The Old Buzzard Had It Coming
by Donis Casey
Alafair Tucker is a strong woman, the core of family life on a farm in Oklahoma where the back-breaking work and daily logistics of caring for her husband Shaw, their nine children, and being neighborly requires hard muscle and a clear head. She’s also a woman of strong opinions, and it is her opinion that her neighbor, Harley Day, is a drunkard and a reprobate. So, when Harley’s body is discovered frozen in a snowdrift one January day in 1912, she isn’t surprised that his long-suffering family isn’t, if not actually celebrating, particularly broken up.
When Alafair helps Harley’s wife prepare the body for burial, she discovers that Harley’s demise was anything but natural — there is a bullet lodged behind his ear. Alafair is concerned when she hears that Harley’s son, John Lee, is the prime suspect in his father’s murder, for Alafair’s seventeen-year-old daughter Phoebe is in love with the boy. At first, Alafair’s only fear is that Phoebe is in for a broken heart, but as she begins to unravel the events that led to Harley’s death, she discovers that Phoebe might be more than just John Lee’s sweetheart: she may be his accomplice in murder. But a man like Harley had turned many hands against him. Whoever said that there are some things even a mother can’t fix had never met Alafair Tucker.
(60,000 words; e-book $2.51 to $2.99 USD)
Reviews of The Old Buzzard Had It Coming
“As an Okie farm boy of the dust bowl depression days, I can testify that Donis Casey sounds like she’s been there and done that. She 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
“This debut novel is a remarkably tactile historical mystery … A lot of writers of historical mysteries tell us about the places their stories are set in; Casey actually takes us there.” —Booklist
“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. … 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
“A promising debut, with homespun Alafair starring as a countrified Miss Marple.” —Kirkus Reviews