- Audio CD
- Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (15 Dec. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1470819635
- ISBN-13: 978-1470819637
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 14.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
The Old Buzzard Had It Coming (Alafair Tucker Mysteries) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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Poisoned Pen Press also offers the debut of Donis Casey, a writer living in Tempe, Ariz.
Casey's setting is a harsh winter in 1912 Oklahoma, and setting, attitude and atmosphere are as important -- perhaps more important for readers who go with her -- than the novel's central mystery.
It's the 20th century, but in this novel, it sometimes feels more like the 19th.
Casey's heroine is Alafair Tucker. Texas singer-songwriter Tom Russell once said he wrote his song "Hallie Lonnigan" in response to those who complained that there weren't enough songs about the women who helped settle the West and carve lives and build towns in harsh settings.
Alafair Tucker is such a woman ... mother, farmer ... sleuth.
Rural Oklahoma isn't a boomtown, so when a body is found in a snowdrift, locals have to pitch in -- preparing the body for burial in the absence of any formal local mortician:
"They worked in silence for several minutes, straightening the body and drawing off the wet, muddy clothing. Alafair turned her back as Mrs. Day tugged off the long johns."
Not long after that, the two women find the bullet hole in the corpse's head -- behind the ear.
The dead man is a dissolute neighbor of Alafair's named Harley Day: "He's just an evil man," one character asserts. "And he drinks something awful, Ma. He makes his own corn liquor and sells it to the low types around."
Some of those closest to the dead man look like prime suspects.
Casey has a good ear and convincingly captures period and regional voices ... the slow and sometimes meandering ways in which people talk and talk around things.
The novel is also supplemented with a series of recipes attributed toAlafair and which are deadly in their own right: "Be forewarned," Casey writes, "These are not health foods."
The recipes include those for buttermilk biscuits, fried ham and gravy and peach cobbler. (The author warns those seeking an opportunity to have an authentic experience of the cobbler to be sure to have a cow on hand: "Cream like Alafair used is very hard to come by in the United States these days," Casey notes.)--Craig McDonald, ThisWeek (August 4, 2005)
"As vivid and unforgettable as a crimson Oklahoma sunset" -Carolyn Hart
"Donis Casey...gives us a tale full of wit, humor, sorrow and, more important, the truth. Her Alafair Tucker deserves to stand beside Ma Joad in literature's gallery of heroic ladies."
-- Tony Hillerman
As the mother of nine, Alafair Tucker's hard but basically peaceful life on a farm on the Oklahoma frontier in 1912 is changed forever when one of her
daughters--17-year-old Phoebe--is involved in the murder of an obnoxious neighbor. Phoebe is the girlfriend of the chief suspect, the dead man's son,
and might even have been his accomplice in the crime.
Under Donis Casey's gifted hand and shrewd historic eye, Tucker adds solving a mystery to her busy schedule. It all could easily have gone soft and cute, especially the many long visits to the Tuckers' fellow farmers. But by avoiding all the built-in traps, Casey has produced a sharp and suspenseful
first novel. -- Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune (10 July 2005)
Life on the Oklahoma frontier in 1912 was anything but easy, yet Casey's sweet-tempered debut manages to make readers nostalgic for simpler times. Running a successful farm is hard work, and on the Tucker farm everyone in the family has a job to do, under the proud watchful eyes of father Shaw and mother Alafair. So when the town bully is found dead in the snow and one of the Tucker girls might be involved in the murder, Alafair pours all her considerable energy into uncovering the truth. Of course, she'll eventually find it, for this mother of nine living children (two died young) ""know[s] everything all the time."" And that's the essential flaw in this therwise
admirable work--no surprises. The regular up-and-down cycles of the plot don't allow the tension to build beyond a certain point. New developments often occur offstage and the same details are rehashed too many times around too many kitchen tables. In every other respect, though, the appealingly homey world Casey creates rings true. With so much going for her, readers will be right pleased to see a sequel. -- Publishers Weekly (6.6.2005) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Donis Casey was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third generation Oklahoman, she and her siblings grew up among their extended family. After teaching school for a short time, she enjoyed a career as an academic librarian. Donis left academia in 1988 to start a Scottish import gift shop. She now writes full-time and lives in Tempe, AZ with her husband. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
A neighboring farmer and local bootlegger who liked drinking his product too much, is found frozen outside his family home. He also had a large family. He abused his wife and the children were hungry and often not allowed to go school. While laying him out at home for viewing, Alafair who was helping out, noticed a bullet hole behind his ear. It is murder but who would have committed the crime as the old buzzard had it coming. There are many suspects. Alafair becomes involved because her daughter cares for the victim's oldest son. Alafair feels her daughter might be involved and knows more than she is sharing.
The mystery was good. I fluctuated back and forth between suspects. The sense of family and family love is very strong in this book. I want to continue with the series to keep up with the family . I also want to continue due to Alafair is a strong main character and sleuth. She is very admirable. There are turn of the centuries recipes for those who like recipes in their mystery books
This book vividly describes everyday life during the early part of the 20th century & reminds me of how my mom lived during that time. It was easy to imagine myself living then, how hard people worked on a daily basis. A woman cooked EVERYDAY, including making bread, deserts & full course meal for her family, washing, ironing clothes, keeping the house clean & rearing her children, with the help of her husband, if she was fortunate enough to be married to a man who loved her & the children & who also worked very hard to take care of his family.
Now imagine that the husband on the next farm is a drunkard, beat the wife & kids, & was such a poor worker he was about to loose his farm. This is the old buzzard who ends up dead. Alafair Tucker is his neighbor & while she can't really say she's very sorry that he's dead, she feels that she has to get involved in solving who killed him to make sure that none of her children or the dead man's children get charged with his death in error. What's more, she helps to solve this murder while to taking care of her daily chores.
I did not expect too much from this book but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'm glad that this is the 1st book in the series as I will be reading the rest of this series. It was a great read & one you can get lost in because of the author's excellent descriptive writing.