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The Drop Edge of Yonder by Donis Casey

The Drop Edge of Yonder

by Donis Casey

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This is the third book in the Alafair Tucker seres. I really enjoyed the other two, but this one wasn't as good. There really was no mystery, and "the bushwhacker in the woods thing" just seemed too unealistic. I love Alifair and her folksy manner, and the way she marshals her large brood of children. Arkansas in the early 1900's is realistically protrayed. This is a great historical mystery series, so I will continue to read more. She is just too much fun! ( )
  Romonko | Oct 20, 2017 |
I love Alafair and her extended and far-flung family. This one started on a very sad note and then spent time trying to understand the why as well as the who.

No spoilers here but the emotion punch of this book is extreme and hard to read in places. Yet, the book is so true to life and how things work that it compels you to keep reading.

I'll be going back to Alafair and her loving family soon. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
The year is 1914. The place is Oklahoma. It’s an era when life is less hectic, without computers and email, without cell phones and texts, without connections to the world wide web. A time when people could go visiting at any time without fear for their safety. When mothers didn’t worry when their kids were out all day. When young people could have fun on a picnic when their chores were done. But even in that laid-back rustic setting evil lurked. A pleasant outing with four friends ends abruptly when shots ring out, leaving in its wake the wounded, the dying, the missing. Alafair and her kin are left bereft with senseless act of violence against their family by an unknown killer. Mary, recovering physically but left with impaired memory, struggles to remember anything that may lead the law to capture the murderer. Alafair, her mother, vows to keep her and the rest of her family safe but her brood chafes under her constant supervision. While the menfolk hunt the killer, Alafair hunts for clues. Can Mary and her mother puzzle it out before it is too late? Much of the charm of this book and the entire series comes from the authentic portrayal of life in Oklahoma nearly one hundred years ago, and of the strong familial ties in this family of twelve siblings and their parents. This well performed audio version is just icing on the cake. ( )
  Maydacat | Aug 2, 2012 |
First Line: When I think about that day, Mama, here's what sticks in my mind.

One hot but pleasant evening in August 1914, a gunman ended a group's outing by killing Bill McBride, wounding Alafair Tucker's daughter, Mary, and kidnapping Bill's fiancee, Laura. Although the authorities are searching high and low for the bushwhacker, they can't seem to find him. As Mary recovers, a pall of sadness seems to hang over her, and her mother Alafair would do anything to put a smile on her daughter's face and to hear Mary's laughter.

Mary can't get rid of the idea that she has information that would help find her Uncle Bill's killer-- if only she could remember it-- but her head wound is slow to heal. She begins trying to find quiet spots away from everyone else, which drives her mother crazy. After all, the killer is still in the area.

Much of author Donis Casey's series (and her recipes) is based upon her own family history during the early days of Oklahoma. Life on a farm at the turn of the twentieth century is so wonderfully depicted that it reminds me of Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad novels set in Appalachia. The mother of twelve children, Alafair Tucker knows that the only reason why she's able to find the time to play detective is because the elder of her children are old enough to take care of their younger brothers and sisters as well as the house and the chores around the farm. Alafair is also lucky that the sheriff in Boynton has a relaxed and practical attitude towards her clue gathering:

"I don't know if it's just an accident or luck or what, but in the last couple of years, she's managed to find out things I couldn't that helped bring a couple of murderers to justice. I expect folks will tell her things they won't tell me, since she can't throw them in jail. But however she does it, I'm not too proud to stand back and see what she comes up with."

The mystery is a strong and interesting one in The Drop Edge of Yonder, especially since Alafair's daughter is in danger. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from Mary's diary in which she writes everyday in an attempt to remember anything that may lead to the identity of her uncle's killer.

What impressed me the most in this book was the character of Alafair herself. While interacting with her daughter, Mary, and her youngest child, Grace, Alafair's behavior epitomizes the best in motherhood and can easily bring smiles or tears to a reader's face.

This series is one of my favorites, not only because of the plotting and characterization, but because the language and the setting reminds me of my own farming roots. If you're in the mood for an historical mystery series that sets you smack dab on farm wife/sleuth Alafair Tucker's porch for a chat and a glass of iced tea, look no further than Donis Casey's excellent books. ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 30, 2010 |
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In 1914 Oklahoma, Alafair Tucker launches a personal investigation when her daughter Mary is wounded in the same attack in which Mary's uncle, Bill McBride, is murdered, hoping to find the killer before he manages to eliminate anyone who can possibly identify him.… (more)

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