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Samuel Craddock Series Praise

A Killing at Cotton Hill
The Last Death of Jack Harbin
Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek
A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge
The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake
An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

"Shames's superior sixth Samuel Craddock mystery... a prequel, explores a significant case at the start of the retired police chief's career. Skilled depictions of the lawman's formative choices and emotions enhance a timely story with resonance in the era of Black Lives Matter." STARRED REVIEW
   —Publishers Weekly on An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

"A favorite of fans who like their police procedurals with a strong ethical center, Shames provides the back story of a Southern cop caught between his job and his culture."
   —Kirkus on An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

"Shames once again enchants with her portrayal of life in rural Texas. Each character has a unique personality that remains in the mind of the reader long after the book is closed. The stunning conclusion will surprise most as Shames deftly weaves her tale." 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK, FANTASTIC—Keeper
   —RT Book Reviews on The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

"Shames does it again, providing the wise, likable Craddock (A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge, 2015, etc.) with yet another quirky mystery with a surprising ending."
   —Kirkus on The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

"The authentic small-town ambiance, a cast of meticulously developed characters, and Craddock's easygoing first-person narrative should more than satisfy series fans."
   —Publishers Weekly on The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

"It's the writer's skill that keeps us reading. There's a nervous tension under the surface of the everyday prose, born of Craddock's (undeserved) sense that he might not be quite up to this job. Small-town policing, strong on character, much like Steven F. Havill's Posadas County series."
   —Booklist on The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

"Winning.... Craddock moseys among the locals, following his keen instincts and sorting clues, until reaching a satisfying resolution."
   —Publishers Weekly on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"Although you may beat the detective to the solution in Samuel's fourth case, getting there is a heck of a ride."
   —Kirkus on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"This is the fourth—and most complex—book in the Samuel Craddock series, novels that have established our hero as one of the most engaging new central characters in American crime fiction.... Craddock's persistent nosing around makes for an absorbing narrative, leading to a conclusion far more horrifying than anything the reader could ever imagine."
   —Toronto Star on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"Shames wonderfully evokes small-town Texas life and Samuel is a slow-talking but certainly not slow-witted hero squarely in the Walt Longmire vein. This emotional fourth installment (after Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek) from the Macavity Award winner will surely satisfy series fans."
   —Library Journal on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"You can feel the Texas wind blow and the dirt dust up beneath your feet as Shames delivers another solid installment in the Samuel Craddock series. The mystery flows seamlessly in Craddock's capable hands as each new clue leads to more shocking revelations. The characters add authenticity and texture as decent, hard-working citizens intermingle with those who skirt the edges of the law." (4 1/2 stars FANTASTIC—Keeper)
   —RT Book Reviews on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"Fans of Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone, Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire, and C.J. Box's Joe Pickett will adore this series that features a strong law enforcement officer, sly dialogue, and skillfully complex characters."
   —Kings River Life Magazine on A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge

"Solid third mystery. . . . Craddock is forced to rely more on his insight into his neighbors' characters than on forensics as he separates layers of mischief and mayhem. Still. . .he gets the job done."
   —Publishers Weekly on Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

"After a debut as strong as A Killing at Cotton Hill, it's hard to believe that Terry Shames could get better with each succeeding book, but in Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, she does exactly that. I love Samuel Craddock, I love this town, and I love this series of books."
   —Timothy Hallinan, author of Herbie's Game on Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

"There may be no protagonist in our genre today as decently compelling as Samuel Craddock. And there may be no better chronicler of the character and complexity of small town America than Terry Shames. With Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, she absolutely won my heart. Give her a chance, and I guarantee she'll stake a claim to yours as well."
   —William Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace on Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

"Small towns in mysteries can be too cute or too weird to be true, but Jarrett Creek is the real deal and Samuel Craddock is the jewel in its crown. Flawed, complex, decent, and captivating—spending time in this town with the Chief is a delight. And what a terrific story too."
   —Catriona McPherson, author of Dandy Gilver on Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

"Shames's sophomore series entry highlights her comfortable storytelling style. The lead's folksy tone belies astute detecting, and the plotting will dazzle readers. Consider for fans of Margaret Maron, Steven Havill, and Bill Crider—all regional writers with universal appeal." Starred Review
   —Library Journal on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"A methodical thinker with his own dark side, Craddock once again wins the reader over en route to a satisfying conclusion."
   —Publishers Weekly on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"This is a perceptive book, written with style and tight discipline, into a hermetic society in which everything—a night out gone bad, a high-school football game—assumes colossal proportions.... A gritty take on small-town crime."
   —Booklist on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"Shames does a deft job of weaving unexpected and interesting characters into a seamless plot." 4 1/2 stars
   —RT Review on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"...the most engaging new American sleuth in crime fiction."
   —Toronto Star on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"...check out Shames' Samuel Craddock mysteries if you want a complex, riveting story dealing with contemporary issues. The Last Death of Jack Harbin is...a gritty, compelling story."
   —Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques on The Last Death of Jack Harbin

"Shames's promising debut, the first in a series, introduces retired police chief Samuel Craddock of Jarrett Creek, Tex., a strong-minded, fairly able-bodied, and firmly decent man in his 60s... Readers will want to see more of the likable main character, who compassionately but relentlessly sifts the evidence. Convincing smalltown atmosphere and a vivid supporting cast are a plus."
   —Publishers Weekly on A Killing at Cotton Hill

"The small-town southern mystery is becoming a genre all its own, with Shames capably joining Bill Crider and Steven Havill in chronicling the mayhem and hidden agendas in the region. A solid debut thriller."
   —Booklist on A Killing at Cotton Hill

"...if you're as fond of good writing as I am, it will be the characters in Cotton Hill that will keep the pages turning until late in the evening..."
   —Mysteryfile on A Killing at Cotton Hill

"Shames' novel is an amazing read. The poetic, literary quality of the writing draws you in..."
   —RT Book Reviews on A Killing at Cotton Hill

"Fans of Craig Johnson, Bill Crider, William Kent Krueger, and C.J. Box will find much to appreciate in this very well written mystery."
   —King's River Life on A Killing at Cotton Hill

"Shames' novel is an excellent traditional mystery, set in a small community with interesting characters. However, it's Samuel Craddock who brings the story to life."
   —Lesa Holstine, Librarian & Reviewer on A Killing at Cotton Hill (read the full review)

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