Nominated for the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award and 2010 Willa Award for Best Historical Fiction.
A sad duty brings Alafair Tucker to Enid, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1915. Her sister Ruth Ann's husband, Lester, is not long for this world, and the family is gathering to send him to his reward. Alafair's eldest daughter Martha has come along to care for toddler Grace, freeing Alafair to comfort the soon-to-bebereaved.
But where is Kenneth, her niece's irresponsible husband? When it comes to light that Kenneth has been involved in some shady dealing with Buck Collins, the most ruthless businessman in town, everyone is convinced that Collins has done him in. In fact, no other possibility is considered. But Alafair suspects that things are not so simple, and with help from Martha, Grace, and her sister's cat, she sets about to discover the truth about Kenneth's fate. Over the next few days, Alafair and Martha come face-to-face with blackmail, intimidation, murder, and family secrets that stretch back over twenty years. And in the process, they discover things about each other that will change their relationship forever.
About the Author
Donis Casey is the author of ten Alafair Tucker Mysteries: The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, Hornswoggled, The Drop Edge of Yonder, The Sky Took Him, Crying Blood, The Wrong Hill to Die On, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, All Men Fear Me, The Return of the Raven Mocker, and Forty Dead Men. This award-winning series, featuring the sleuthing mother of ten children, is set in Oklahoma during the booming 1910s. Donis has twice won the Arizona Book Award for her series, and been a finalist for the Willa Award and a seven-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Her first novel, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, was named an Oklahoma Centennial Book in 2008. Donis is a former teacher, academic librarian, and entrepreneur. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First Line: The train out of Muskogee was very nearly empty.Alafair Tucker is going to Enid, Oklahoma, accompanied by her oldest and youngest daughters, Martha and Grace. Lester, the husband of Alafair's sister, Ruth Ann, is dying, and the family is gathering. When they arrive, Alafair learns that her niece Olivia's husband Kenneth has chosen a very inconvenient-- and thoughtless-- time to go on an extended business trip. When he doesn't return on the scheduled date, Alafair has a hunch that all is not well.The hunch is proved correct: Kenneth is found dead. Everyone is convinced that the most ruthless businessman in Enid-- Buck Collins-- is responsible. So convinced in fact that the investigation begins and ends with him. But Alafair doubts that things could be as simple as that.Once again, Donis Casey takes us back to Oklahoma in the 1910s, and with a family like the Tuckers, I always savor my visits. (Probably because the Tuckers remind me so much of stories I've heard of my own grandparents and great-grandparents.) Casey gives the reader a true feeling-- without going overboard-- of what life was like during that era. Although I loved the glimpses into a company dealing with early refrigeration units, Enid's Cherokee Strip celebration, and the work involved in drilling for oil, it's her characters, their behavior and their relationships from which I derive the most enjoyment in this series.The Sky Took Him is no exception. We get to know Martha's beau, Streeter McCoy, but the stars among the new characters are Lu, a tiny Chinese lady, an oil man named Pee Wee Nickolls and his dog, Muddy. They stole every scene in which they appeared.As each of Alafair's ten children grows to adulthood, Alafair has to get used to seeing them as grown-ups with adult feelings and reactions. I found this process with her oldest daughter, Martha, to be the most touching one so far. One scene toward the end of the book illustrates one of the strengths I find most compelling in Donis Casey's books. Martha has just been in a room with three generations of women in her family. After going upstairs, she happens to look in a mirror to check her hair: The same face she had just seen on the women downstairs was staring back at her. "It's like we're all the same woman," she said aloud. Suddenly, she was struck with the idea that she was standing at the very end of a long, unbroken line of women that went all the way back to Eve, all with one great soul, moving forward through time.Yes, these books are excellent, with their tried-and-true recipes of the era, their depiction of a forgotten time, and their absorbing mysteries that Alafair insists on solving. But they're also for all of us who've ever looked into a mirror and seen a resemblance to a long line of men and women going all the way back to the dawn of time. We've asked the same questions for millenia: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and I love how Alafair Tucker answers them.