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Terry Shames Books In Order

Publication Order of Samuel Craddock Mysteries Books

A Killing At Cotton Hill (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Death of Jack Harbin (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Terry Shames was born on the Gulf Coast of Lake Jackson-Texas. She attended Brazosport High, where her she was greatly involved in theater, and in the school chorale. She attended the University of Texas – Austin, and worked part-time as a secretary, a waitress, and at Yellowstone National Park to finance her school fees. She later joined the CIA at Langley, Virginia as a computer analyst. Here, she worked for several years before moving to Denver- Colorado and finally settled in San Francisco. Terry felt burned out from the stress of working with computers all day, every day. She wanted to focus on writing.

She got her MA in Creative Writing/English from San Francisco University to continue pursuing her passion for writing. Terry loved writing, and whatever job took, she never completely stopped writing fiction stories. Some of her short stories have been published in small fictional magazines. Her first novel was a sci-fi outer space book—that never got published. She later began writing mystery tales and started out with the Samuel Craddock Series. Her first book in the series; A Killing at Cotton Hill received a Best First Mystery Award at the Macavity Awards 2013. It was also nominated for The Strand Critics Award for Best Mystery. Terry has also received other awards for her outstanding mystery literary works in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Terry now currently lives in Berkeley with her husband. Her son, Geoffrey, works in social media in Los Angeles. She heads the Sisters in Crime Association -North California and sits on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, North California. Below is a review of her best-selling Mystery series; Samuel Craddock

A Killing at Cotton Hill

The chief of police at Jarrett Creek County in Texas, Samuel Craddock is a hopeless drunk. He finds out that Dora Lee Parjeter, her old friend, is murdered. Samuel steps in to unravel the murder and learns that Dora Lee’s neighbors desired her land for immoral purposes; her estranged daughter is quite unsettled by her mother’s sudden death and seeks vengeance; her grandson needs money for enrolling in an art school; and there’s an outsider that Dora Lee claimed was spying on her. Will Craddock manage to find Dora Lee’s Killer?In this introductory novel, Samuel Craddock elucidates the splendor and loneliness of the Texas scenery and reveals the human weaknesses of the residents -their pettiness, secret sins, their generosity and true virtues.

Jarrett Creek is a small town in Texas where everybody knows everybody. Samuel Craddock is a retired police chief and a widower. He is vividly shaken by the murder of his friend long time friend and neighbor, Dora Lee. Samuel feels somehow responsible as Dora Lee had called him the night before, telling him that there was an odd vehicle parked on the road right across from her farm and she felt dangerously susceptible. Craddock had tried to calm her down and brushed off her anxiety. As Craddock’s investigations continue to ruffle a few feathers, he is faced with an arson attack on his land. Unfazed, the ex-police chief stanchly pursues his inquiries to a fulfilling conclusion.

The Last Death of Jack Harbin

High school Football is everyone’s favorite sport in Texas. On many occasions, football Friday night lights had become center stage in Jared Creek. Before the first Gulf War, Jack Hardin, the celebrated high school quarterback of the Panthers team could have had an exciting college career. Instead, Jack and Woody Patterson enrolled in the Army, devoid of the fact that war was fast approaching. The two young men were caught up in a flimsy love triangle with a beautiful hometown girl. And as fate would have it, Jack was accepted into the army while Woody flanked flat out. Woody married his sweetheart while Jack battled out with vengeful foes in the gulf war. Jack barely survived the brutality of a war he barely understood. He came back home a broken man, physically confined to a wheel chair, blind, emotionally wrecked and worse still his family rejected him.

His Father, Bob Harbin took pity on him and agreed to care for him. Bob Harbin suddenly dies of a visible heart attack on the street in right front of his house. Just as he is about to reconcile with his longtime friend Woody, and his wife, Jack is brutally murdered. Samuel Craddock retired chief of police is the only person with real law enforcement skill and training in the small town of southern Texas. The events of Dora Lee’s murder are still vivid in his mind as well as of the many town folks. He also has to deal with his knee, which requires urgent surgery, among other things bugging his overall health. It’s up to ex-chief Samuel Craddock to investigate the brutal murder of Jack Harbin. Against the surroundings of small-town betrayals and allegiances, Craddock uncovers mysterious secrets to solve the ambiguity of Jack’s death.

But, Craddock is a drunk, his trusted ally isn’t any better, and the police in charge want him involved in the murder case. A connection which becomes more imperative as other events unfold and old secrets come to light. The buried past slowly comes back to life and begins to unravel the hidden dirty secrets of Jarrett Creek town folk in so many ways. Samuel Craddock is a level headed man who many trusts as a friend and a loyal acquaintance. He is articulate, plain honest and quite intelligent despite his drunken behavior. He flawlessly investigates Jack’s murder, prodding, listening and observing his suspects, carefully internalizing his findings. The book also highlights a few shootout moments, typical of a police investigation. The story line elaborated in this book series with lovable characters that slowly get their audience engrossed is well worth your time.

Fascinating and exceedingly enjoyable, Terry Shames has created a brilliant piece of a mystery novel. Samuel Craddock is a candid, likable and clever character. Craddock, a widower, and the portrayal of his continual fondness for his deceased wife, Jenny and his enduring loyalty to her memory are heart-warming. Terry elaborates how we handle pain, disappointments, and love at the same time. She describes real life situations with such ease and goes on to point out that despite our shortcomings, life should be decent and ought to be made pleasant for everyone around us.

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