Alafair Tucker is desperate to find out. One August evening in 1914, a bushwhacker ended a pleasant outing by blowing a hole in Bill McBride, kidnapping and ravaging Bills fiance, and wounding Alafairs daughter Mary. All Mary knows is that the crime had something to do with the Fourth of July.
Casey's mellow third Alafair Tucker whodunit (after 2006's Hornswoggled) is as laid-back as its 1914 Oklahoma setting. Alafair, farmer's wife and busy mother to a flock of youngsters, searches grimly for a killer after mysterious gunmen shoot her brother-in-law Bill McBride and abduct and rape Laura Ross, Bill's fiancee, while they're out riding with Alafair's daughters, Mary and Ruth. Mary, who suffered a head injury from a stray bullet, struggles to remember a mighty important thought that might help identify the miscreants. Even the Tuckers' once trusted farm hands, Kurt and Micah, fall under suspicion as another attempt is made to end Laura's life. Cousin Scott, the sheriff, is leaving no stone unturned in his official investigation, but he's quietly confident that Alafair will use her skills and intuition to ferret out a solution. Casey gives convincing voice to the early Midwest much as Sharyn McCrumb does for her Appalachians, including period recipes that help to convey the literal flavor of the era. (Oct.)
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Poisoned Pen Press
October 14, 2007
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