Poisoned Pen, Feb 1 2011, $24.95
In 1915 Oklahoma, Shaw Tucker, accompanied by his dog Buttercup, is hunting in nearby woods when his canine finds a human skeleton with a bullet hole between the bones of the eye sockets. Shaw knows he has found the remains of a murder victim.
A few weeks later, Shaw caches a teenage boy on his ranch. The lad explains he is Crying Blood searching for those who murdered his brother. Not sure what to do with Crying Blood, Shaw locks the adolescent in his barn before going to sleep as he will decides in the morning. The next day, Shaw finds the youngster dead with a lance protruding through his heart. Feeling guilt and a belief he owes the siblings, Shaw and his wife Alafair investigate the two homicides.
The latest Tucker historical mystery (see The Drop Edge of Yonder and The Sky Took Him) is a terrific entry that provides readers with a deep look at Oklahoma inside of the two mysteries that haunt Shaw. The story line starts a bit slow, as the time and place as well as the cast and the homicides have to be set, but once done accelerates rather quickly. Armchair traveling readers will appreciate a visit to the Sooner State just a few years after the Oklahoma and Indian Territories were consolidated into a state.