the story this time.   HOWEVER, don't let that stop you from turning the pages of Thicker Than Water. MacPherson writes a great book with Torie's domestic life and her ability to snoop out a crime continuing to be fodder for comedy.

Even though I didn't enjoy the genealogy aspects in this book as much as I have in others, I think Thicker Than Water is MacPherson's best book yet. She made me laugh, cry and think all in one story. When an author does that it's a wonderful book. The book has real meat. As Torie snoops her way through solving the mystery in this book, she also has to deal with grief, marriage and forgiveness---life! The first lady of genealogy fiction has done it again! Thicker Than Water is a mystery worth reading!

Visit Rett MacPherson and learn more about her books at her new web site www.rettmacpherson.com

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