Alafair Tucker is a strong woman and the core of her family’s life on a farm in Oklahoma where backbreaking work and the daily logistics of caring for her husband and their nine children, and of being a good neighbor, requires determination and a clear head. She’s also a woman of strong opinions, and it is her opinion that her neighbor, Harley Day, is a drunkard and a reprobate. So, when Harley’s body is discovered frozen in a snowdrift one January day in 1912, she isn’t surprised that his long-suffering family isn’t particularly broken up.
When Alafair helps Harley’s wife prepare the body for burial, she discovers that Harley’s demise was anything but natural: there is a bullet lodged behind his ear. And when she hears that Harley’s son, John Lee, is the prime suspect in his father’s murder, she grows concerned—her seventeen-year-old daughter Phoebe is in love with the boy. At first, Alafair’s only fear is that Phoebe is in for a broken heart, but as she begins to unravel the events that led to Harley’s death, she discovers that Phoebe might be more than just John Lee’s sweetheart: she may be his accomplice in murder. But a man like Harley turns many people against him, and whoever said there are some things even a mother can’t fix never met Alafair Tucker.
Pitch-perfect for the Oklahoma frontier, Donis Casey’s first novel in the Alafair Tucker mystery series is both a compelling mystery and a remarkable evocation of the hard work and family joys of life one hundred years ago.