Genealogist and mother of three Torie O'Shea is out birding on the cliffs of the Mississippi River as part of New Kassell, Missouri's first ever bird-watching Olympics, when someone starts shooting at her and her partner. Disoriented and running for their lives, they stumble over an antique trunk and discover a badly beaten dead body stuffed inside. Soon after this disturbing event, musicologist Glen Morgan shows up at the Kendall House, Torie's new textile museum, claiming to be Torie's cousin and to have proof that Torie's grandfather secretly may have written a number of popular songs for the Morgan Family Players, who were famous country music singers. Being a genealogist and the head of the local historical society, Torie doesn't appreciate anyone shaking up a family tree that she has spent years putting together, but Glen's old recordings are more than she can resist. After a little digging in the library and some serious snooping into the shooting, Torie starts to uncover secrets about her family and the town that even she didn't know. Rett MacPherson's intricate plots and delightful small-town characters with long family histories hit all of the right notes in The Blood Ballad, the newest installment in her terrific Torie O'Shea series.
Torie O'Shea uses her genealogical and sleuthing skills when she and her partner in a birding Olympics are shot at and find a dead body in a trunk.