Samuel Craddock is the creation of Terry Shames. Down-to-earth, compassionate, and with a strong sense of justice, Samuel Craddock is the retired former chief of police of Jarrett Creek, Texas. A recent widower who finds solace in his cows, he is a collector of fine arts.
In A Killing at Cotton Hill, nominated for Best Mystery of 2013 at Left Coast CrimeCoast Crime, for Best Debut Mystery for the Strand Magazine Critics’ Award, and for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and the first book in the series, Dora Lee Parjeter, a neighbor and long-time friend of Craddock’s, is murdered. She had called him late the night before her death worried that someone was sitting in a car watching her. Craddock tells her that if she’s still worried in the morning he’ll look into it. He goes to bed only to discover the next morning that she was right to be worried. But when the current chief and town drunk arrests Dora’s grandson, Craddock, convinced that the young man is innocent, investigates.
Narrated in the wry, low-key voice of Samuel Craddock and set in the small, rural East Texas town of Jarrett Creek, A Killing at Cotton Hill is a page-turner with a vivid sense of place. Filled with unforgettable characters, it is a terrific read.
Note: While each book in the series can be read as a standalone, there are continually developing storylines involving Craddock, a lawyer, and the current chief of police, so it’s best to read the books in order.