Do you like murder mysteries, but sometimes wish modern authors wouldn't include quite so much graphic detail about the murder, sadistic murder methods, and amounts of blood? I just finished what I call a "gentle" murder mystery. Someone does die, and there is an investigation, but the focus is on the investigator, Alafair Tucker, her husband and 10 children living on their ranch in early 1900's Oklahoma. There are plenty of details, but they are about the characters and what life was like back then, everything from driving to town in the buckboard to get a block of ice from the icehouse, packing it in straw, and hurrying home to get it in the icebox before it melts to recipes for real down-home food such as Fried Okra Pie, Chicken and Dumplings, and homemade Peach Ice Cream. Alafair is a no-nonsense but loving wife and mother who also has a gift for investigation, much to the amusement and sometimes chagrin of the local sheriff. In the third book of the series, The drop edge of yonder, Alafair's young brother-in-law, Bill, has been shot and killed and his fiancée almost killed by an unknown "bushwhacker" - and Mary, Alafair's second-oldest daughter, has been wounded. So this investigation is personal - and Alafair wastes no time in gathering information to help protect her child. Because, it seems, the bushwhacker isn't finished with Mary. You should read this series in order: #1 is The old buzzard had it coming -- #2 is Hornswoggled. I guarantee you'll really get attached to the characters in these entertaining and heartwarming books written by Donis Casey.
The drop edge of yonder