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The Sky Took Him
An Alafair Tucker Mystery #4

by Donis Casey

      Donis Casey has done it again.  She has made life in early Oklahoma history very real and endearing.  Alafair travels to Enid, Oklahoma, sort of in the panhandle in "no man's land," to attend to her sister, Ruth Ann, while her brother-in-law is dying.  During her trip there are things that happen for no apparent reason, creating a mystery that Alafair must solve to help her sister and her family.  Life is topsy-turvy during this time of bereavement, and there are things that still have to be taken care of to make sure Ruth Ann and her children will not be left with huge burdens.  There is Buck Collins (a very unscrupulous businessman), and Kenneth (the husband of her niece), who most conveniently has disappeared, only to be found murdered in an ice freezer storage room.  There is Gracie, (Alafair's youngest daughter) who saw Zip as The Sky Took Him and his dog to the "big house".  This is a time of change in Enid. There is now a real train ride, motorcycles and gasoline automobiles. The advent of fingerprinting and lifting of prints from objects now put into effect is changing the course of investigative sciences and police work.

The Sky Took Him is a heartwarming, intriguing, commonsense whodunnit that makes you think you know who really did it, then it spins you in a complete turnaround as Donis Casey whirls a new story within this simple one of a man who is dying.  Just when you come up with an answer, she goes in another direction, much like the dry winds of Oklahoma during the dust bowl times.

I love Ms. Casey's ability to show as well as tell a story and make you feel right at home in the center of the living room with her.  She takes something like an old snapshot and weaves a mystery around it and you fall into it like it was real life itself.  She is that comfortable of a writer.  I said all of this before about her other novels, but it bears repeating as she has put her love of her history into all of her works.  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.

The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
January 2009
Historical Mystery [1915 Oklahoma]
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The Reviewer

Claudia Turner VanLydegraf
Reviewed 2009
© 2009