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Bill Crider is one of the best mystery novel authors in America today. His work has won different awards like the Antony award (1987) for the best first novel. He is the author of multiple book series such as The Carl Burns series, Truman Smith series, Stanley Waters Sires, and the sally good sires. His books are filled with neck gripping suspense, something that will keep you craving for more. In this article, a am going to tell you more about Bill Crider’s life, his books and even review some characters from two of his most popular series. The Professor Carl Burns Series and the Truman Smith PI Series.
Bill Crider was born in Texas, Mexia (1941). He attended the university of Texas at Austin where he attained his undergraduate degree. He later went to the university of North Texas where he received his Masters in Arts Literature. Teaching has been his love. He taught English at the Howard Payne University for 12 years before writing a dissertation on the hard-boiled detective novel that earned him a PHD at the Texas University at Austin. After earning his degree, he moved his family to Alvin in Texas. Here he served as the chair of the Of Division English and fine arts at the AVIN community collage. He retired in 2003 to focus more on his writing career. This led him to establishing himself as a full term writer. He is the author of Professor Sally Good Sires, the Sheriff Dan Rhodes, Truman Smith PI series, books that he wrote under the pen name Jack Buchanan. In this article, I am going to sample some of his characters and books from his series. He has written very many mystery books, it is difficult to write a complete review of all his books so I will choose randomly.
Professor Carl Burns Series.
This series is based on the life of professor Carl Burns, A college tutor at the local Gorman collage. In Bill Crider’s book, “A dangerous thing”, Professor Carl Burns knows that the dean will to going to get worked up when she bought her two goats. This is the least problem in the dean’s mind since the school is being attacked. The attack is from political forces. The dean is new on top of being a hippie. The new dean comes with new policies and ideas, courses have to be rewritten, everyone has to watch their manners, unless they want to step on the dean’s toes, something that will have to be paid for dearly. Every one was expecting Burns to be the next dean since she was the most qualified candidate. The drama thickens as Tom Henderson’s falls through the window and sustained fatal injuries. This was not part of the curriculum and leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Burns takes it upon himself to figure out who did it, as this was far more interesting than grading boring developmental papers for his English class. Through this series, Bill Crider manages to shed some light on the daily life of a collage professor. He manages to show the world that being a professor is more that wearing an oxford sweater, some geeky glasses and spending your entire life in a library. He makes being a proffesor fun!
PI Truman Series.
This series is based on the life and adventures of one Galveston PI Truman Smith. He is a private detective and in the fourth book of the series “When old men die”, he is hired by his old high school class mate, the unpleasant Lance Garrison, to investigate the shooting incident involving a prairie chicken in his federally protected estate. Though Smith is reluctant to accept the assignment, his defenses crumple and he undertakes to uncover the secrets behind the shooting. The main reason why smith accepts the assignment is because his high school lover, Anne Lindeman is now living in Picket Ville. The prime suspect of the shooting is an anti government talk-radio host, Ralph Evans who airs his concerns for endangered species by advertising a spotted Owl in A can. The plot thickens when Smith and Red Lindeman get shot at as they explore the scene of chime. Red is Anne’s father in law. The owner of the radio station where Ralph works, who is Anne’s husband, is shot to death. A local bird watcher, Martin York is charged with the murder by the police chief Ward Peavey. Things begin falling in place when Smith discovers that a number of prisoners have already died in wards cell. He discovers deception, lies and treachery.
For those looking for a good book to read, a book to keep you glued to its pages from beginning to the end, the Crider is the man to read. He manages to weave suspense, reality and irony in his books. His hero’s are as smart and sharp as they come. He will keep you smiling with his Texas talk. Each new Crider book comes out better than the last, the characters more developed, the plot and setting more defined and the scene more realistic. He will give you one mean murder story that will end with the hero walking tall or even sometimes crawling! That is how unpredictable Crider is. His books are faced paced; he manages to leave the reader breathless as he takes you through the daily adventures of his heroes. He also has a very good command of the English language. His sentences are well structured with a musical touch. You will find your self-singing along instead of reading.
I am a mystery lover. A good friend of mine introduced me to the world of Bill Crider and since then, I have never looked back. I have travelled with professor burns trough all his adventures, watched Truman solve countless series and I am not stopping. The breath taking way which Bill pens his ideas cannot allow an avid reader like me to stop. I recommend any reader worth his mettle to purchase any of the Bill Crider’s books and you will not get disappointment, you will be hooked up for life.
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