The Sky Took Him
by Donis Casey
It’s a sad duty that brings Alafair Tucker to Enid, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1915. Her sister Ruth Ann’s husband, Lester, is not long for this world, and the family is gathering to send him to his reward. Alafair had planned to make the trip on her own with her youngest daughter Grace. So she is surprised and gratified when her eldest daughter Martha volunteers to come along and care for Grace, freeing Alafair to comfort the soon-to-be-bereaved.
But her niece’s irresponsible husband, Kenneth, has disappeared at a most inconvenient time. When it comes to light that Kenneth has been involved in some shady dealing with Buck Collins, the most ruthless businessman in town, everyone is convinced that Collins has done him in. In fact, no other possibility is considered, not by the family or by the local lawmen. But Alafair suspects that things are not so simple.
Over the next few days, Alafair and Martha come face-to-face with blackmail, intimidation, murder, and family secrets that stretch back over twenty years. And in the process, they discover things about each other that will change their relationship forever.
(73,000 words; e-book $4.99 USD)
Reviews of The Sky Took Him
“Set in Enid, Okla., in 1915, Casey’s smart fourth whodunit to feature farmer’s wife Alafair Tucker (after 2007′s The Drop Edge of Yonder) sensitively evokes smalltown life. The impending demise of Alafair’s ill brother-in-law, Lester Yeager, raises concern about the future of the family storage company on the part of his prospective heirs. One of them, Yeager’s son-in-law, Kenneth Crawford, has embezzled money from the company. Then Crawford’s corpse, lacking any obvious cause of death, turns up in a meat locker. Tucker once again adds her insights into human nature to the official investigation, before arriving at a solution that most will find both logical and surprising. Since the murder occurs well on into the book, readers whose focus is on crime may be a little impatient for something beyond family dynamics and dysfunction to happen. Those who like their puzzles cloaked in local color from a different time will be amply rewarded.” —Publishers’ Weekly (starred review)
“The Sky Took Him touches on mystery, history, family realtionships and some really great sounding meals. This is the 4th Alafair Tucker mystery and the best so far.” —Books’n'Bytes
“Ms Casey has woven another fascinating mystery story, entwined with the history of twentieth-century, Oklahoma. The author touches on the changing role of women in America’s pre-war period. Casey’s ability to tell a compelling, believable tale of a simple farm family and wrap it around historical facts, is nothing short of brilliant.” —http://sherryswebofmurder.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html
“I love this series and was pleased to find that this entry was just as intriguing and informative as ever. My grandmother grew up in Oklahoma near the setting of Boynton (Alafair’s home) and all the period detail rings very true to me. The book includes lots of extra information at the end as well as several recipes. Two of them were most familiar to me, as I ate lots of Gumbo Soup and mashed butternut squash at my grandmother’s table. Alafair is a strong, courageous woman with moral fiber aplenty. I look forward to reading about Alafair and her family for many years to come.” —www.myrandomactsofreading.blogspot.com