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terry shames
terry shames
terry shames

About Terry

Terry Shames

Terry grew up in Texas, and has an abiding affection for the people she grew up with and the landscape and culture of the town that is the model for Jarrett Creek.

She graduated from the University of Texas and has an MA from San Francisco State University.

Terry now lives in Northern California with her husband, two terriers and a regal cat.

Because her husband loves sailing, they have spent a lot of time on boats. A year ago they sold their big catamaran and bought a smaller boat to keep in the Sea of Cortez. Terry looks forward to early morning writing when she's aboard Otros Vientos.

Terry's first Samuel Craddock novel, A Killing at Cotton Hill, (July 2013) and was named one of the top five debut mystery novels of 2013 by MysteryPeople. The second in the series, The Last Death of Jack Harbin was named one of the top five mysteries of 2014 by the Library Association's Library Journal. Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, the third in the Samuel Craddock series came out October 7, 2014, and Terry is busy reading at bookstores and libraries (see News/Events for details). Terry is finishing up edits for A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge, fourth in series, which will come out April 7, 2015.


The 2014 conferences have been outstanding: Left Coast Crime, the Tucson Festival of Books and Thrillerfest . The Writers' Police Academy in September was jam-packed with information. Now on to Bouchercon in November.

In June Terry participated in Mystery-Thriller Saturday: A Day of Chaos, Killing, Crime, and Kidnapping at Kepler's Bookstore in Menlo Park. In July there was a wonderful Mystery Evening for the Sacramento Bee Book Club with authors Cara Black, Rhys Bowen, Catriona McPherson and me. In October Cara Black, Laurie King and Terry did a sold-out event to publicize Contra Costa's Project Second Chance, an adult literacy program.

Since Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek came out, Terry has been reading at libraries and bookstores, including Borderlands Books in San Francisco, Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego (in conversation with author Lisa Brackmann), Book Carnival in Orange, and Clues Unlimited in Tucson (appearing with author JCarson Black). Photos from some of these events are below:

Thrillerfest Sacramento Bee Book Club
Mystery Event
Terry, James Ziskin, Lori Rader-Day and Robert Rotstein Cara Black, Catriona McPherson, Terry and Rhys Bowen
James Ziskin, Lori Rader-Day, Terry, and Robert Rotstein Cara Black, Catriona McPherson, Terry, and Rhys Bowen

2014 Left Coast Crime
Terry and William Kent Krueger Terry and Timothy Hallinan
Terry with William Kent Krueger Tim Hallianan and Terry showing off their plaques

Terry and Sue Grafton
Terry with Sue Grafton

Walnut Creek Library event
for Project Second Chance
Clues Unlimited in Tucson
Walnut Creet Library Clues Unlimited event
Cara Black, Laurie King, and Terry Being introduced by owner Chris Burke

  Bouchercon 2014
Lucy Lucy
Terry's dog, Lucy, is unimpressed with her latest book Sisters in Crime Breakfast
with Sara Paretsky,
one of my idols

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she serves on the boards of Northern California chapters of both. She also blogs every other Wednesday on The Ladykillers.