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The Drop Edge of Yonder    by Donis Casey order for
Drop Edge of Yonder
by Donis Casey
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1914 in Oklahoma. A cotton farm is run by the concerted efforts of a large family, with backup from an even larger extended family. When a recently engaged young man is shot and his fiancée abducted, anger and fear run rampant through the close knit community.

As attempts are made to kill the fiancée, suspicion causes everyone to question each other's actions. Motives abound, but Alafair Tucker - mother of a large brood and new grandmother - is hot on the trail. As she has done in other books in this series by Donis Casey, Alafair begins to investigate in an effort to stop the violence, bring safety to her family, and peace to her small town. Alafair has a knack for getting to the bottom of things and the local sheriff is happy to use her findings to further his investigations.

The Drop Edge of Yonder begins as a nicely benign story of a close knit, hardworking family that escalates into behavior that makes it hard for the family to realize it's happening to them. The characters are numerous and take some thinking to keep straight. None are really flesh and blood actors except for Alafair – they seem a trifle nebulous. However, that does not detract from a good mystery with a modicum of violence that will have you gasping. And one that proves that one should not get between a mother and her child.

The 1914 backdrop of Oklahoma is fascinating. The clothes, the food, the tools they had to work with, the heat and dry earth, the social mores and social intercourse, and close family interaction, record a time gone by with accuracy and delight. The Drop Edge of Yonder is a good read, as are The Old Buzzard Had It Coming and Hornswaggled by the same author. Don't miss any of them.

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