by Donis Casey
In the autumn of 1915, Shaw Tucker, his brother James, and their sons, go on a hunting trip to the derelict farm his stepfather had bought years before. Instead of a quail, Shaw’s dog, Buttercup, retrieves an old boot with the bones of a foot inside. Buttercup then leads the men to a shallow grave and a skeleton with a bullet hole in the skull.
That night, Shaw awakens to see a pair of moccasin-clad legs strolling by his tent flap. He chases the intruder, who has disappeared so completely that Shaw wonders if he imagined it. Had he also imagined the ghostly voice that called his name?
After he returns home, Shaw can’t shake the memory of the disembodied legs and the ghostly voice. His concern is justified when he realizes that someone – or something – has followed him home.
His dread turns to relief when he captures a young Creek Indian boy who says he is Crying Blood. The boy had followed Shaw, hoping to find a white haired man who killed his brother. Shaw ties the boy up in the barn, but during the few minutes he is left alone, someone thrusts a spear through Crying Blood’s heart.
Who murdered a boy right under Shaw’s nose? The law is on the killer’s trail, but Shaw Tucker has a hunch about the identity of the white-haired man who called his name.
Only Shaw’s wife, Alafair, might be able to forestall his dangerous plan. So when the opportunity arises, Shaw sends her on a wild goose chase. As soon as she is out of the way, he sets out to confront the killer.
Sometimes a man has to take matters into his own hands.
(90,000 words; e-book $4.99 USD)
Reviews of Crying Blood
“Casey’s nuanced portrayal of settler and native lives in early 20th-century Oklahoma lends soul and depth to her atmospheric fifth Alafair Tucker mystery (after 2009′s The Sky Took Him).” —Publishers’ Weekly
“The characters are well-drawn and interesting, especially Alafair and Shaw Tucker… On the whole this was a charming and entertaining mystery. Ghosts and superstition play a certain role for the environment and the atmosphere, but the solution of the crimes does not depend on anything supernatural. In spite of the PDF format, it was a fast read, and I wouldn´t mind meeting the engaging Tucker family again.” —DJ’s Krimiblog
“Alafair’s sixth [sic] (The Sky Took Him, 2009, etc.) will appeal to history buffs and Hillerman aficionados. The book includes sections on hog butchering, favorite old-time recipes, the history of the Indian Territory and land allotment, as well as a guide to Creek pronunciation.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The author does a very good job of depicting the daily activities of a family when you grew your own food and harvested it and cured it, too. The historical context makes the story interesting in its own right, and the mystery just adds some spice to the mixture… The time in history is accurately represented and the plot is complex. Get yourself a copy and see what you think.” —bkfaerie.blogspot.com/2010/10/crying-blood-by-donis-casey.html