Donis Casey is the author of ten Alafair Tucker Mysteries: The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, Hornswoggled, The Drop Edge of Yonder, The Sky Took Him, Crying Blood, The Wrong Hill to Die On, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, All Men Fear Me, The Return of the Raven Mocker, and Forty Dead Men. This award-winning series, featuring the sleuthing mother of ten children, is set in Oklahoma during the booming 1910s. Donis has twice won the Arizona Book Award for her series, and been a finalist for the Willa Award and a seven-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Her first novel, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, was named an Oklahoma Centennial Book in 2008. Donis is a former teacher, academic librarian, and entrepreneur. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Adult/High School-The author evokes Oklahoma of almost a hundred years ago and peoples it with wonderfully diverse characters with intertwined relationships. Alafair Gunn Tucker, mother of 10 and amateur sleuth, is concerned that one of her daughters is falling for a recently widowed barber who may have killed his wife. Partly in an effort to protect Alice, Alafair pursues the clues left behind by the killer (or victim), and the mystery she unravels seems to tie half of the town to the murder. There are moments of farce and elements of danger. Readers can almost smell the scent of death on the bloodstained rug and taste the homemade butter and potato patties (recipes included). The book provides an entertaining way for teens to appreciate the richness of life in this time and place. The idioms and local color are delightful, and the characters are real enough for readers to fear for their safety.-Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Set in the prairie town of Boynton, Okla., in the spring of 1913, Casey's nostalgic, folksy second novel to feature Alafair Tucker (after 2005's The Old Buzzard Had It Coming) finds the full-time mother of 11 and part-time sleuth worried about one of her grown daughters, Alice. Alice is sweet on barber Walter Kelley, an attractive widower whom the determined and discerning Alafair mistrusts; Walter is just too popular with the ladies. Since Alice is set on having Walter, Alafair seeks distraction by investigating the unsolved murder of Louise Kelley, Walter's late wife, whose stabbed body surfaced in a creek bordering the Tucker farm eight months earlier. Dialogue rich with Midwestern speech patterns and a consistent, unobtrusive narrative voice lift this smalltown historical, which should particularly appeal to Margaret Maron fans. An appendix of down-home recipes is a bonus. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.