Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Hard Life on the Oklahoma Frontier

As the mother of nine, Alafair Tucker's hard but basically peaceful life on a farm on the Oklahoma frontier in 1912 is changed forever when one of her daughters - 17-year-old Phoebe -- is involved in the murder of an obnoxious neighbor. Phoebe is the girlfriend of the chief suspect, the dead man's son, and might even have been his accomplice in the crime.

Under Donis Casey's gifted hand and shrewd historic eye, Alafair adds solving a mystery to her busy schedule. It all could very easily have gone soft and cute - especially the many long visits to the Tuckers' fellow farmers. But by avoiding all the built-in traps, Casey has produced a sharp and suspenseful first novel.