“Doc’s Codicil”, a mystery told with gentle humor in a style reminiscent of Clyde Edgerton with touches of Garrison Keillor, tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave.
When Wisconsin veterinarian Doc dies, his children and nephew learn that to inherit his fortune, they must decipher the cryptic codicil he added to his will–“Take Doofus squirrel-fishing”–and they can only do that by talking to Doc's friends, reading the memoir Doc wrote of a Christmas season decades earlier, searching through Doc’s correspondence, and discovering the clues around them.
“Doc’s Codicil” is a story within a story. As the heirs read Doc’s book, they learn of a Christmas season, 27 years ago, in which Doofus goaded Doc into action on his dreams and bragged about his own project, a Christmas nativity pageant in New Orleans that, unbeknownst to Doc and Doofus, Doc’s sister and brother in law were also working on. In writing his memoir, Doc realized he'd missed important lessons about life, lessons he wanted to impart to his adult children. He knew they wouldn't listen to him, so he invented the riddle of Doofus and squirrel fishing to teach them what he had missed.
Gary Jones says his life has been a testament to bad judgement and wishful thinking. However, his wife of many years says she knows of nothing in the record to justify such unfettered optimism.
Gary is a member of the last generation of rural veterinarians who remembers working with cows that had names and personalities and dairymen who worked in the barn with their families. He’s also part of the first wave of Baby Boomers, crusty codgers who are writing their wills and grousing about kids who can be damned condescending at times.
He practiced bovine medicine in rural Wisconsin for nineteen years, returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, earned a PhD in microbiology, and spent the next nineteen years working on the development of bovine and swine vaccines.
His first novel, Doc’s Codicil, will be released by BQB Publishing in October of 2015. This mystery, told with gentle humor, tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave.
Gary and his wife reside in Omaha, Nebraska.
Jim is a teenager who has been roped into playing a part in a church's nativity pageant. This short sketch could describe many teenagers.
Jim, like many older teens, was no longer a boy and not quite a man. He was a good-natured bundle of insecurity and improbable dreams wrapped in boundless energy and questionable judgment. Inchoate man, he faced the world with a silly grin, a stupid joke, and a set of goofy assumptions about life that would give an adult a coronary.