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Extended Audio Sample The Old Buzzard Had It Coming: An Alafair Tucker Mystery, by Donis Casey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (190 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donis Casey Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Alafair Tucker Mysteries Release Date:
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Alafair Tucker is a strong woman and the core of her family’s life on a farm in Oklahoma where backbreaking work and the daily logistics of caring for her husband and their nine children, and of being a good neighbor, requires determination and a clear head. She’s also a woman of strong opinions, and it is her opinion that her neighbor, Harley Day, is a drunkard and a reprobate. So, when Harley’s body is discovered frozen in a snowdrift one January day in 1912, she isn’t surprised that his long-suffering family isn’t particularly broken up.

When Alafair helps Harley’s wife prepare the body for burial, she discovers that Harley’s demise was anything but natural: there is a bullet lodged behind his ear. And when she hears that Harley’s son, John Lee, is the prime suspect in his father’s murder, she grows concerned—her seventeen-year-old daughter Phoebe is in love with the boy. At first, Alafair’s only fear is that Phoebe is in for a broken heart, but as she begins to unravel the events that led to Harley’s death, she discovers that Phoebe might be more than just John Lee’s sweetheart: she may be his accomplice in murder. But a man like Harley turns many people against him, and whoever said there are some things even a mother can’t fix never met Alafair Tucker.

Pitch-perfect for the Oklahoma frontier, Donis Casey’s first novel in the Alafair Tucker mystery series is both a compelling mystery and a remarkable evocation of the hard work and family joys of life one hundred years ago.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Donis Casey…gives us a tale full of wit, humor, sorrow, and, more important, the truth. Her Alafair Tucker deserves to stand beside Ma Joad in literature’s gallery of heroic ladies.”

    Tony Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “As vivid and unforgettable as a crimson Oklahoma sunset.”

    Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Under Donis Casey’s gifted hand and shrewd historic eye, Tucker adds solving a mystery to her busy schedule. It all could easily have gone soft and cute, especially the many long visits to the Tuckers’ fellow farmers. But by avoiding all the built-in traps, Casey has produced a sharp and suspenseful first novel.”

     Chicago Tribune

  • “Casey’s sweet-tempered debut manages to make readers nostalgic for simpler times…The appealingly homey world Casey creates rings true.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Set in 1912 Oklahoma, this first novel, which was named the Best Unpublished Mystery of 2004 by the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, should please even the most demanding fans of historicals with its authentic situations, fully drawn characters, and clever plotting.”

    Library Journal

  • “This first of the Alafair Tucker mysteries introduces an engaging new heroine to treasure…Casey’s novel brims with wit, humor, and the occasional devastating sorrow…A welcome touch of magical realism saves the novel from sentimentality. A deep pleasure to read.”

    Historical Mystery Society

  • “Ward’s first-rate narration make this an American pleasure.”


  • “This debut novel is a remarkably tactile historical mystery…A lot of writers of historical mysteries tell us about the places their stories are set in; Casey actually takes us there.”


  • “The Oklahoma winter of 1912 is only a shade tougher than sleuthing farm wife Alafair Tucker…A promising debut, with homespun Alafair starring as a countrified Miss Marple.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the Arizona Book Publishing Association’s Awardfor Best Mystery/Suspense Novel
  • Finalist for the 2006Benjamin Franklin Award
  • Finalist for the 2006Oklahoma Book Award for Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Samantha97 Stowell | 2/17/2014

    " This was a fun read. I loved the setting and it appealed to my G nature. No grizzly murder scene just a great murder mystery. I would let my kids read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica | 2/7/2014

    " this was a good read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cynthia | 2/6/2014

    " Why did I wait so long to read this? The engaging protagonist is the mother of eleven children, an Oklahoma farm wife, and a bit nosey. Besides reading a good mystery, this period piece whisked me back me into early 1900s Oklahoma. The dialogue, laced with rural vocabulary, made me feel like I could sit right down at the kitchen table and jaw a bit with the family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Glenda Ricord | 2/3/2014

    " A cute little cozy mystery set in 1912 about the murder of a disagreeable "buzzard" that almost everyone in the small town had a motive to get rid of. A welcome break if you want something light and easy to read. As a bonus, there is much cooking and eating of yummy things from that era for which the recipes are provided after the book ends. "

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About the Author

Donis Casey is a third-generation Oklahoman. She and her siblings grew up among their extended family on farms and in small towns. She earned degrees from the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma University and has worked as a teacher and academic librarian. She now lives with her husband in Arizona.