An Alafair Tucker Mystery #2
by Donis Casey
Ms Casey, you have Hornswoggled this reader with your wonderful book. I reviewed
your last one, The Old Buzzard Had it Coming and I love this next story. You have
outdone yourself in portraying the events, the lifestyle and the genuine people that comprise
this growing America. I wanted to read ahead and find out who-done-it, but couldn't bring
myself to not read all the way through. You show a masterful talent with words, creating
an atmosphere for the murder that is somber and intriguing, but also very positive in showing
how a person with a heart should always try to look at the things surrounding them.
As in your previous book, The Old Buzzard, you show the old western farm in the
change-over from the horse and buggy days to the new-fangled automobile, in an up and coming
Oklahoma country where those farms stretched for miles and many people only knew their neighbors
slightly. The towns that grew up around those outposts were invovled in the growing of
this country and the people becoming more socially oriented towards each other, playing
a part in the relationships shown. You had to have listened attentively to a grandmother
or other older family member relating tales of that time (which you have also clearly researched
extensively) to make the reader feel totally at home in the middle of it. I even started
thinking and speaking in the Oklahoman dialects that I remember so well from my past relatives.
To make a murder that took place in a community so remote from today's hustle and bustle,
amidst that of the simple life of nearly a 100 years ago, real is a remarkable achievement,
seeing as how most people only relate to present time circumstances with any fluidity. I
completely and honestly recommend Hornswoggled as a book the reader will feel completely
at home in reading, in part because there is so much in it that is inside all of us and makes
us the people we are today.
Hornswoggled starts with the simple finding of a body in Cane Creek, then leads the
reader on a long chase amongst many not so suspicious characters to find out who murdered the
woman. Meanwhile Alafair is also busy trying to stop Alice, her daughter, from marrying
the man of her choice, whom Alafair thinks (and rightly so, or so it seems) is so wrong for
her daughter and will bring her nothing but pain and heartache. Along the way, it turns out
that a number of people were involved in the disappearance, transporting, and murder of the
victim, Miz Kelley - Walter, her newly widowed husband, who is also the town barber and Alice's
suitor; various neighbors; the nefarious villains Billy Boyd and Jeff Stubblefield (who the local
Sheriff and law enforcement think are the guilty parties); Miz Kelley's sister and her
husband, Nellie & Ned Tolland; and the new Minister and his wife. This is truly masterful
storytelling. The roles they all play and the intertwining of the lives, I will leave to
you to find, so that you may enjoy the true essence of this masterful mystery.
As I said in my previous review, Ms. Casey is able to weave a story out of the old family
trunk and make it something that everyone will enjoy. She has a very fine way with words and
getting the thoughts on paper very skillfully. I thoroughly enjoyed this great little
mystery that does not have the main characters all caught up in the thrill or the challenge
of over-active heroism. It is a very real, down to earth, wrenching to the core story about
a way of life that is no more. Ms. Casey, I am a fan and will look forward to your next book.
Please keep up the realistic approach to your stories, and thank you for the ride.
Poisoned Pen Press|
Historical Mystery [1913 Oklahoma Americana]|