Crying Blood

Written by Donis Casey
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Set in 1915 on a thriving Oklahoma farm, the Tucker family is embroiled in another mystery when a decade-old skeleton is unearthed on a hunting expedition. The deceased was a murder victim. Although local police have little hope of solving the crime, both an avenging teen calling himself Crying Blood and a ghostly figure who keeps following Shaw have other ideas. Snakes, who “knock all the logic out of the situation” on him, keep appearing, too.

Although beloved wife, Alafair, and their wonderful clan are on hand in full force (including daughter Martha, who shares her mother’s lively sleuthing curiosity), Crying Blood is largely Shaw’s story, from the time a cherished memory of his long-dead father turns into a haunting call for justice. As Shaw confronts the killer, Alafair is waylaid by an early automobile trip rich in detail. Consequences of well-meaning laws that disrupted Cherokee family life are a heartrending part of the story.

The series continues to be enriched by deep affection for family, as the investigation is halted by seasonal hog butchering and the discovery of herbs “still lusty in November.” Highly recommended.