With a keen historical sense and storytelling touted by the New York Times as "spare yet emotionally rich," Fred Harris spins an involving tale in Easy Pickin's, his second mystery set in Depression-era Oklahoma.
Sheriff Okie Dunn is new on the job. The onetime boxer turned law student is now the Cash County sheriff, and Okie finally seems to have settled down. He's even casting about for a woman-and might have caught two. Then the quiet town into which he has settled is turned upside down.
Three strangers blow into Vernon looking for a young heiress who was adopted at birth. After two break-ins and an assault on Okie's deputy, Okie takes to investigating the strangers in earnest. First on his list is a slovenly bounty hunter, followed shortly by a tall, cool, red-headed woman lawyer named Em Hoffer, who claims to be working for the heiress's mother.
But Okie's troubles have just begun when a body-dropped clear out of the sky-lands in an oat field outside of town. Then Okie himself narrowly escapes an attack on his life, and the search for the killer becomes personal.
Just as Okie turns his attention to the third stranger-dashing, mysterious, and very suspicious-the man takes off with his easy prey. The sultry city of Veracruz in Mexico is far out of Okie's jurisdiction, but he must follow the trail there, lest a killer get away with murder again.
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Fred R. Harris is a former two-term senator from Oklahoma and the author of ten non-fiction books.He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a professor at the University of New Mexico.From Publishers Weekly:
Depression-era Oklahoma sheriff Okie Dunn is faced with a corpse dropped from an airplane and a mysterious young heiress to an oil fortune in this somewhat predictable case, his second following 1999's well-received Coyote Revenge. Temporarily suspended from law school after punching out a professor, Okie Dunn is sheriff in Vernon, Okla., where most of the crimes are minor and don't call for much investigation from the young sheriff or his two chief deputies, Stud Wampler and Crystal Boucher. Then bounty hunter Tobe Satville appears in Vernon, hunting for a young woman born there on Easter Sunday in 1919Dbut Tobe refuses to say why he's looking for her. Next on the scene is Em (short for Emma) Hoffer, a lawyer, claiming she's searching for the same young woman on behalf of her birth mother. Eventually, Hoffer confides that whoever the girl is, she is half-heiress to an oil fortune. Then a third person comes to town, looking for the same girl. He identifies himself as John Carter, but Okie discovers that he has another name. Before long, Okie and Em Hoffer have to fly to Mexico to rescue a kidnapped oil heiress and sort out the identity of the killer who dropped the body out of a plane. Harris, a former U.S. senator, creates likable characters and brings the setting and the era alive with down-home details, but the novel's leisurely pace will have most readers wishing for fewer details and more suspense. This series still should do well with fans of traditional historicals, especially in the Southwest. Agent, Elaine Markson. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060183993
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