Book Description

From Publishers Weekly 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 otherwise 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. (July 1) Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more From Booklist This debut novel is a remarkably tactile historical mystery. It's set in Oklahoma farm country in 1912. Harley Day, a generally disliked fellow, has been found dead in a snow bank. Some people think old Harley drank himself to death. Alafair Tucker certainly believes that, and when Harley's son, John Lee, is accused of murdering him, she flat-out doesn't buy it. But then her own daughter, whose interest in young John Lee is far from casual, is also implicated. Is this a tragic misunderstanding, or is Alafair's daughter involved in a murder conspiracy? Alafair Tucker, an aggressive and practical woman, makes a very sympathetic protagonist, and the author's depiction of time and place is so vivid that readers will swear they are smelling the brisk Oklahoma air and feeling the dirt under their feet. A lot of writers of historical mysteries tell us about the places their stories are set in; Casey actually takes us there. David PittCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Read more See all Editorial Reviews