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Truman Smith Books In Order

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Publication Order of Truman Smith Private Eye Books

Dead on the Island (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gator Kill (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
When Old Men Die (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prairie Chicken Kill (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Takes a Break (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Truman Smith series is a series of crime and mystery novels written by the well known novelist Bill Crider from Mexia, Texas, United States. The series consists of a total of 5 mystery and crime novels published between the years 1991 and 1996. The novels of the series are set in the Galveston Island in Texas and feature the main protagonist in the form of a private eye named Truman Smith. The author Bill Crider has characterized the role of Truman Smith by getting inspired from the real life U.S. Army infantry officer with the same name, who served during the time of the second World War and played an important role in collecting valuable intelligence information regarding the German military capabilities. In the Galveston Island near the Texas coast, Truman Smith is described as a retired private eye from Dallas. He seems to be constantly obsessed because of the disappearance of his sister, who was his only relative alive and quite close to his heart. Nearing the age of forty, he quits the job as a private investigator in Dallas and moves back to his hometown in Galveston Island situated off the coast of Texas. Back in his hometown, Truman begins to live out his remaining days without any motive in life. He is so heartbroken with the loss of his sister that he does not seem interested in doing anything exciting in life.

Truman begins to do some odd jobs in order to make his living and takes shelter in the upper half of an abandoned and crooked Victorian house, which is full of old paperbacks, second hand furniture, an old, ornery orange tomcat called Nameless and a rock ‘n’ roll from the early 1945s. In his younger days, Truman Smith was determined to become a football player, but a knee injury did not allow him to pursue his dream of playing football for his country. He was promising football player in those days, but for the knee injury he had to choose a different field of career. Although the knee injury has still not healed completely, Truman manages to keep himself in a good shape. His fit body allows him to stay and effective like old times whenever he decides to help anyone every now and then by coming out of his retirement. The Truman series became a huge success among the readers of the world and this motivated author Bill Crider to keep writing more and more exciting crime and mystery novels in his career. The popularity of the novels of the series allowed Bill Crider to establish himself as a noteworthy author of the crime genre. One the novels of the series even went on to be nominated for the Shamus Award in the category of the Best First Private Eye Novel. With the successful description of the protagonist Truman Smith, Bill Crider was also encouraged to do the characterizations of several other popular protagonists, including Sheriff Dan Rhodes, Carl Burns, Stanley Waters, Sally Good, etc. Bill also wrote the novel series’ featuring these protagonists, which also became equally popular and caused the popularity of author Bill Crider to increase widely.

The first novel of the Truman Smith series was titled ‘Dead on the Island’. It was published in the year 1991 by the Spellbinders publishing house. The plot of the novel is set in Galveston Island near the coast of Texas and introduces the main protagonist of the series, Truman Smith. The opening sequence of the novel shows Truman Smith, working as a Private Investigator, who has become lonely after his sister got disappeared. Truman’s sister Jan had disappeared mysteriously and Truman did no find any success in trying to find her. His search operations in the Galveston Island did not produce any results. After several unsuccessful attempts, he begins to move on in his life, but remains depressed in his heart and obsessed about finding his sister someday. He takes a self-imposed retirement from his job as a Private Investigator and starts doing several odd jobs in order to make his living. Truman begins to jog on the Seawall, read a lot of Faulkner Books and play with his cat. All these things made him forget about his past life and the obsession of finding his sister, Jan. Soon, he is asked to find a missing young girl named Sharon by his old high school friend named Dino. Truman decides to come out of his self-imposed retirement and begins to investigate the case of the missing young girl named Sharon. He starts discovering a number of dead bodies in his investigation and also gets attacked once in the process of finding the girl. The investigation takes him to interesting places of the Galveston Island, ones that he had never visited before. The interesting mystery setting and an intriguing tale by the author Bill Crider kept the readers guessing till the very end. The readers also liked the interesting character sketches and the twisting plot of the novel. The book was nominated for the Shamus Award in the Best First PI Novel category, which encouraged Bill Cider to write further novels in the series.

The second novel of the series was titled ‘Gator Kill’ and was published in the year 1992 by the Walker & Company publishing house. This novel too depicts the life story of the main protagonist Truman Smith. The opening plot of the novel shows Truman retired from his previous job as a Private Eye and living in the Galveston Island as a house painter. His failed attempt in finding his sister Jan and later discovering her remains, filled in a bag and thrown in an overgrown field, forced him to retire from his job as a PI and live a life without any motive. Later, an alligator is killed by an unknown person and left on display on the property of one of Truman’s family friends. This persuades him to find the culprit and bring him to justice. In his attempt to find the killer, Truman comes across a number of dead bodies of humans and also gets shot by the goons of the culprit in order to stop the investigation. The whole situation takes twisting turns as Truman has to deal with corrupt police officials and bad guys. He reveals a possible land-grabbing scheme by the land mafia, who try to snatch the property of his friend’s family and plot the whole incident as a cover up for their illegal activities.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Truman Smith

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