Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge by Terry Shames

Terry Shames knows there's crime in small communities, just as there is in large cities. And, she's not afraid to talk about the cruelty and victimization that goes on in a small town. A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge, her latest mystery featuring Samuel Craddock, exposes more than one secret in Jarrett Creek, Texas.

Despite retirement, Craddock is still the Acting Police Chief because Jarrett Creek went bankrupt, and couldn't afford to hire anyone. He stays up-to-date with the day-to-day developments in town, but his own neighbor and friend, lawyer Jenny Sandstone, is a private person. When Jenny's mother, Vera, has a stroke, and warns Craddock that her daughter may be in danger, he's concerned, but doesn't want to bother Jenny. However, when one accident after another happens, culminating in a car forcing Jenny off the road, Craddock knows it's time to look at Jenny's problems as a police officer, not just a friend. Samuel uncovers threats from Jenny's past as a lawyer, but also secrets in the Sandstone family, secrets that Jenny's mother might have hidden.

While Craddock seems preoccupied with Jenny's issues, he is still working with his team and the community. He has to handle problems with the town, the high school, and the prom, as well as one woman's angry ex-husband. It's always a juggling act with a small-town police force, as they try to keep everyone happy.

As always, Shames successfully juggles the other police troubles with the major one that preoccupies Samuel Craddock. In A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge, Shames focuses on family issues, everything from helicopter parents to father and son troublemakers to family sins that continue to have repercussions years later. It takes a wise police chief to understand families, people's behavior, and how that behavior can affect a community. With Samuel Craddock, Shames has created an observant man who understands mistakes. He brings his experience in Jarrett Creek, and his experiences as a human being who has suffered, and lived a life that wasn't always easy, to his job as police chief. Samuel Craddock is a character that brings readers back to to Jarrett Creek, Texas, time after time. When Samuel Craddock unravels a mystery, or uncovers A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge, readers see through Craddock's eyes. Through them, the relationships that lead to crime in any community are revealed.

Satisfying, sympathetic, a gentle hand. All of those qualities evoke Terry Shames' Samuel Craddock mysteries.

Terry Shames' website is

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge by Terry Shames. Seventh Street Books. 2015. ISBN 9781633880467 (paperback), 271p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Karen Reittinger said...

I'm happy that A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge is out. Terry Shames' Samuel Craddock is one of my favorites. Thank you for the review.

Lesa said...

I agree with you, Karen. One of my favorites. You're welcome.

Kay said...

I need to read this series and have meant to because it is set in Texas and it sounds fun. Putting the first one on my list.

Margie Bunting said...

I'm about halfway through this book right now, and it feels so comfortable spending time with Samuel Craddock and the other small-town inhabitants after my experience with the first three in the series. I see that Terry's fifth is already showing on Amazon, coming out in January 2016. Can't wait!

Lesa said...

Kay, You really do need to read this series. Terry does a wonderful job with it, and I love Samuel Craddock. You need to move it near the top of that list.

Lesa said...

Margie, By the time I answered this, you've probably finished the book. It does feel comfortable, doesn't it? And, I'm glad to know the next one will be out in January!