Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Trip to the Homeland

Donis here. I would love to write about regional idioms till the cows come home, but I'll spare you, Dear Reader, and share several pieces of news instead.

First of all, I've been invited to speak at nine libraries in the Eastern Oklahoma Library District, so I'll be touring the homeland on the Backroads of Eastern Oklahoma. From Sept. 12 through Sept 16, I'll be visiting libraries in Sallisaw, Muldrow, Checotah, Jay, Kansas, Tahlequah, Eufaula, Hulbert, and Muskogee, Oklahoma. At the final event in Muskogee, I'll be joined after my spiel by fellow mystery authors Mary Anna Evans, Will Thomas, and Julia Thomas for a mystery writers' roundtable. All the towns on this tour are fairly small, except for middle-sized Muskogee, which boasts about 40,000 citizens. The library district asked me to come, I expect, because I'm the only person in history to set a series in Muskogee County. A friend of mine said I should use this list of towns as pronunciation test in order to determine who is a native Oklahoman. Good luck. This will be my first trip to Oklahoma in years. To see the full schedule with dates and times, go to my website at Hope to see you there!

In other news, I'm currently copy editing the advance readers copy of my next Alafair Tucker novel, Forty Dead Men. I received a .jpg of the cover a couple of days ago, along with the editor's blurb. The book is scheduled to appear in February. Here's what it is about: Some people who have experienced a shocking, dangerous, or terrifying event develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is recognized today as a debilitating but potentially treatable mental health condition. Military veterans are a vulnerable group. But PTSD can deliver a knockout blow to anyone.

World War I is over. Alafair is overjoyed that her elder son, George Washington Tucker, has finally returned home from the battlefields of France. Yet she is the only one in the family who senses that he has somehow changed.

Gee Dub moves back into his old bunkhouse quarters, but he’s restless and spends his days roaming. One rainy day while out riding he spies a woman trudging along the country road. She’s thoroughly skittish and rejects his help. So Gee Dub cannily rides for home to enlist his mother in offering the exhausted traveler shelter.

Once made comfortable at the Tucker Farm, Holly Johnson reveals she’s forged her way from Maine to Oklahoma in hopes of finding the soldier she married before he shipped to France. At the war’s end, Daniel Johnson disappeared without a trace. It’s been months. Is he alive? Is she a widow?

Holly is following her only lead—that Dan has connected with his parents who live yonder in Okmulgee. Gee Dub, desperate for some kind of mission, resolves to shepherd Holly through her quest although the prickly young woman spurns any aid. Meanwhile, Alafair has discovered that Gee Dub sleeps with two cartridge boxes under his pillow—boxes containing 20 “Dead Men” each. The boxes are empty, save for one bullet. She recognizes in Gee Dub and Holly that not all war wounds are physical.

Then Holly’s missing husband turns up, shot dead. Gee Dub is arrested on suspicion of murder, and the entire extended Tucker family rallies to his defense. He says he had no reason to do it, but the solitary bullet under Gee Dub’s pillow is gone. Regardless, be he guilty or innocent, his mother will travel any distance and go to any lengths to keep him out of prison.


Irene Bennett Brown said...

Looking forward so much to the new book, Donis. Just the description has me on the edge of my seat. Wow!

Sybil Johnson said...

The new book sounds really interesting. Congrats, Sybil.

Donis Casey said...

Thanks, all.

Vicki Delany said...

Sounds fabulous. I always love your covers and your titles.

Rick Blechta said...

Fascinating teaser! Sounds like a great book. Congratulations!!

Sharyn G. Jordan-Hathcock said...

Donus, I LOVE This especially since my dear father Jordan Charles Oakley was born in Okmulgee, OK. 7.12.22 - 4.7.62. That town doesn't appear in mysteries much...well, until now.

Sharyn G. Jordan-Hathcock said...

DONIS, please excuse my typo. ♡

Charlotte Hinger said...

All wars leave a terrible legacy.