Thursday, October 25, 2012


Do you expect that there’s a part of a person that’s connected right to the truth of things? A part that’s halfway between this world and the next--that’s standing on the drop edge of yonder?

Boynton, Oklahoma, 1914--

Donis Casey’s The Drop Edge of Yonder is action-filled. It is also has tragedy, family feeling, and a strong sense that life goes on.

Someone assassinates Shaw Tucker’s brother Bill. He is on a family outing, courting the woman he plans to marry.

As Bill climbs a tree to smoke out a beehive, an unknown assassin guns him down. The same person almost kills two of the other women in the party, Bill’s fiancé Laura and Shaw and Alafair Tucker’s daughter Mary.

As Alafair and other members of the family work the mystery through, more violence occurs. At the same time, the family mourns. We see a 1914 rural funeral, a cotton-harvest with its huge harvest meals, the little songs the women sing to their children, and the deep love they all have for family and friends. 

At least three women sense the presence of the spirits of the dead. They don’t do as is often seen in lesser mystery stories. They don’t talk to ghosts. They simply have a sense of the presence of the dead. They feel guided by the ones they love. Solving the crimes helps those spirits find their rest.

It is almost impossible to overstate the beauty of these books. They masterfully embody early 1900’s Oklahoma rural life.

I’ve said this before, but I need to say it again. Donis Casey writes straight narrative, this time with memories of the past included in the story. These are simple stories of a time gone by.

Right now, you can buy this book and some others in the series as inexpensive e-books. I suspect the publisher is doing that to promote Casey’s new Alafair Tucker book coming in November. I bought all the e-books leading up to the new one. In November I will buy the latest book at full price. Hopefully by mid-November, I will have read them all.


Naomi Johnson said...

I am so glad to know someone who enjoys this series as much as I do. One of the most heartbreaking scenes I've ever read was early in the series, when Alafair's child got into the kerosene. I want to cry just thinking about it.

You're so right about the presence of spirits and how Casey deals with them as opposed to so many other mysteries.

Cathy said...

I'll be heading to the Poisoned Pen for an author signing tomorrow. Donis Casey and Vicki Delany. I love Donis's books and am just about ready to start The Wrong Hill to Die On. Can't wait!

Joe Barone said...

Cathy, I just finished the next one. I'm reading up to the new one. I love them too.

Naomi, Her dealing with spirits seem very authentic to me. I have had the sense of the presence of the ones I love or others once in a while.