The Old Buzzard Had It Coming

Written by Donis Casey
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Mystery readers everywhere, rejoice! This first of the Alafair Tucker mysteries introduces an engaging new heroine to treasure. Set during the cold winter of 1912 on the Oklahoma frontier, Alafair Tucker is a farm wife and mother of nine. She determines to discover the murderer of an abusive neighbor, even when the clues point to his eldest son, whom Alafair’s daughter Phoebe loves and who is hiding in one of the family’s outbuildings.

Don’t be misled by the unfortunate title and cover design. Casey’s novel brims with wit, humor and the occasional devastating sorrow. Alafair and Shaw and their wholesome brood stand in sharp contrast to the murdered man and his family. Their children run through household duties as if sired by the Gold Shoe bunny so their mom can work her investigation around the authorities and the expectations that she’ll stay within her female sphere. She works those expectations to her own advantage. Alafair is naturally curious, wise, and a bit too courageous for her own good now and then, when she’s also lucky. If the wholesome meter gets to tipping, a welcome touch of magical realism saves the novel from sentimentality. A deep pleasure to read, and a few of Alafair’s recipes are included! I can’t wait for the next adventure of this original new sleuth. Highly recommended.