Strange Business is a collection of short stories written about the people of Cedar, Oklahoma, focusing on specific events between the years 1961 and 1986. Although several of the stories share characters, each tale is an entity unto itself, focusing on a few characters and some unusual happenings. Beginning in 1961, Askew describes the events leading up to a strange encounter between a toddler and a raccoon. As the decades unfold, the characters become older: teenagers who steal watermelons and defy authority, a dead Vietnam soldier and the friend who stayed behind, until the final 1986 story of an ancient, bedridden, smelling-like-death auctioneer whom nobody cares to visit. These sketches are rich in detail, allowing the reader to breathe the dust-filled air of rural Oklahoma. Askew delves deeply into the minds of her characters, allowing the reader to befriend, briefly, a different sort of person trapped in the strangeness of a different sort of life. Askew provides vivid glimpses of these rural Oklahomans, which, taken together, forge the town of Cedar and all its Strange Business.