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Crying Blood: An Alafair Tucker Mystery [Hardcover]

Donis Casey

Price: 15.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590588312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590588314
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.8 x 2.3 cm

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Farms and "haints" 30 Oct 2012
By Shoshana Hathaway - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book captivated me for several excellent reasons. First, there is the mystery, which, though veiled in Native American lore and seeming supernatural events is, in fact, a very cold "case" that suddenly and dramatically heats up. Then, there is the setting; Oklahoma in the early 20th Century, still half wild West, just coming into the modern era, but with roots and traditions buried deep in the past. The author brings all the diverse elements of that particular place together masterfully, and the result is a place and time with which I could easily relate, imagine and understand. This was, essentially, an agriculture society, and we get to see farm life from that period from the inside out ..and it is fascinating! The characters are mostly sympathetic, and lovingly drawn, flaws and all, even the tiny children and dogs. I sometimes felt as though I was visiting in that home, and had to remind myself that, if I wanted a piece of pie and some coffee, Alafair Tucker wasn't going to offer it ...but eating pie seemed an appropriate thing to do while reading this book, so I did.

The author has a gentle, straightforward style which I found easy and pleasant reading, and my sense was that she caught the nuances of accent and idiom in her dialog perfectly. There is violence in this book, yes, but not obtrusively so, and while a fair amount of gore is implied, the author chose not to rub our minds in it. In fact, the goriest part of the book was the excellent and informative description of hog butchering in the afterword. While I doubt I'll ever have occasion to butcher a hog (or anything else), I did enjoy this afterword for its insights into how things were done before the advent of industrial meat production on small, family farms.

While the mystery is interesting, it isn't the real focus of the book, in my opinion. The real focus of this book seems to be how the family reacted, and their process, physical and emotional, in resolving it. I got the sense that these were good, honest folk, determined to do right, morally and ethically, and that they did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong entry in one of the best historical mystery series going 22 Sep 2012
By Cathy G. Cole - Published on
First Line: There was no place left to hide.

It's the autumn of 1915 in rural Oklahoma. Taking advantage of a lull before it's hog butchering time, Shaw Tucker, his brother James, and their sons go on a hunting trip. Deciding that a derelict farm their stepfather bought years ago should be a prime location to find game, they're shocked when one of the dogs retrieves an old boot-- with the human foot bones still inside. The dog then leads the men to a shallow grave that contains a skeleton with a bullet hole in its skull.

Knowing they've got to go get the sheriff in the morning, men and boys go back to camp and bed down for the night. Sometime later, Shaw wakes up to see a pair of moccasin-clad feet walking past his tent. Giving chase, Shaw loses track of the visitor so completely he wonders if he dreamed the whole thing... including the part where he could swear a ghostly voice called him by name. Dream or no dream, once Shaw's home, he just can't shake the experience.

They're back on the Tucker farm hardly any time at all when Shaw realizes someone followed him home. It's a young Creek Indian boy who says his name is Crying Blood. Crying Blood insists that he followed the Tuckers home so he could find the white-haired man who killed his brother. Shaw ties the boy up in the barn and leaves for a couple of minutes. When he returns, he discovers that someone has thrust a lance through Crying Blood's heart. The law is on the killer's trail, but Shaw has a hunch that he knows the identity of the white-haired man. The only thing he has to do is avoid the eagle eye of his wife Alafair in order to confront the killer on his own terms.

I was in a quandary with this book. It's part of one of my favorite series, a series that I tend to savor-- reading one only when the next in the series has been published. (I always keep a few books that I know I'm going to love in reserve.) However, when I managed to obtain a galley of the next book being published in November, I knew I had to read Crying Blood. There is no way I'm going to read this series out of order!

Why, you ask? Because Donis Casey has created one of the deepest, richest cast of characters in fiction. Alafair Tucker and her husband Shaw have ten children, ranging in age from mid-twenties to three. The children all have their own personalities, and as they grow, they change... just like real people. The twelve Tuckers aren't the only cast members either. There are Alafair's and Shaw's parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, in-laws and almost in-laws. With a cast this large, you'd think you would need a score card, but you don't.

This large cast is a very real part of the world they live in: Oklahoma farm country at the turn of the twentieth century. It allows the author to shift the focus of her stories from one part of the family to another, as she has done here in Crying Blood. In earlier books in the series, Alafair has been at the heart of the story. Here she takes a backseat to her husband, Shaw, but she still makes her presence felt-- especially when she accompanies the sheriff on a journey in Ford Model T.

By shifting the focus of the story from Alafair to Shaw, we get to see the very real-- and very strong-- bond between the two, and the night that a sleepless Alafair wanders the farmhouse in the wee hours of the morning, knowing that her husband is in harm's way, will bring a lump to any loving partner's throat.

Donis Casey writes an excellent historical mystery series. She immediately whisks the reader into the world of turn-of-the-century Oklahoma farmers, and she creates strong, believable mysteries for her characters to solve. She's also adept at adding a bit of humor in the right places. All that, and she supplies period recipes at the back of the book. In each of her books, Casey provides food for the body, food for the mind, and food for the soul. If that sounds like a winning recipe to you, pull a chair up to the Tuckers' table. There's always room for more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable for presenting the cultural clash 8 Oct 2013
By Tricia3718 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The most remarkable aspect of this book is the way the author, Donis Casey, has made the cultural clash between the Southeastern Indians and the Europeans central to the plot of her story. She explains the Indian view of justice most matter-of-factly in the denouncement. I don't know if Ms. Casey is familiar with A Law of Blood by John Phillip Reid, but she clearly understands the principles explained in the book.

Crying Blood is a most remarkable book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Alafair Does It Again! 21 Mar 2013
By Lover of Books - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with all of the previous Alafair Tucker books, you will long to go back in time and live with this wonderful woman and her family. VERY enjoyable!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Alafair read! 16 Feb 2013
By Leslie J. Botkin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another great Alafair Tucker read. This entire series is highly recommended by me for readers of ALL ages. Great people, great stories!
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