Former Police Chief Samuel Craddock didn’t want to be police chief again or investigate any more murders. But, the last few months have been kind of rough in the small south Texas town of Jarret Creek. There were some murders and Samuel Cradock, bum knee and all, got dragged into solving them. Deep in the grip of winter Jarrett Creek is about to have still more problems.

The town is bankrupt. The night before there had been an emergency meeting of several of the town’s leading citizens at the American Legion Hall to discuss how to pay for a police force when the town barely has enough money to pay a couple part-timers. Mayor Reinhardt had come up with a plan to have Craddock installed as police chief as he was very good back when he did it before and has enough money he doesn’t need the salary. Craddock wasn’t thrilled, but was willing to go along as it needed to be done.

But, the plan went sideways when Gary Dellmore, son of Bank President Alan Dellmore, basically took over the meeting. He irritated many in attendance and the meeting ended several angry residents and nothing finalized. Things went downhill more when the acting police chief as well as the two fulltime deputies all resigned after learning they would not be paid. Then things really went downhill when Gary Dellmore was found dead outside the American Legion Hall. While the legendary law enforcement agency, The Texas Rangers (not to be confused with the Major league Baseball teams that plays far to the north in Arlington) could help, they have plenty of their own work to do on other cases.

As happened in the award winning A Killing at Cotton Hill and The Last Death of Jack Harbin it isn’t long before Craddock is back working hard and irritating some folks with his questions. Questions in a far reaching investigation that eventually turns up another crime. If the citizens of Jarret Creek still had any innocence regarding life in their town what has been going on behind their backs the last few weeks should permanently solve the problem.

Third in a very good series, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek is mighty good. Blending in details of life in Texas in terms of characters and the land with a mystery on top of a mystery author Terry Shames has created another very good book in a series that just gets better and better. One has the same expectation for just released new book A Deadly Affair At Bobtail Ridge.

It is strongly suggested that readers should read the books in order to get the most out of the reading experience. It is also worth noting that these books are written in present tense which some readers seem to have a bit of difficulty with based on some of the reviews and comments across the internet.

Dead Broke In Jarret Creek: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
Terry Shames
Seventh Street Books
October 2014
ISBN# 978-1616149963
Paperback (also available in e-book)
265 Pages

The publisher sent me an ARC to read in exchange for my honest review sometime late last summer. Unfortunately, various events here delayed my reading and reviewing this book until now.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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