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The Sky Took Him    by Donis Casey order for
Sky Took Him
by Donis Casey
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the fourth of the Alafair Tucker Mysteries, we again get to spend time with her as long as it takes to read her newest exploits in The Sky Took Him, published by Poisoned Pen Press. Haven't had a bad one yet from this publisher.

In September of 1915, Alafair travels with her oldest and youngest daughters (there are eight in between these two) from Muskogee to Enid, Oklahoma to comfort her sister Ruth Ann whose husband Leonard is at death's door. Life has been good to this couple until now. Leonard runs a lucrative warehouse business. The question now is how to leave his assets. His son-in-law seems to be a ne'er-do-well and he is afraid his daughter and grandchild will end up out on the street. At that time, whatever belonged to the wife automatically belonged to her husband. Fortunately, that has changed.

When the son-in-law turns up dead, the law steps in. Who could have locked Kenneth in the walk-in freezer? And why? His cohorts are shady, to say the least. A local businessman/ gladhander is suspected. While this is going on, the town of Enid is the scene of a large fair. Author Donis Casey manages to throw in a mystery as she recreates these days of old, both in her mastery of the English usage of the time and in giving the town of Enid the feeling I remember from a small town in upper New York state where I spent a school year with my mother's sister.

Casey got it all right and this caused me many times to put down this book and let my mind drift back to 1941 when I, as a small child, experienced that type of close-knit community living. Wonderful, down-to-earth characters populate this town. The Oklahoma oil boom was in its infancy. What frightening, risky lives those people involved in it lived liable to be blown up at any time if something went wrong or someone wasn't as careful as they should be.

I suggest you take a copy of this engaging novel, sit in a commodious armchair, a blanket over your knees, a cat on your lap, a roaring fire in the fireplace and indulge in a cup of hot chocolate. That is how comfortable this recent work will make you feel. The spice of the mystery is the cinnamon or nutmeg added to the chocolate. Sit back, read and enjoy.

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