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Reviews: The Drop Edge of Yonder

The Drop Edge of YonderPoisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, ISBN: 1-59058-446-5, $24.95 US, 228pp

Large Print Trade pbk, ISBN: 1-59058-447-3, $22.95 US, 304pp

Casey’s mellow third Alafair Tucker whodunit is as laid-back as its 1914 Oklahoma setting. Alafair, farmer’s wife and busy mother to a flock of youngsters, searches grimly for a killer after mysterious gunmen shoot her brother-in-law Bill McBride and abduct and rape Laura Ross, Bill’s fiancee, while they’re out riding with Alafair’s daughters, Mary and Ruth. Mary, who suffered a head injury from a stray bullet, struggles to remember a ‘mighty important thought’ that might help identify the miscreants. Even the Tuckers’ once trusted farm hands, Kurt and Micah, fall under suspicion as another attempt is made to end Laura’s life. Cousin Scott, the sheriff, is leaving no stone unturned in his official investigation, but he’s quietly confident that Alafair will use her skills and intuition to ferret out a solution. Casey gives convincing voice to the early Midwest much as Sharyn McCrumb does for her Appalachians, including period recipes that help to convey the literal flavor of the era.” Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2007

“…With an uncanny knack for solving mysteries, the fiercely protective Alafair almost loses her life in the final confrontation with the killer. In this third in a series, set on a farm in 1914 Oklahoma, Casey lovingly protrays the Tuckers’ close extended family, immersing the reader in both the domestic aspects and the harsh realities of everyday farm life.” Sue O’Brien for Booklist Magazine

Casey’s books are a very enjoyable, and indeed, believable combination of historical background and amateur protagonist. As in prior offerings, she layers her narrative with colorful turns of phrase, and provides an after word with mouth watering recipes. And although Alafair’s psychic abilities to ‘tune in’ to her subtle knowledge of personalities and events are a part of the story, there is no ‘woo-woo’ factor here. Instead, Alafair is presented as an insightful, intelligent woman, a strong and loving mother to her children, and a character to look forward to reading bout in the future!” Woodstockreviews for CrimeSpree Magazine (9/07)

“Ths is such an enjoyable book that the last chapter comes far too quickly. The mystery behind the murder of Billy is indeed a puzzle until the very end. But there are also poignant stories about Alafair’s family. … One of her boys turns 18, and for this family that is the most special birthday. They tell what they wish for their son’s future, but most importantly, he tells them what he wants to accomplish as an adult. … The reader learns about their farm, with horses, cows, chickens, a not so nice rooster, and a cotton field that needs picking every year. …The Drop Edge of Yonder is one of those exceptional books that can be savored now and when read again will retain much of its wonder and joy. It’s one of the best mysteries of the year.” Mysterious Reviews at www.mysteriousreviews.com, November 2007

As with the previous Tucker tales, the atmosphere is incredible so much so that the audience will believe they are spending the summer of 1914 on the Tucker farm. The whodunit is cleverly devised as Alafair knows Mary has the truth if she can only remember. Fans of historical mysteries will appreciate this supurb Sooner story as it is Oklahoma just before WWI that makes Donis Casey’s saga an excellent read.” Harriet Klausner for Book Review Forum

“Donis Casey has done it again. She has created a simple masterpiece … The Drop Edge of Yonder is a wonderful book and Ms. Casey has outdone herself, again, simply by drawing on the stories which have come down in her family through the generations, and bringing them to life again for the rest of us who were not lucky enough to live in that era and time. …this story is brilliant and gripping and a mystery worth all of your attention.” – Claudia VanLydegraf for Myshelf.com, 2007.

“Here is a warm and loving story about close families in Eastern Oklahoma. Some are Indian, some are mixed, and it makes no difference to the story. …Alafair has a large family, each of the children are shown as individuals, and she is a charming character. I really like this book. It is not formulaic, but is a neat slice of life in that community.” Mysterious Women, A Quarterly Newsletter for Fans of Women Mystery Writers, 2007, Vol. 3

“…This is the author’s third book, the first that I have read. I must preface my remarks by noting that I am not normally a fan of historicals, but this convinced me to judge each book on its own merits. There is a simplicity to the characters’ lives that wonderfully conforms to the time and place. There are interesting graphic descriptions of cotton harvesting and cooking for the pickers. The motive for the attacks was slow to emerge, but most compelling when it did. It was extremely well-written, and was very much helped along by the inclusion of a family tree for the extended family that is at the heart of the story.” Eden Embler for I Love a Mystery Newsletter at www.iloveamsterynewsletter.com, Nov. 2007

“…It’s like having a nice visit with my grandmother whom I miss very much. I love it! The covers are great too! … I hope that Ms. Casey has planned many more Alafair Tucker mysteries.” www.myrandomactsofreading.blogspot.com/2007/10

This is a heart wrenching story that will grip you from the first page to the end. I think this is the first story that had me crying before the first chapter started good. Donis Casey proves once again that she is a master story teller. http://sherryswebofmurder.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html July 2011