As it approaches Thanksgiving in Jarrett Creek, Texas located about 30 miles west of Bryan in South Texas, something strange is going on. Dogs of various types are vanishing from the property of various residents. What seemed to be an isolated event here and there seems to be adding up to several cases. Police Chief Samuel Craddock assumed, as did most folks at first, that the dogs had just run off. Now he thinks a person or persons unknown might be taking the dogs. Whether they are being taken as bait to train dogs for dog fighting, to be sold for medical experimentation, or some other situation does not bode well for the missing dogs and Chief Craddock is looking into the matter.

Though there is a far more pressing issue that has to be dealt with first. Thanks to Loretta and her morning delivery of cinnamon rolls, something that Craddock looks forward to though it does not happen nearly as often as it used to, he knows that Doctor Lewis Wilkins is missing. He and his wife, Margaret, live out on the far side of the lake. The local grapevine reports, via Loretta, that his wife has been calling around to various folks they know to see if they know where her husband is as he didn’t make it home the previous night.


It is not long before the wife, Margaret Wilkins, calls Chief Craddock who heads over to her home. Her house is over on the west side of the lake. Craddock realizes on his arrival that the house has a troubled history. So too do the Wilkins. It isn’t long before the reason he never made it home becomes obvious and the talk of the town. H


A Reckoning In The Back Country by Terry Shames is the seventh book in the series and another excellent read from start to finish. Author Terry Shames brings the world of Jarret Creek alive in the reader’s imagination from the first paragraph. Unlike many series, the characters major and minor, evolve over time as hopefully those of us in the real world do. Theoretically at least, here in the real world, one should learn from mistakes on the past. That same concept is present in this series and makes the characters all the more real to the reader.


Rich and varied dialogue, intriguing and complicated characters, and multiple mysteries are always present in this series and are again at work in A Reckoning In The Back Country. While it would be best to read them in order starting with A Killing At Cotton Hill one could start here. Or almost as easily start with the most recently published book before this one, An Unsettling Crime For Samuel Craddock, as it is a prequel to the series.


No matter where you start, this is an excellent series well worth your time and highly recommended.


A Reckoning In The Back Country: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

Terry Shames

Seventh Street Books

January 2018

ISBN# 978-1-63388-367-3

Paperback (also available in eBook format)

283 Pages




Material supplied by the Dallas Public Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

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