Saturday, October 13, 2012


Donis Casey’s Hornswoggled starts slow and picks up.

It is 1913 in and around Boynton, Oklahoma.

Shaw and Alafair Tucker’s sons go swimming in a local creek. They find the body of Louise Kelley, Walter Kelley’s late wife. She has a knife stuck in her chest.

Walter was in Kansas City at the time of the murder, but there is no shortage of suspects. Even Walter comes under suspicion.

To complicate matters, the Tuckers' daughter Alice falls in love with the wealthy widower.

As with the first Alafair Tucker book, Hornswoggled is strong on setting. The first half of the book is setting and complication. Alafair worries about her daughter’s love for a philanderer and possible killer. But Alice is eighteen. She is legally able to marry without her parent’s permission.

It almost seems as if everyone in town is involved in the murder. From the neighbors to the victim’s sister, a whole host of people play a part.

The story has a most surprising ending. In that regard, this isn’t truly a mystery. Alafair and Shaw solve the murder almost by accident.

But this is a good story. The author tells it in a quiet, gentle way. The book describes 1913 rural Oklahoma in great and seemingly authentic detail. And you like the people. 
I have more of the Alafair Tucker books to read.     


Naomi Johnson said...

I do enjoy these characters, and the setting, so much. I even made Alafair's wilted lettuce recipe once, even though I've never liked wilted lettuce. It used to be served all the time at restaurant where I worked when I was a teen. They sold what seemed like tons of wilted lettuce, but it's a dish that seems to have gone out of fashion, probably due to the high fat content.

Joe Barone said...

I like wilted lettuce. We still have it once in a while. She has an amazing number of recipes at the close of the books.

I like the writing style of these books. She has such a gentle, simple storytelling style. Her style truly fits the subject matter.