cover image Forty Dead Men: An Alafair Tucker Mystery

Forty Dead Men: An Alafair Tucker Mystery

Donis Casey. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (216p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0939-0

In Casey’s excellent 10th Alafair Tucker mystery (after 2017’s The Return of the Raven Mocker), 22-year-old George W. “Gee Dub” Tucker, a WWI vet scarred by his war experiences, returns to the family farm in Boynton, Okla., run by his parents, Alafair and Shaw, with the aid of their large brood of children. One day, Gee Dub meets Holly Johnson, a wary traveler who’s making her way from Maine to the nearby town of Okmulgee, where she thinks her husband Dan’s family lives. Dan, who served in France, disappeared after the war ended, and she wants to discover what happened to him. Gee Dub tries to help Holly find Dan, but becomes the prime suspect when Dan turns up shot to death, and Alafair determines to clear him—or, if he’s guilty, destroy the evidence. Casey expertly nails the extended Tucker family—some 20 people—and combines these convincing characters, a superb sense of time and place, and a solid plot in this marvelously atmospheric historical. (Feb.)