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The Old Buzzard Had It Coming

(Alafair Tucker #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  739 ratings  ·  137 reviews
One winter evening in 1912, in the woods outside of Boynton, Oklahoma, abusive and drunken Harley Day surprises his son John Lee and the neighbor girl Phoebe Tucker in a lovers' tryst. An hour later, when John Lee walks his beloved home, Phoebe's mother, Alafair Tucker, suspects that something is amiss. How could she know her daughter has been involved in a violent ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not quite a 4 star listen as it dragged on a bit, but close enough. I had some issues with timing a couple of times, but that was fairly minor compared to the setting. The time is 1912, the heroine a mother of most of a dozen, Alafair, & the mystery is figuring out who killed a man that everyone thought better off dead, anyway. With so many willing & able, the mystery winds around opportunity & who had the means.

The characters were well done, but what really grabbed me was the
Shirley Schwartz
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I tried this book simply because I loved the title. This is the first book in the Alafair Tucker mystery series. And what a protagonist Alafair is. She's a 35 year old mother of nine children! The setting is 1912 Boynton, Oklahoma. Alafair and her husband Shaw are farmers in the thriving town of Boynton when we meet her. She rules her large household with a firm, but fair hand. Everyone in the Tucker family pitches in to help in the never-ending job of raising such a large family. When a drunken ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
I should know better than to try to read a cozy mystery. They are not my cup of luke warm tea. Although this is a short book, it felt endless. If I had been reading this book, rather than listening to the audio book, I would have just skipped to the end to see who killed the old buzzard. The title was the best part of the book and I stupidly thought that it might have more grit than it did. Instead I got discussions of domestic details, like warming innards, laundry and peach cobbler recipes and ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: undemanding cozy lovers who enjoy historical pioneer reads
Recommended to Ivonne by:
The death of a cruel and drunken ne'er-do-well opens Donis Casey's The Old Buzzard Had It Coming. No one's sorry when Harley Day is found dead in a snow drift -- not his neighbors, not the sheriff, not the town folk of Boynton, Oklahoma, and especially not the wife he beat and the 19-year-old son he bullied and who had to bear the brunt of the farm work his inebriate father neglected. However, when neighbor Alafair Tucker discovers a tiny bullet hole adjacent to Day's ear, the case becomes a ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up enjoying The Little House on the Prairie and like mysteries, you should enjoy this book. The time is 1912 and the location is Oklahoma. The book shows the life of a farm family early in the 20th century. Expressions, food and chores reflect this time period. The main character Alafair Tucker is a strong woman, loving wife and mother of nine children.

A neighboring farmer and local bootlegger who liked drinking his product too much, is found frozen outside his family home. He also
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The title caught my eye, but I didn't have great expectations for it. I think I picked it up because there was an endorsement by Tony Hillerman on the dustjacket. I finished the book in two evenings, and thoroughly enjoyed it! It evokes a not-so-distant time and place in the early 1900's that my admittedly older parents lived through. People had to make everything from scratch, wash their clothes by hand, and had large families to help with the chores. The narrator is the mother of a large brood ...more
Jan McClintock
I loved this story and enjoyed the homespun details of 1912 Oklahoma smalltown life. Alafair Tucker is a little too good to be true, but the mystery was a good one. I read one of the latter books in the series a few years ago and was glad to start over with this one. I don't read a lot of cozy mysteries but this time period interests me. Lots of characters but Casey made it easy to keep track of them. The audiobook was narrated by Pam Ward, who did a super job with the accents.
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not going to lie, after the cover art, my expectations were not high for this book. Luckily, the novel itself is much better than it would appear. Alafair Tucker was a nosy, friendly mother in a classic detective story setup. It's refreshing in an era of 'the game is afoot' to have a character with a more personal stake taking the detective role.
Something that personally pleased me was Casey's characterization of the numerous children in the novel. Often, I find writer's having children
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
TITLE/AUTHOR: The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by Donis Casey
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Mystery/2005/206 pgs
TIME/PLACE: 1912/Oklahoma
CHARACTERS: Alafair Tucker/farmer's wife
FIRST LINES: It was just after dinner on that January day in 1912, & very cold w/ a threat of snow, when Harley Day began the journey to his eternal reward.

COMMENTS: library book, recommended & have #2 from Poison Pen Press Bookclub. Loved it! Unique voice. Plotting, characters and
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
4+ stars. Engaging historical mystery, far better than the low number of reviews here might suggest. Set on a farm in Oklahoma 100 years ago, the novel introduces an amateur sleuth, a farm woman and mother of 11. A real SOB neighbor gets murdered and it could have been anyone who knew him, for to know him was to loathe him; our heroine has to figure out who did it to help out a daughter. The mystery is fine, but the details of cooking, socializing, animal care, and courting of the era were what ...more
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Alafair Tucker is an early 1900s country farm wife/mother who finds herself involved in solving the murder of a drunken reprobate who no one in town is sorry to see dead. This was a light read and I had trouble putting it down because I couldn't wait to see who did it. I can usually figure out who the murderer is early on in a mystery, but Donis Casey does a good job of throwing in red herrings, and the ending caught me by surprise. It was a funny, warm, and clean read with a couple of pleasant ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like mysteries, especially those that would be rated G or PG if they were movies. This one is set around 1910 and the main character is a farm wife and mother of many children. I like her personality, her devotion to her family and her persistence. The story is interesting and I enjoyed reading it.
I loved every single word of this book! It’s a new favorite for sure. Oklahoma, early 1909s, it could have been written about my family! Right down to “arrived from Arkansas in a covered wagon train of members.” The mystery was really good. I figured it out, but instead of being disappointed, I was thrilled, because the answer was just so good.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
A puzzling mystery, a surprising solution, captivating relationships, and interesting characters combine to make this historical mystery a good read.
Avid Series Reader
The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by Donis Casey is the first book of the Alafair Tucker mystery series set in 1912 rural Oklahoma. Drunken and abusive Harley Day is found frozen in the snow one morning. The old buzzard surely had it coming....he beat his wife, mistreated his children, cheated his illegal moonshine customers, vandalized his sister's nearby farm, gambled away his money. All are better off without him, except his son John is suspected of his murder. At first even John thinks he is ...more
Tara Carpenter
I am not sure what to think of this one. It was so different than the murder mysteries I normally read. It did not keep me glued to the pages but somehow I keep thinking about the characters and the situations.

Our heroine, Alafair, is a mother of nine, living in rural Oklahoma in 1912 when her hated, irascible neighbor is murdered. She somehow embroils herself in the middle of it, making some pretty questionable decisions, all while spending long days cooking, cleaning, and providing for her
Alifa Saadya
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook version, and enjoyed it very much. Alafair Tucker is an unusual sleuth, being a mother of 8 children, living the hard-working life of a settled pioneer in Oklahoma. Her family has some Chickasaw heritage, but this is not emphasized in the story. The Tuckers are neighbors with the Day family, whose father, a mean alcoholic, is discovered dead after a heavy snowfall, presumed to have died of exposure -- until a .22 bullet wound is discovered in his head. The first ...more
The Library Lady
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am not an Agatha Christie fan--for me, a good mystery has characters with depth, preferably part of cast that grows and develops with time. And a historical setting makes that even better. This series has both--and I've now read most of the books in this series.

The setting--in 1910 era Oklahoma--is pretty unique. And Alafair, the mother of 10, related to half the county, is not your usual heroine. The details of daily life and the doings of her family are as interesting as the mystery itself.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in Oklahoma in 1912, it feels a lot more like "pioneer times," I suppose because of the more rural setting. The main character is a farm wife with 9 children (living) and her next door neighbor's abusive husband is found dead in the snow. First presumed to have died of drink and the cold, there can be no denying the bullet hole in his head upon closer inspection. Alafair gets involved because one of her daughters is sweet on the son of the dead man, and initially he is the sheriff's prime ...more
Ann R. Phillips
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Caudill
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I bought this book because it was "on sale" through a book deals site and it sounded interesting. It was ok more like a 2.5 star.

A couple of things I found annoying. First, the over use and inappropriate use of the words "at length" at the end of sentences. Second, The language was incongruous, simple accented language a farmer might use combined with words that would come from someone college educated.

The story was predictable and cozy. I won't be continuing.
Lisa Lawson
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this story. Set in Oklahoma around the time of statehood, in the country. Liked the language used, language that would have been used during that time period, therefore no profanity to speak of, which was refreshing. Liked the story in general.

This is the first book in a series, I will be reading on for sure.
Rosemary Nichols
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most of my recreational reading focuses on the 19th century so it was a little unusual for me to start a long mystery series that begins in Oklahoma in the early 20th century. The books came so well reviewed I decided to try the first one. I am glad I did.

Alafair Tucker is a farm wife and the mother of nine living children. She also is relentlessly nosy so when a neighbor boy who seems to be in love with one of her daughters appears guilty of murdering his abusive father, she puts on her coat
Sue Shipley
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this turn of the century family story. Great characters and descriptions of life on a farm in 1912. The recipes at the end were especially welcome. A love story, family drama and murder mystery all rolled together
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook- excellent reader, great story, love the sense of time and place, characters are colorful, well developed and feel like friends & neighbors. Entertaining plot. Looking forward to listening to the entire series.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Excellent historical fiction mystery ! The characters ( although many ) are so life like and lovable . Alafair is the greatest . Would have loved to give this gem the fifth star , but I did feel like some of the slang verbiage was not of the time period .
Dorothy Minor
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Discovered Donis Casey through a book club I joined. My full review is at Alafair Tucker is a farm wife and mother who becomes a sleuth to solve a murder in 1912 OK. The story is engaging and the people are worth knowing.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Adequate if a bit too God infused.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A timeless story. Very enjoyable.
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Goodreads Librari...: Audiobook of "The Old Buzzard Had it Coming" 1 12 Feb 25, 2019 07:09PM  

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DONIS CASEY was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third generation Oklahoman, she and her siblings grew up among their aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents on farms and in small towns, where they learned the love of family and independent spirit that characterizes the population of that pioneering state. Donis graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in ...more

Other books in the series

Alafair Tucker (10 books)
  • Hornswoggled (Alafair Tucker, #2)
  • The Drop Edge of Yonder (Alafair Tucker, #3)
  • The Sky Took Him (Alafair Tucker, #4)
  • Crying Blood (Alafair Tucker, #5)
  • Wrong Hill to Die On (Alafair Tucker #6)
  • Hell with the Lid Blown Off (Alafair Tucker #7)
  • All Men Fear Me (Alafair Tucker, #8)
  • The Return of the Raven Mocker (Alafair Tucker, #9)
  • Forty Dead Men (Alafair Tucker, #10)