My Books!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Doc's Codicil

Doc's Codicil
by Gary F. Jones


GENRE:  Family humor, mystery



When Wisconsin veterinarian Doc dies, his family learns 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 clues around them. Humor abounds as this mismatched lot tries to find time in their hectic lives to work together to solve the puzzle. In the end, will they realize that fortune comes in many guises?

Doc’s Codicil is a mystery told with gentle humor. It tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave.



It was late November, and every breath turned to fog, as I waited and watched a five-hundred-pound calf sniffing a trail of cow patties leading from his pen to a narrow chute. The chute, fifty feet long and bordered by steel rails, curved gently to the right and ended in a head gate that would catch and hold the calf. Once we released the calf, another alley would return him to his pen.

We’d been trying to turn a group of calves into the chute, and they’d been deftly avoiding it. I stood quietly, getting cold and hoping “Sniffer” would decide he’d found a trail used by other cattle and follow it. Two other calves watched their companion and lunged to get ahead of him. They weren’t sure about the alley, but they’d be damned if they’d let Sniffer go there, or anywhere else, ahead of them.

Sniffer bolted toward the chute to stay in the lead. Now, we had three calves stuck in an opening two calves wide. All we wanted to do was vaccinate them and send them back to their pen, which should have taken ten seconds per calf, but we’d been working for half an hour and hadn’t vaccinated one. This is why cattlemen learn to weave torrid tapestries of profanity.

A few minutes of prodding and profanity and Sniffer pushed ahead of his mates and raced down the alley, pursued by the others. He’d gone barely five yards before he skidded to a halt and desperately tried to back up . . .

A Word From the Author

1.When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I have been writing short stories about my family and the stupid things we’ve done since our first child was born 40 years ago. Those stories were added to Christmas cards annually, but none were submitted for publication. After I left my veterinary practice to go into research, I was an author of 19 research reports published in international journals of veterinary medicine and microbiology.

I decided to be a writer when the company I worked for went through a restructuring and people were being retired. I wasn’t retired until I was 67, but the threat of immanent unemployment gave me the incentive to write something that I thought I could sell.

Thinking I could make money as a writer has to be one of the worst bad jokes of all time. I’ve enjoyed writing, fortunately, because it hasn’t yet paid for the paper I used.

2.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre that you write?

For comic mysteries, my favorites are Alan Bradley, a British writer, and Carl Hiaasen, a writer based in Florida.

3.What are reading right now?

I’m reading Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly, From Troy to Vietnam. Reading her discussion of the diplomatic and political maneuvering that occurred during the war has been painful, as it was only by luck of the lottery that I wasn’t drafted. That was a good thing, for I had lousy night vision after several eye surgeries I’d had between the ages of 12 and 16.

I recently completed reading Dan Brown’s Inferno, Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare:The World As Stage, and the Complete Work of PG Wodehouse. I’d highly recommend all of those books. I enjoyed Wodehouse’s humor, but I don’t think I’ll tackle the complete works of a prolific writer again.

4.Which one of your characters is most like you?
This is an easy question. Doc in Doc’s Codicil is close to being autobiographical. Thank God the book is fiction, because I’d rather not admit to doing some of the things Doc does in the book.

5.Which of your books is your favorite? Why?

Doc’s Codicil may be my favorite because it is complex. It’s a silly story that discusses serious and universal topics. I discovered that I put more of myself into the book than I realized. During a 45 minute live radio interview, I was asked what the major themes in the book were. “Themes,” I asked. “It has themes?” Apparently there were several that careful readers noticed that I’d never thought of.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

According to Gary Jones, his life has been a testament to questionable decisions and wishful thinking. His wife of forty years, however, says she knows of nothing in the record to justify such unfettered optimism. Jones says the book is a work of fiction; that's his story, and he’s sticking to it.
He’s part of the last generation of rural veterinarians who worked with cows that had names and personalities, and with dairymen who worked in the barn with their families. He’s also one of those baby boomers, crusty codgers who are writing their wills and grousing about kids who can be damned condescending at times.

Gary practiced bovine medicine in rural Wisconsin for nineteen years. He then 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.

Doc's Codicil is the bronze medal winner of Foreward's INDIEFAB Book of The Year awards, humor category.




Gary F. Jones will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Gary Jones said...

Thank you for hosting Doc's Codicil. I'll be away from my computer from 10:00 to noon, but will check in periodically throughout the day. Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to do.

Gary Jones said...

The book cover portrays Doofus drinking a beer and Gladys the camel peeking from behind a Christmas tree. Any comments? Any suggestions from those who have read the book?

Many thanks,


Rita said...

I liked the excerpt.

DanieX said...

great excerpt! I'm looking forward to reading this book and the cover is super funny, I love it!

Gary Jones said...

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I wish it had been a little longer.

Gary Jones said...

Thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoy reading the book.

Bea LaRocca said...

Oh My! This sounds like a wonderful read! Thank you so much for sharing the excerpt and offering a Giveaway! I'm adding this one to my wish-list and TBR!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt, sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing :)

Gary Jones said...

Bea, thanks for the encouraging comments. Readers have told me that "Doc's Codicil" makes a good Christmas present.

Gary Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Jones said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy the book, especially the nativity pageant. I had a ball writing it and one reader said he could only read that chapter a page at a time because his ribs hurt so much from laughing.

Lisa Brown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Gary Jones said...

Thank you & good luck.