It’s done at last. The ARC (galley proof) for the eighth Alafair Tucker Mystery, All Men Fear Me, has been corrected and returned to the publisher. It’s out of my hands, now. The book will be out in November, and the official launch date is November 14, 2:00 p.m., at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. I’ll be writing a lot about the book between now and then, and certainly after publication, but here is the first gander at the cover and something about the plot to whet your appetite.
The U.S. has finally entered the First World War and schedules the first draft lottery. No one in Boynton, Oklahoma, is unaffected by the clash between rabid pro-war, anti-immigrant “patriots” and anti-conscription socialists who are threatening an uprising rather than submit to the draft.
Alafair Tucker is caught in the middle when her brother, a union organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, pays her a visit. Rob Gunn is fresh out of an internment camp for participants in an Arizona miners’ strike. He assures Alafair that he’s only come to visit family, but she’s not so sure. More unsettling, Alafair’s eldest son enlists, and a group calling themselves the “Knights of Liberty” vandalizes the farm of Alafair’s German-born son-in-law.
Alfafair’s younger son, 16-year-old Charlie, is wildly patriotic and horrified by his socialist uncle. With his father’s permission Charlie takes a part-time war job at the Francis Vitric Brick Company. Soon several suspicious machine breakdowns delay production, and a couple of shift supervisors are murdered. Everyone in town suspects sabotage, some blaming German spies, some blaming the unionists and socialists. But Charlie Tucker is sure he knows who the culprit is and comes up with a plan to catch him red-handed.
And then there is old Nick, a mysterious guy in a bowler hat who’s been hanging around town.