Monday, November 16, 2015

"All Men Fear Me"

Donis Casey is the author of eight Alafair Tucker Mysteries. While researching her own genealogy, she discovered so many ripping tales of settlers, soldiers, cowboys and Indians, murder, dastardly deeds, and general mayhem that she said to herself, “Donis, you have enough material here for ten books.” The award-winning series that resulted, featuring the sleuthing mother of ten children, is set in Oklahoma and Arizona during the booming 1910s. The latest installment, All Men Fear Me, is now available from Poisoned Pen Press. Read the first chapter of each Alafair Tucker Mystery on Casey's website.

Casey is a former teacher, academic librarian, and entrepreneur. She was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now lives in Tempe, AZ, with her husband.

She applied the Page 69 Test to All Men Fear Me and reported the following:
The year is 1917 and the United States has just become embroiled in World War I. What would you think if suddenly people you've known for years begin to look at you with suspicion, for no other reason than the fact that your brother is a unionist, or you have a foreign-sounding name, or you said something critical about the government? What if they report you? What if night riders pay you a visit? You have to be careful, because I am public opinion. All Men Fear Me.

Ever since old Nick arrived in Boynton, Oklahoma, it seems that bad things keep happening around town. He’s there during the fight at the bawdy house. He shows up in the crowd after the Khouris' market is trashed and after the machinery fails at the brick plant. He’s throwing punches with the best of them when a riot breaks out at the monthly Liberty Sing in the Masonic Hall. The odd thing is that no one seems to notice that Nick is around. At least until people start dying.

On page 69, Nick sees an opportunity to stir up more trouble at the local pool hall.
Chapter 16
"All hail, all hail! to the Liberty Knights
More strength and more brave to their arm
Give them a strong thrust to humble in dust
The foes that would bring us to harm."
Tulsa Daily World, Nov. 15, 1917

Old Nick whiled away a pleasant evening at the pool hall. He sat in the corner and nursed his root beer for hours, enjoying the sight of a bunch of ignoramuses gambling away their wages on one game after another while swilling bottle after bottle of soda pop that had been sweetened with something from the still that the proprietor kept hidden in the cellar behind his house.

Nick watched the show from the shadows until the hour was late and the would-be pool sharks were thoroughly unsteady on their pins. Then he cocked his bowler hat to a roguish tilt, took up a cue, and proceeded to win enough money to pay for his night on the town. His marks were dejected about their losses, but Nick was so cheerful about it that they found it hard to hold it against him.

Old Nick racked his cue and took a swig of his soda pop. It was a hot night, and the pop was lukewarm at best, but it was wet and felt good going down. He eyed a group of men at a round table in the corner engaged in a heated discussion. One of the arguers was a man whose money was now in Nick’s pocket. He walked over. “Mind if I join you, fellows? Let me buy a round of drinks for the table. I don’t want there to be no hard feelings.”

The man Nick had outplayed seemed to be the head honcho of this group, so nobody argued when he grinned and gestured toward an empty chair. “No hard feelings at all, pard. Take a seat and join the fun.”
Visit Donis Casey's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hell with the Lid Blown Off.

My Book, The Movie: Hell With the Lid Blown Off.

--Marshal Zeringue